PRIVATE BOOKINGS AVAILABLE ON SITE UNTIL THE 1ST OF SEPTEMBER 2019

Welcome

Welcome to my plant identification page. Here you will find plant write ups i have written to help people along on their foraging journey. 

Rosebay Willowherb

Chamaenerion angustifolium

Chamaenerion angustifolium is commonly known in North America as Fireweed, in some parts of Canada as great Willowherb, and in Briton as Rosebay Willowherb. It's a perennial herbaceous plant in the Willowherb family, Onagraceae.


Description

Tall erect perennial up to 120cm, nearly hairless; lanceolate alternate leaves spirally arranged up the stems. flowers are rose-purple, 2-3cm across, borne in spikes, spread out horizontally; 2 upper petals broader than the 2 lower. stigma (four-lobed) and stamens bend down eventually. You can find this wonderful plant along hedgerows, roadsides, wasteland or brown field sites, woodland, gardens, railway lines etc.


Edibility

Traditionally the young shoots were collected in the spring by native american people and mixed with other greens. As the plant matures the leaves become tough and somewhat bitter. The southeast native Americans use the stems in this stage. They're peeled and eaten raw. when i'm out and about i like to split the stem in half and scrape out the inner pith. i find it tastes like a mild cucumber, very refreshing! They're a good source of vitamin C and pro vitamin A 

The flowers can be ate just as they are or made in to jams and jelly etc

The root can also be roasted after scraping off the outside layer, but often tastes bitter. To mitigate this, the root is collected before the plant flowers and the brown thread in the middle removed.


Medicinal 

Rosebay willowherb is also a medicine, it can be used to treat puss-filled boils or cuts by placing the raw stem on the afflicted area. This is said to draw the puss out of the cut or boil and prevents a cut with puss in it from healing over to quickly. Also a sleepy tea can be made out of the leaves and it can be quite effective!


Practical uses

The fluffy seed heads are a great aid in fire lighting, they dry out fast and will take a spark from a ferro rod. the old mature stems have been used for a hand drill for friction fire.


Disclaimer;

Never eat any wild plant unless you are 100% sure that you have identified an edible species.

always cross-reference the information you find on the internet with an expert, a foraging group like ourselves. foraging course, or several reference books. Have fun but be responsible.Identification is entirely your responsibility and it could also mean your life!


EDITORS NOTE

if you enjoyed this write up and would like to join me on a foraging course, then please drop me an email andysoutings@gmail.com   

image3

Herb Robert

geranium robertianum

 

This is herb Robert (geranium robertianum) from the crane's-bill family!

Commonly known as Herb-Robert, also known as Red Robin, Death come quickly, Storksbill, Dove's Foot, Crow's Foot, or (in North America) Robert Geranium, is a common species of cranesbill native to Europe and parts of Asia, North America, and North Africa.


Description
Rather a spreading annual or biennial plant, up to 50cm high, with a strong smell and hairy stems and leaves. producing small, pink, five-petalled flowers (8-14 mm in diameter) from April until the autumn. The leaves are deeply dissected, ternate to palmate, and the stems are rather fragile and often reddish; the leaves also turn red at the end of the flowering season. The plant has little root structure. Flowering season tends to be from may to october.


Habitat
This plant can be found in woodland, scrub, clearings, and even walls!


Distribution
It is common throughout Great Britain and Ireland in woodland, hedgerows, scree and maritime shingle. Its main area of distribution is western Europe from the north Mediterranean coast to the Baltic. It has been introduced into many other temperate parts of the world, probably through its use as an ornamental plant, such as in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Geranium robertianum grows at altitudes from sea level to 710 metres (2,329 ft) in Teesdale, England and above 2,100 metres (6,890 ft) in parts of mainland Europe on calcareous alpine screes. Also most of Asia, north america and north Africa.

In the state of Washington, it is known as Stinky Bob and classified as a noxious weed.


Active ingredients
Tannins, bitters and essential oil
Vitamins: A,B,C

Uses
Young leaves can be used in salads and to make tea with along with the flower heads. Both leaves and flowers can be dried to use throughout the winter months, for tea or a nutrient booster for salads.


Medicinal uses
In traditional herbalism, Herb Robert was used as a remedy for toothache and nosebleeds and as a vulnerary (used for or useful in healing wounds). it's classed as one of the carpenters herbs for this reason! It was carried to attract good luck, and due to its analogical association with storks, to enhance fertility!
in homeopathy to treat internal bleeding, also a diuretic . also used for toothache \ mouth antiseptic.
Enhance immune system.
Also been used/useful in the healing of wounds.
Antibiotic, antiviral, diuretic, antioxidant, digestive aid, sedative.

Other uses,
leaves can be crushed and rubbed on skin to act like an insect repellant!!


Home use tips
As a gargle for mouth and gum infections, and to clean bleeding wounds. Infuse 2 teaspoonful in 250ml of boiling water for 5 minutes.


Disclaimer:

Never eat any wild plant unless you are 100% sure that you have identified an edible species.

Always cross-reference the information you find on the internet with an expert, a foraging group like ourselves on a course, or several reference books. Have fun, but be responsible. Identification is entirely your responsibility and it can also mean your life!


Editors Note: if you enjoyed this article then please comment or share on but if you would like to join us for a day in the woods then get in touch!

image4

Yarrow

Additional Information

 

Here we have Achillea millefolium, also known as Yarrow.


Habitat

It loves to grows in abundance in grassy places, edge of paths, woodland rides, road side edges, hedgerows/banks, meadows etc. It grows pretty much anywhere!


Identification

It's quite a sturdy/tough plant, erect tuffed downy (hairy) perennial. Growing from 8-40cm tall, strongly scented, the leaves are lanceolate in outlining , 5-15cm long. 2-3 times Pinnate into short narrow linear segments.
Lower leaves are stalked, upper leaves are stalk-less and shorter.
Flower heads, many 4-6mm across, in dense terminal umbel-like corymbs;
Involurce oval ( Involurce - a whorl, collar or ruff of bracts at the base of the flower) , of many overlapping oblong, blunt, keeled bracts with scarious edges; (keel- a keel-like flange running along the length one side of a leaf) Ray-florets usually 5, three - toothed at tip, as long as they are wide, white or pink; disc-florets dirty white or creamy in colour. It flowers from early summer up until late autumn.


Harvesting tips-
Aerial parts used (above ground parts- leaves, stem, flowers) As with all herbs the best time to pick the leaves is as it's coming into flower. For use as a vegetable, you should use leaves that have reached Middle-age.


Edibility- small quantities!

Used in small quantities it can make a cool if rather bitter addition to salads.
Cooked Yarrow: Yarrow can also be used as a cooked vegetable by removing the feathery leaves from the tough stems, boiling them for 10 minutes, straining off the water, and then simmer in butter.


Medicinal properties/actions.

Diaphoretic, astringent, tonic, stimulant and mild aromatic.

Yarrow is known as one of the 'carpenters' herbs, it's used as a poultice to aid the healing of wounds.
Yarrow is also one of the best diaphoretic herbs and is a standard remedy for aiding the body to deal with fevers and colds. It can also help lower blood pressure. Stimulate the digestion and tones the blood vessels.

In Norway , Yarrow is used for the cure of rheumatism, and the fresh leaves chewed are said to cure toothache!

A herbal tea.

For taking internally to help eliminate fevers and colds, its best to make a tea with the dried ariel parts, 1cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb. Leave to infuse for 10-15mins. It should be drunk hot and 2-3 times a day. You can also add some honey for some extra goodness!


Disclaimer:

Never eat any wild plant unless you are 100% sure that you have identified an edible species.

Always cross-reference the information you find on the internet with an expert, a foraging group like ourselves on a course, or several reference books. Have fun, but be responsible. Identification is entirely your responsibility and it can also mean your life!


Editors Note: if you enjoyed this article then please comment or share on but if you would like to join us for a day in the woods then get in touch!

image5

Herb Bennet / Wood Avens

Geum urbanum

 Here we have Geum urbanum also known as wood avens, herb Bennett, St Benedict's herb.
It's a perinial in the rose family.


Habitat
You will find it growing in hedge banks, hedgerows, scrub, also very common in woodland. Pretty much anywhere shady.


Identification:
Leaves
Pinnate basal rosette, hairy stems, leaves with large, usually 3-lobed blunt-toothed terminal leaf, and 2-3 pairs of smaller unequal side-leaflets 5-10mm-long growing down the stem; large, leafy stiptules at the base; upper leaves trifoliate or undivided.


Flowers
1.0-1.5cm across, long stalked, erect, with 5 spreading yellow 5-9mm unstalked, rounded petals. They grow solitary and terminal on side branches. Usually 5 stamens. Flowering season may-Oct. (Similar to cinquefoil flowers, but rather small and inconspicuous) The flowers then turn into the seed pods.


Seeds/fruits
The seed head is made up off many hairy achenes (a burr), with 5-10mm long zigzag - shaped hairless styles- (stalk-like structure) ; in the fruit/seed the lower part of the style persists as a hook. This is because the plant relies on the seeds getting hooked into the animals fur when passing by, then later getting knocked off elsewhere. Even us aswell no doubt you would have had these stuck to your trousers, socks and boot laces while out and about in nature.


Season
All year.


Distribution
Throughout Europe. In British Isles, less so in Northern Scotland.


Edibility.
Young leaves can be added to salads. Soups, stews. Even deep fried where they puff up like prawn crackers.

The roots are generally used for flavouring as they have a strong smell and taste of cloves. These are best picked, washed and dried as the clove taste intensifies after drying.


NOTE, UPROOTING PLANTS IS ILLEGAL WITHOUT THE LANDOWNERS PERMISSION.


Medicinal uses:
It's strong astringency combined with its digestive properties give wood Avens its role in many intestinal troubles, as in diarrhea, dysentery, mucus colitis and similar conditions. It may be used to settle nausea and to allay vomiting. Its astringency also explains its use in the treatment of gingivitis and sore throats as a mouthwash or gargle. It may also be used internally for feverish colds and catarrh's.


Medicinal properties.
Essential oils with gein and eugenol, tannins, bitter principle, flavone, resin, organic acid.


Parts used:
Roots and ariel parts.


Medicinal actions:
Astringent, styptic, diaphoretic, aromatic.


Harvesting notes:
If you're harvesting the roots, the very small ones 2-3mm are best. You can harvest up to 1-3rd of the roots and then replant it. This way the plant should be able to carry on growing.


Disclaimer:

Never eat any wild plant unless you are 100% sure that you have identified an edible species.

Always consult your doctor before using any plants for medicinal purposes!

Always cross-reference the information you find on the internet with an expert, a foraging group like ourselves, on a course, or several reference books. Have fun, but be responsible. Identification is entirely your responsibility and it can also mean your life!


Editors Note: if you enjoyed this article then please comment or share on, but if you would like to join us for a day in the woods then please get in touch.

image6