Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Name five native edible plants in your neighborhood and the season(s) they are available. Q10 of The Big Here Quiz

This is one my least favourite questions in The Big Here Quiz because its tries to do too much and in doing so, accomplishes very little.

One major problem is that question asks what is available in "your neigbourhood." Now my neighbourhood is a relatively small residential area that might have homes with gardens containing "native" (and even possibly edible) plants -- but I can't be expected to know what's in all these gardens. So I'm going to ignore the word "neighbourhood" in this question.

That leaves me with trying to find the intersection of what plants are native *and* edible in the place where I call "here".

Well, there are books like this one on native plants but generally the emphasis of these books is to encourage their growth to support local flora and fauna, not for their consumption. I browsed through this book on edible and medicinal plants of the Great Lakes region but was put off by author's qualifications and his medical advice.

With time and effort, I'm sure I would be able to draw up a proper list of what Carolinian plants are edible, but instead, I'm going to trust this more general guide by Sweet Grass Gardens to provide my answer:

  • Nodding Wild Onion (Allium cernum)
  • (young shoots of) Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium)
  • Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)
  • Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia humifusa)
  • White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

1 comment:

Urbanrat said...

In my neighborhood in the core, you might be better off being a Freegan and dumpster dive behind the restaurants. I've explored some of the many unkempt alleys, the railway cuts might provide more foraging for the natural elements.