Tag Archives: milkweed


1 Jul


I’ve only become familiar with Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) in the last 10 years as it didn’t grow in my home area and seems to only grow along railway tracks in the area I live now which is Moncton N.B.  With its large thick leaves and attractive flowers this plant you will take notice of right away once you see it.


I’ve been rather slow in sampling Milkweed as a wild edible due to the location where it grows as I’m quite concerned with the potential toxins in the plants related to the sprays railways periodically receive which has been going on in these areas for over 100 years. This one is just 2 feet from the railway track.


Today I’ve found a patch which has spread a few hundred feet into an open field which I suspect is a safe enough distance to try a few young flower buds which even in the most pristine environment would need to be boiled to be a safe edible, some even recommend changing the boiling water 3 times while cooking. Since I’m new to this plant this is the cooking process I followed.


Here are the unopened flower buds. Milkweed comes by its name honestly as the amount of white latex the runs forth when a leaf breaks away from the stem is impressive to see and this latex has been used to make rubber, also some folks of long ago used the dried latex as a chewing gum.


This is my collection of the uncooked buds which turn out to be very good vegetable when cooked in the 3 boiling water change process for total cooking time of 15 minutes. The flower buds turn a dark green once the are boiled. I’m also interested in trying the young seedpods as a wild edible when the time is right, the white seeds inside the young pods look to be an interesting food.


Catching the forager’s eye

2 Jun


I had to come over and touch this tent caterpillar’s waterproof tent as  in the light rain it felt quite rubbery and solid, usually on a sunny day they appear fragile and soft,  odd I never noticed this change before. (click on for closer look)


Choke-cherry shrub in full bloom, noticing areas with many blossoming bushes in spring, makes for easy picking later on.


Dewberry (Rubus pubescens) was the dominant understory plant in a large poplar groove in which I was looking for Morel mushrooms. I’m quite fond of dewberries so I will return in a month as the fruit should be ready then.


The Monarch butterfly’s best friend Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), these are young but still a little to mature to be good eating though again this sighting calls for a return visit in 3 weeks to gather some flower buds which are a very good wild food when prepared well.


Only wild mushroom I noticed today was the Orange Peel (Aleuria aurantia). I blew into the cap of the Orange Peel to remove some conifer needles and 2 seconds later the mushroom discharged a buff of smoke-like spores. I tried to catch this in a picture but couldn’t time it right, to blow, bring the mushroom around in front of the camera and take the picture with the other hand just didn’t work out, though it was interesting to try. This type of triggering spore dispersal was pretty consistent with mature Orange Peel mushrooms today, I don’t know if this is commonly known that the Orange Peel will do this. Well that is enough of the wilds of New Brunswick for you today. ciao