Welcome to the Weekly Weeder series. This week's weed is Red clover, Trifolium pratense. (Trifolium means “three leaves”.) Native to Europe, red clover was introduced to North America as a fodder crop. It has now naturalized throughout the Americas, Australia and many other parts of the world. Red clover is a legume, and adds nitrogen to the soil, enriching it for other crops. [Read more…]
Welcome to the Weekly Weeder series. Today's featured weed is the thistle, i.e. plants of the genus Cirsium. No true thistles are known to be toxic, and they are fairly easy to identify. There are many thistle species throughout North America (and the rest of the world), but the two common in my yard are Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) and bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare). The different species and all edible and have similar uses. [Read more…]
Welcome to the Weekly Weeder, where we learn how to use common weeds from our yards and gardens. Today's featured weed is common chickweed, Stellaria media. Stellaria (Latin) means little star; media (Latin) means “in the midst of”. It is also known as starweed, starwort, winter-weed, satin flower, tongue grass, chick wittles, passerina, clucken wort, skirt button, stitchwort, white bird's eye, adder's mouth, chickenyweed.
There are over 100 related species in the Stellaria genus, so odds are that common chickweed or a relative are somewhere near you. Stellaria media neglecta is also known as common chickweed, and is a subspecies of Stellaria media. Grass-Leaved Chickweed, Stellaria graminea, is much more common in my yard than Stellaria media. Stellaria longifolia (Long-leaf Starwort) is another chickweed cousin.
Today’s featured plant is Prickly Wild Lettuce, Lactuca serriola.
Prickly Wild Lettuce is also known as opium lettuce, wild lettuce, wild opium, horse thistle, China lettuce and prickly lettuce. Its medicinal properties are similar to Lactuca virosa, which is also known as wild lettuce. [Read more…]
When Should I Harvest Dandelion Roots?
Harvest dandelion roots from late fall through early spring, when the plant is dormant and has stored up energy in the root. For medicinal use, most sources say fall harvest is best. This is because the levels of inulin (insoluble fiber) are higher and the fructose levels are lower.