Tag Archives: Clintonia borealis

Clintonia borealis

12 May

Clintonia borealis has the common name of Bluebead lily, take a moment to look at these striking plant standing above and also if you zoom closer you can see some smaller plants poking through the snow with narrow green points. This wild plant’s leaves taste similar to cucumber when fresh, I’m not fond of this plant cooked as a pot herb though.

Bluebead lily can be a very common plant in some eastern forest. I collected a tiny fraction of what was in this area with the thought of finding some new uses for these spring shoots besides cutting the fresh leaves up in salads, so time to go home for some culinary adventuring.ūü¶Č


Corn Lily

18 May


Corn Lily – (Blue bead lily) –¬†Clintonia borealis –¬†doesn’t stay tasty long, often¬†by the time you recognize the plant it is to bitterly¬†late, unless you have located areas of large beds in previous years and are familiar with its early growth.



This is a plant I haven’t gathered much as I never found any spots¬†with a large enough population of plants, but today there are 10s of thousands in this area so I’ll gather a few as I would like to try a recipe with them.


In this¬†collecting area south of Moncton¬†this cucumber tasting plant is kind of distinct with its early start, size &¬†up right curved around leaves so this isn’t a problem to identify here, though in other areas there may be a poisonous Lily member look-alike so study this one very well before gathering it for food these early growth edibles can be tricky and even in my province just 50 miles away¬†along the¬†St John¬†River grows the toxic Veratrum viride which is larger but somewhat similar in early growth¬†so be thorough with¬†your Lily family identification. Off topic for a second –¬†have a look at the single leaf in the bottom right, this is a Trout Lily leaf¬†growing from a new young bulb, this will take¬†possibly up to¬†5 more years before the bulb is mature enough to produce flowering, at this location the Corn Lilies and Trout Lilies seem to colonize their own separate densely populated¬†villages throughout these¬†hardwoods of mostly¬†Betula cordifolia mountain birch, surprised¬† to see very little Chaga mushroom up¬†here.


Here is a Corn Lily in flower in early June, the leaves are much to bitter to eat at this stage. ciao