Another edible weed!

Last weekend I wrote a post asking if anyone could identify a certain wild plant intermingling with the chickweed in my garden beds. No one seemed to have any ideas, so I took another stab at identifying it. And this time I found it easily–once I looked in my French guide to wild flowers. It turns out it’s a European native.

This little plant is Cardamine hirsuta, commonly called hairy bittercress. Wikipedia labels it an “invasive weed,” which I suppose it is, since it’s popping up everywhere in my lawn. But it’s not ugly, it’s ephemeral, and its taste packs quite a punch. Nibble a few of the young leaves, and you’ll quickly guess that hairy bittercress is a member of the mustard family. It grows abundantly in winter, providing free (spicy) greens when there’s not much else available fresh from the yard.

Another delightful case of weeds’ becoming food…

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Another edible weed!

  1. Renee Wade, of the lovely blog gardenwithnature.wordpress.com, says she calls this plant pepper weed. I like that name a lot better than “hairy bittercress.” I’m adopting it!

  2. I took a bunch of Cardamine pictures last weekend. I need to add them to my Bittercress article from a while back. Bittercress is one of my favorite winter greens. If you cook it, be careful not to overdo it, unless you want to use it with melted cheese for a dip.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s