Blue-eyed Grass – Weekly Weeder #48

Blue-Eyed Grass - Sisyrinchium montanum - the grass that is not a grass, but a beautiful, delicate iris.  Range and identification, wildlife and human uses.

Today’s featured plant is Blue-Eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium montanum.

There are many varieties of blue-eyed grass, that look somewhat similar to each other, but the one I’m discussing in this post is also known as Strict Blue-Eyed Grass, Mountain Blue-Eyed Grass, Common Blue-eyed grass, little blue-eyed grass, little common blue-eyed grass, alpine blue-eyed grass, northern blue-eyed grass and Star Grass.  (source, source, source). This “grass” is not really a grass at all, but a type of beautiful, delicate iris.

Narrowleaf or stout blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium) is another variant. Wikipedia notes that this genus includes 70-200 species of plants in the Iris family native to the Americas, some of which are endangered.
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Field Pennycress – Thlaspi arvense – Weekly Weeder #47

Field Pennycress - range and identification, wildlife uses, uses for food and medicine, potential as the next big biofuel crop.

Today’s featured plant is Field Pennycress, Thlaspi arvense.

Field Pennycress is also known as Pennycress, Field Pennygrass, Field penny-cress, Frenchweed, fanweed and stinkweed.  (source)

It’s in the mustard family (Brassicaeae), so it is related to common garden crops such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale, as well as other wild mustard family plants such as Shepherd’s Purse -Capsella bursa-pastoris – Weekly Weeder #15 and Winter Cress- Barbarea vulgaris – Weekly Weeder #20.
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Canada Mayflower – Maianthemum canadense – Weekly Weeder #46

Canada Mayflower - Maianthemum canadense - Weekly Weeder #46 - Range and Identification, Uses as Wildlife Habitat, and for Food and Medicine. #wildcrafting

Today’s featured plant is Canada Mayflower, Maianthemum canadense.

Canada Mayflower is also known as False Lily of the Valley, Canadian May-lily, Canadian Lily-of-the-valley, Wild Lily-of-the-valley, Two-leaved Solomonseal, Bead Ruby, Canada Beadruby, Squirrel Berry (Finland), and Muguet. (source and source)

There are several related species, including Maianthemum racemosum, feathery false lily of the valley; Maianthemum dilatatum, false lily of the valley; and Maianthemum stellatum, starry false lily of the valley. [Read more...]

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...]

The Pocket Guide to Wild Mushrooms Review and Giveaway

The Pocket Guide to Wild Mushrooms Review and Giveaway @ Common Sense Homesteading

The Pocket Guide to Wild Mushrooms by Pella Holmberg and Hans Marklund is a great resource for any wild food forager.  This week we’re featuring a review and giveaway of this handy little book.  While no book can take the place of an experienced guide, this pocket guide should provide you with the information you need to forage safely for mushroom varieties that are new to you.  Fall is typically prime season for many mushroom varieties, so I am looking forward to taking this book out with me more later this year.  I shared it with my neighbor last week, and if the weather cooperates this fall (you need rain for mushrooms, and it’s been a dry summer), we’re going to go investigating in their woods to see what we can find. [Read more...]