Safety equals success when it comes to foraging for food, and sure identification is an absolute must when gathering anything from the wild for you or your family’s consumption. If you have, or think you have, gathered any of the plants on this page, then you must not consume and discard immediately.
This list will grow with this blog so keep checking for new updates. Click on the name of each plant for the corresponding blog post.
- Upright perennial, 50cm to 2m in height.
- Leaves: Always green and deeply lobed. They grow in opposite pairs along the branches that shoot off from the main stem, and there is always a single, terminal leaf at the end of the branches.
- Stem: Hollow, grooved, releasing a sticky yellow liquid when damaged.
- Flowers: White, growing in umbels.
- Roots: Swollen, white, growing in clusters, often parsnip-like, but certainly variable. Also exude a sticky yellow juice.
- Habitat: Wet places, river banks, ditches, path edges.
- Season: The mild winter we’ve had this year has brought them up already. But generally the shoots begin to appear at the end of winter, with the flowers forming in June-July. The roots, of course, persist all year round.
- Similar Species: Alexanders, Wild Carrot, Wild Parsnip, Water Parsnip, Hemlock, Ground Elder, Hogweed, Wild Parsley, Fool’s Parsley.