View Full Version : i've got beef, with plants.

06-21-2008, 01:43 PM
i can't tell you all how much it bothers me to read edible plant guides written by people who seem never to have even encountered some of the plants they write about. it's one thing to repeat well documented assertion that a given plant is edible, but when an author espouses uses for a plant that are ridiculous i cringe and wonder how many people have been disappointed.

for example, i'm reading a guide which, beyond simply stating that even the seeds of purslane are edible, the author suggests making flour from them. i defy the author to make enough flour for a single bisquit or damper in an afternoon. lets say 150 calories.

06-21-2008, 03:32 PM
Canid - my journey with wild edibles is in its infancy. Is this what you are talking about? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portulaca_oleracea

06-21-2008, 06:26 PM
Oh yes, believe you me there is alot of bogus info out there. Some can get you in serious trouble.

06-22-2008, 04:05 PM
that is one of many species, but yes, that's purslane.

06-24-2008, 11:56 AM
I agree. There can be many species in a single genus which are all called "purslane" or some other common name. The problem is, only a few, or even one, may be edible.

Another problem, names that sound alike. I think "chokecherry" is edible, but "chokeberry", which looks like blueberries, can cause upset stomach and cancer. Case in point: my ex-wife, who grew up on a farm, therefore thought she knew more than I did about plants, spied a "chokeberry" and said "Oh look! Blueberries!" at which point she chowed down on a handful. I said "Those aren't blueberries, I think they're chokeberries."

"They taste good so they must be blueberries" she replied in her self-viewed wisdom. 5 years later she has cancer. Coincidence?

06-24-2008, 12:03 PM
That's the one, Crash. I added a hand full to a salad just last night. They volunteer every year in my garden and as the leaf lettuce ages I make room for the Purslane.

I get what you are saying, Canid. You'd need a lot of the plant to make flour out of the seeds. However, the seeds will continue to ripen even if you pull the plant. So you can gather plants with seed heads, let them dry for a couple of weeks and collect the seeds.

It's a bit like dandelion wine in my opinion. It's a great idea until you figure out just how many flowers you need. Ten billion is probably a close guesstimate.:D

Ole WV Coot
06-24-2008, 12:36 PM
My entire yard is devoted to dandelions. I enjoy the nice yellow flowers and it's easy to identify. IMO a person should do just that. I learned many years ago from Grandma who picked "greens" every spring. I don't know all the plants she knew but I don't experiment. Like the dandelion I only pick what I recognize. I don't plan on leaving this part of the country and I guess I lose a little in variety but make up for it in safety. Were those the famous last words of Euell Gibbons ???