Thursday, July 14th, 2011 at
Roseroot with blood-red flower buds.
Succulents are juicy plants that store water in their leaves, stems, and roots, an adaptation which helps them survive in arid climates or soil conditions. Aloe, agave, sedums and purslane are some examples.
Although “dry” is not a word I’d use to describe the high country right now, it often is dry, and so the timeless succulents are there, now sucking up this season’s water bounty and growing like crazy like everything else.
Two edible succulent plants I collect at 10,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies are stonecrop and roseroot / rosecrown (the latter in fact being two related plants that look similar and grow in proximity to one another.)
All of these plants are thriving right now—although I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 at
What I believe to be roseroot, or Sedum rosea.
I first noticed roseroot on a high-country hike above Fairplay, Colorado as Gregg and I were scrambling up a rock face, off-trail as usual. The plant is distinctive and attractive—tiny, blood-red flowers atop a fleshy stalk with spirally overlapping (Peterson, 1977) succulent, white-green leaves—and so I photographed it to look up later in Plants of the Rocky Mountains, a flora identification guide we obtained recently from The Printed Page bookshop in Denver.
Plants of the Rocky Mountains by Linda Kershaw, et. al. (1998) is not specific to edible wild plants, but when I found the plant in question in the picture index followed by the entry, lo and behold, I also discovered that our local roseroot is edible. (A quick perusal of the new guide revealed that edibility information is included for many of the plants, to my very pleasant surprise. Come to find out that Linda Kershaw also authored Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rockies, a guide I have yet to obtain.) What luck! Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, August 5th, 2010 at
A field of red clovers next to the driveway, with small white clovers betwixt.
The come-down from my huge purslane processing of the other day has been harder than I imagined it would be, such that I have been remiss in processing the bag of plantain that Jim gifted me from Denver. I’ve been afraid to look but I fear it is decomposing in the refrigerator. I had some dandelion leaves in the fridge too—the ones that came attached to the roots I dug up for the purslane South Seas salad the other day. However, when I pulled them out yesterday to chop up and add to the salmon salad I was making, they were covered with disconcerting brown dots.
Compound these two unfortunate episodes with my less-than-successful experiences with red clover, and you get a somewhat disillusioned Wild Food Girl.
Here’s what happened with the clovers: We came home from our trip a week ago to find the side of the driveway, which last year was rife with pennycress, carpeted with beautiful red clovers in full bloom. Beneath those, a more subtle crop of small white clovers peeked out from behind the leaves of their larger cousins. Read the rest of this entry