Traditional and Modern Use of Wild Garlic

The leaves of wild garlic harvested before flowering have a delicious, sweet and pungent taste. Excellent raw in salads and as pesto. Dry or dehydrate leaves to make crisps. Cooked leaves are a good vegetable, and they lose their pungency. All parts of the plant make good lactic acid ferments. Steamed leaf stalks with buds … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Lesser Celandine

Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna) belongs to the buttercup family. The bright yellow flowers appear briefly in early spring. The plant has a long history as a wild edible with its large fleshy roots and green shoots that appear as one of the first signs of spring. Common Name Lesser celandine. Scientific Name Ficaria verna syn. Ranunculus … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Hawthorn

Common hawthorn in blossom is a familiar sight along hedgerows, woodlands and scrubs in spring. It was famously known as the May-Tree or may-blossom for it was said to flower in May, and it once played a large part in May Day festivities. Today it is no longer a fairy tree but it is a … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Beech

Beech (Fagus sylvatica) is a woodland native belonging to the same family as oak and chestnut. The fruits, called beech nuts, are the most popular edible part of the plant. The astringent properties of the bark were used in folk medicine. Common Name Beech Scientific Name Fagus sylvatica Family Fagaceae Botanical Description Beech trees have … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Ash

Ash has stood on the margins between magic and medicine for centuries. A healing tree once believed to cure snake bites, the ash has fallen out of use in modern medicine. It is still remembered with fondness by those who remember picking its winged seeds to make ash key pickle. Scientific Name Fraxinus excelsior Family … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Wild Angelica

Wild angelica (Angelica sylvestris) has often been regarded as the poor man’s substitute for garden angelica (Angelica archangelica). However, the uses of this wild edible are just as varied and interesting. Scientific Name Angelica sylvestris. Family Apiaceae Botanical Description Umbrella-like clusters of white flowers tinged with pink or purple burst from a hairy stalk and … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Alexanders

Listen to This Story Alexanders has been used as food and medicine since Roman times and was once known as the parsley of Alexandria. Below you’ll learn how this forgotten kitchen garden herb was cultivated for centuries until it was replaced by celery. Once popular in ancient kitchen gardens now thrives in abundance by the … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Mugwort

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is one of the commonest weeds in northern Europe. It held an important place in herbals as a ‘women’s herb’ and as remedy for stomach disorders in both food and medicine. Common Name Mugwort. Scientific Name Artemisia vulgaris. Family Asteraceae. Botanical Description Small reddish or pale yellow wooly flowers on short reddish … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Dandelion

Dandelion grows abundantly in many parks and gardens. This easily recognisable weed was once a cure-all of herbal medicine and is still popular in food and drink. Common Name Dandelion Scientific Name Taraxacum officinale Family Asteraceae, formerly Compositae. Botanical Description Bright yellow composite flowers crown an erect stem (up to 1-30 cm) emerging from a … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Duke of Argyll’s Teaplant

The plant was introduced to the British Isles in 1730, and is now considered naturalised. How to Use Duke of Argyll’s Teaplant The dried, red fruits are eaten in rich tonic soups and stews of poultry or meat to which they impart a delicate sweet flavour. Leaves and fruits are used for making tea. Fruits sold … Read more

Traditional and Modern Use of Mallow

Common Mallow is an attractive species that has been used throughout history in food and medicine. In traditional folk medicine, common mallow was often used for making medicinal poultices and soothing ointments. It was also harvested as a nutritious wild edible, as you will see below. Common Name Mallow Scientific Name Malva sylvestris Family Malvaceae … Read more