9th May: riverine and urban fringe forage

“Wow Mark,  Thank you so,  so much!!  Really appreciated your time, skills and knowledge yesterday.  Thank you for the list below, you do astound me :)”  B. Howey

“Today I’ve been on a beautiful walk with Mark, and I learnt a lot about foraging. Such and amazing skill to have, I’m really impress by the amount of plants you can eat and for me they were just a normal plants” J. Gárate

“Thank you again for yesterday Mark, you’re enthusiasm and generosity never fails to inspire me, I Iook forward to our next meeting!” J. Bentinck

Yesterday was a riverine and urban fringe forage with the Apprentices of Embercombe. Many of them are pretty clued up with wild foods so it was good to go into some depth on each plant with them. We trailed around the paths, green lanes and banks of the canal and river in Exeter for 2 and a half hours and spotted, talked about, picked, tasted and avoided the following plants:

Edible, useful and poisonous plant list (poisonous ones in italics):

  1. Cherry Plum (fruit, wood)
  2. Burdock (root, leaves, stem)
  3. Elder (insect repellent leaves, flowers, fruit)
  4. Stitchwort (leaves and tips)
  5. Blackthorn (leaves, fruit, wood)
  6. Hawthorn (leaves, flowers, haws)
  7. (Spindle) (wood: charcoal, spindles)
  8. Ribwort Plantain (leaves and seeds)
  9. Gorse blossom (wine)
  10. (Comfrey) (Not recommended now. Also called knitbone)
  11. Hogweed (young leaves and tips, flower buds also sugar-like excretion, and barscz soup, root) – take care
  12. Teasel (flower head for teasing wool, fullers teasel)
  13. Common Mallow (leaves, seeds and flowers)
  14. Beech (young leaves and beech mast)
  15. (Hemlock)
  16. Cow Parsley / Wild Chervil (leaves)
  17. Red Deadnettle (leaves)
  18. Whitebeam (fruit)
  19. Wild Hop (flower heads)
  20. Crosswort (medicinal, dye)
  21. (Hemlock Water Dropwort)
  22. Pennywort/Navelwort (leaves)
  23. Ivy-leaved toadflax (leaves)
  24. Nipplewort (leaves)
  25. Cleavers (burrs and leaves, stems)
  26. (Arum Maculatum) (root – processed)
  27. Jack-by-the-Hedge (leaves, roots, pods, seeds, flowers)
  28. Greater Willowherb (leaves and pith)
  29. Bittercress (leaves)
  30. Greater plantain (leaves and seeds)
  31. (Rough Chervil)
  32. Alexanders (roots, leaves, stem, flowers and seeds)
  33. Lamb’s Lettuce / Cornsalad (leaves)
  34. Herb Robert (leaves)
  35. Laurel Bay (leaves)
  36. Honeysuckle (flower nectar)
  37. Herb Bennet  or Wood Avens (leaves and roots)
  38. (Bluebell) (root glue)
  39. Primrose (leaves and flowers)
  40. Daisy (leaves and flowers)
  41. Cat-Tail (head for tinder, stem for hand-drill, stem base, roots)
  42. Dandelion (flower, leaves, roots)
  43. Black Mustard (leaves and seed)
  44. Oregon Grape (fruit)
  45. Charlock (leaves, pods)
  46. Cockspur Thorn (fruit and thorn)
  47. Horseradish (leaves, root)
  48. Meadowsweet (root, leaves, flowers)
  49. (Tansy) (leaves as vermifuge, insecticide)
  50. Silverweed (root)
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