Plant a Day

Hopefully
deusofnull:

The florid crown of Utricularia vulgaris, who by means of creating a negative pressure region within tiny sacks in the water, via active osmosis, sucks in prey in under a 100th of a second.  One of the most successful plants within the carnivorous flora niche.  Quite beautiful flowers for us to look at, but if your a Daphnia (water flea) or Caenorhabditis elegans (nematode) then watch out. 

deusofnull:

The florid crown of Utricularia vulgaris, who by means of creating a negative pressure region within tiny sacks in the water, via active osmosis, sucks in prey in under a 100th of a second.  One of the most successful plants within the carnivorous flora niche.  Quite beautiful flowers for us to look at, but if your a Daphnia (water flea) or Caenorhabditis elegans (nematode) then watch out. 

(via stickytraps)

orchid-a-day:

Dendrobium sulphureum 
Syn.: Pedilonum sulphureum 
April 14, 2014

orchid-a-day:

Dendrobium sulphureum 

Syn.: Pedilonum sulphureum 

April 14, 2014

ecobota:

bartramsinbloom:

Erythronium americanum
American Trout-Lily
April 11, 2014

Growing in the Native Woodland garden, near the American Chestnut tree

Taken at Bartram’s Garden, Philadelphia Pennsylvania

earthwork:

Toona sinensis; Fragrant Spring Tree, Chinese Cedar — Edible young leaves have a roasted garlic and raw onion flavor, used in stir fries or dried as a spice. Leaves can be green, but the pink variety supposedly tastes better…The wood is very durable, and is used much like mahogany, taking a fine polish. Delicately scented, it is burnt in temples as incense. Protected stands are cultivated in greenhouses in China for fresh Toon leaf on Chinese New Year. It takes well to coppicing (seasonal cutting), so it can be kept low enough for ease of harvest.

The icing on the cake is the medicinal/nutritional quality of the leaf: The fresh young leaves are high in protein for a vegetable, and contain vitamins B1, B2, and high levels of vitamins C and E. They are relatively high in beta-carotene, and high in calcium and iron. In an evaluation of the antioxidant activity, vitamin C content and total phenolic content of 20 tested vegetables, Chinese cedar came top in antioxidant activity, top in total phenolics, and high in vitamin C content. 

Likes full sun, otherwise not picky about soil. Hardy as far north as zone 5, native to woodlands.

(via mamisgarden)

Purple Dead Nettle

Lamium purpureum

Also called “Purple Archangel,” this member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) is not truly a nettle, and does not sting (hence the more common moniker “Deadnettle”). It’s natural range is Eurasia, but it is invasive across North America.

The delicate zygomorphic (symmetrical) blossoms provide sustenance to bees when few other sources of nectar or pollen are available (including over the winter in milder climates).

Not only food for the bees, Deadnettle tops and leaves can be used in meals as a spring vegetable. The plant is high in high in fibre, iron, and vitamins, and can be used in a variety of ways: from blending it into a fruit smoothie, to using it as a base for a pesto (like, or with ground elder); from adding it to stir fries, to incorporating the leaves into salads. The flowers taste like nectar, and can be used as an edible garnish to sweet dishes.

- biodiverseed

Here in Denmark, we know this as Skvalderkål (Aegopodium podagraria), but you may know it as Bishop’s Weed, Ground Elder, or Goutweed. I used to know it as the absolute bane of my existence.

A member of the Elder family (Sambucus), and Native to Eurasia, it has been introduced as an ornamental all over the world, and thrives in the temperate regions, where it is regarded as invasive.

It forms clonal patches via it’s roots, and colonises an area quickly, shading out and strangling the root systems of other plants.

Now, I am going to help you control the growth and spread of Ground Elder.

By the springtime, the energy reserves of the root system have been largely used up by the emerging new growth: this is the perfect time to pick the young green leaves and use them as a nutritious, free food source.

They make a wicked pesto.

You can go out and harvest a huge number of these leaves, and thus starve the patches for energy, getting yourself a huge quantity of nutritious food in the process.

Nordic Pesto,” as I make it, consists of:

  • 60% Ground Elder leaves (by weight when dry)
  • 20% Hazelnuts (by weight when dry)
  • 20% Parmesan (by weight when dry)
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Basil leaves to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Garlic or onion to taste
  • Olive oil (enough to cover the ingredients once they are ground up)

Basically grind up the dry ingredients in a blender or food processor, and cover with olive oil. 

Picture: FoodyTwoShoes

The best time to make this is in the spring, when the shoots are at their youngest and most nutritious. You can adjust the recipe to your harvest, and freeze individual portions of the resulting pesto in a muffin tray, and have it ready to go whenever you need it.

If you have gout or arthritis, historically this plant has been used as a poultice in the treatment of joint conditions, hence the moniker “Goutweed.”

So go out there en masse, and make wild pesto and arthritis wraps, all the while helping to minimise the ecological impact of an invasive species!

- biodiverseed

(Source: danmarks-natur)