Sunday, March 31, 2013

San Antonio Edible Weeds - What's in My Backyard

Salad from all wild plants in my yard
It's weed season in San Antonio, aka wildflower season.  So which ones in my backyard are edible?...


Since I live in a relatively new area (ie an area that used to belong to wildlife and plants, but now, unfortunately is subdivisions), there's still lots of wildflowers and weeds.

I might as well make good use out of them.  While searching for weed identification, I found Merriwether's Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Texas and the Southwest.  I won't plagiarize his info.  I will just show you what's in my San Antonio yard and link to his site for more details.  He's got bunches of plants listed, some of which grow in Houston - totally different climate, so this may help you to narrow down what's in your yard, and help me figure out what's in mine.

Most of these, eat in moderation, since a lot will cause stomach upset eaten in bulk.

Ones I know are right

Pink Primrose - my fav in our yard
Eat petals raw, young leaves (before flowers appear) raw or boiled
Flavor: flowers are nutty, leaves have similar taste as flowers but they made my tongue a little numb to eat them.  Otherwise, I like it, tastes good.

Pink Primrose weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Pink Primrose

Pink Primrose weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Pink Primrose

Pink Primrose weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Pink Primrose

Pink Primrose weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Pink Primrose
































Scarlet pimpernel

Flowers, leaves, stem prepared dried and powdered, tea.  Careful, may cause stomach upset and/or rash

Probably won't be eating this one.
Scarlet Pimpernel weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Scarlet Pimpernel

Wood Sorrel weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Wood Sorrel
Wood Sorrel

Looks like big clover.
Eat leaves in salad or as seasoning
Contains some oxalic acid, limit consumption to a small handful per day.

Side note: Oxalic acid is used to remove rust.  It's a key ingredient in the cleaner Bar Keeper's Friend.  I will have to try cleaning my stainless steel pots with wood sorrel one day and let you know how it works.

Flavor: Tangy, almost like a citrus tang without the lemony flavor to it.  I like the uniqueness of it on my tongue.


Sow Thistle
I'm pretty sure that's what this one is.
Eat young leaves in salads, steamed or boiled; stems can be peeled then steamed like asparagus
Sow Thistle weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Sow Thistle



















Dandelion

This one can be confused with a few other weeds.  Scroll down a bit for more info
Eat young leaves in salad or boiled; flowers are used in wine; roots are roasted to make a coffee

Flavor: Ok, seriously bitter.  I may hide a few leaves in a salad or something.
Dandelion weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Dandelion

Dandelion weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Dandelion

Henbit


Eat leaves, stem, and flowers raw, cooked, or tea

I think this one's pretty.

Flavor: It's in the mint family, but is not as strong as spearmint or peppermint.  It's almost a little sweet with a tangy minty relative aftertaste.

It has vitamins, iron, and antioxidants, so I'll keep including this one in my diet until they die out. It's pretty plentiful, so I'll probably eat it all spring.


Henbit weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Henbit


Maybe right?
Eat seeds raw, leaves raw or cooked

Field Pennycress weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Field Pennycress








Weeds that look like dandelion

These are all edible, so even if I'm not sure which is which, I'm safe.
Cat's Ear
   Might be what this is

Might be prickly lettuce weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Prickly Lettuce?

Inedible - but still weeds in my yard

Geranium sanguineum 'Alpenglow'

Geranium sanguineum 'Alpenglow' weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Alpenglow

Geranium sanguineum 'Alpenglow' weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Alpenglow

Geranium sanguineum 'Alpenglow' weed http://muttnut.blogspot.com/
Alpenglow



In my yard but don't know what they are, possibly inedible


If you know what these are, please let me know!

It's either a berry (probable), or lantana (possible) which is poisonous - not going to chance it 












Please post a comment if you know what my mystery weeds are or if I've misclassified them.

If I don't post for a few months, you'll know I've poisoned myself to death.  Happy foraging!

3 comments:

Lori said...

If you eat dandelion early in spring before they flower, they will not be bitter. Or at least that is my experience. BTW- love your blog- you have a lot of great posts!

Eugene Loew said...

It seems what you've named alpen glow is actually mock rose verbena.

Eugene Loew said...

Or rose vervain. I was happy to see a name for it since I didn't know but I id it on a texas wildflower site by color.

 
Pin It button on image hover