Marsh Marigold, Caltha palustris – Weekly Weeder #45

After a long winter, the Weekly Weeder series has finally thawed out. I’ve caught up with enough of my gardening to make time to snap photos of some more of the wild plants around my area (northeast Wisconsin), and would like to share them with you!

Marsh Marigold, Caltha palustris - Weekly Weeder #45 - range and identification, role as a wildlife habitat, uses for food and medicine.

Today’s featured plant is Marsh Marigold, Caltha palustris.

Marsh marigold is also known as yellow marsh marigold and cowslip.  It is a member of the Family Ranunculaceae or Buttercup Family. It should not be confused with Primula veris, which is also commonly known as cowslip, which is a member of the primrose family, Primulaceae. [Read more…]

Cooking Weeds – Goosefoot Pie and Sauteed Milkweed Pods

Cooking Weeds - Goosefoot Pie @ Common Sense Homesteading

I decided this summer to move beyond using wild edibles in salad and medicine to experiment with cooking weeds.  Goosefoot, also known as lamb’s quarters, was a taste and texture very similar to spinach, so I decided to use it in a version of a a Greek spinach pie (Spanakopita).  Our vast colonies of milkweed plants are loaded with blooms and milkweed seed pods, so I decided to give those a try as well.  My sister was visiting, so I knew she would be brave enough to eat some with me. [Read more…]

Common Plantain – Weekly Weeder #14

Common plantain - Range and identification of plantain. Plantain as food and habitat for wildlife. Medicinal uses of common plantain. Plantain folklore.

Today’s featured plant is Common Plantain, Plantago major.

Common Plantain is also known as broadleaf plantain, plantain, dooryard plantain, Ripple Grass, Waybread, Slan-lus, Waybroad, Snakeweed, Cuckoo’s Bread, soldier’s herb, Englishman’s Foot and white man’s foot. [Read more…]

Common Mullein – Weekly Weeder #13

Common Mullein - Weekly Weeder #13 - Verbascum thapsus, range and identification, Food and Habitat for Wildlife, Medicinal Uses of Common Mullein

Today’s featured plant is Common Mullein, Verbascum thapsus.

Common Mullein is also known as Great Mullein, Aaron’s Rod, candlewick plant, flannel plant, flannel leaf, lungwort, feltwort, cowboy toilet paper, shepherd’s staff, velvet dock, woolly mullein, torch plant, torches, miner’s candle, big taper, blanket mullein, “Hig candlewick”, “Bullicks lungwort”, “Hare’s-beard”, “Ice-leaf”.”Beggar’s blanket”, “Moses’ blanket”, “Poor Man’s blanket”, “Our Lady’s blanket” or “Old Man’s Blanket”.

(There are more names, but this list is getting pretty long already.  Do you get the impression this thing is pretty widespread?)  Note:  This is not the same plant as Lambs Ears (Stachys byzantina), which also has fuzzy leaves and grows low to the ground.) [Read more…]

New England Aster – Weekly Weeder #12


Today’s featured plant is New England Aster, Aster novae-angliae or Symphyotrichum novae-angliae.

New England Aster is also known as starwort, blue chamomile, blue daisy, New England aster, fall-rose and frostweed.

Range and Identification of New England Aster [Read more…]