hi there, i'm sure many of these have been posted and discussed here previously. i'd nevertheless be grateful for any input experienced foragers could provide in identifying the plants in these photos. i have a few books on loan from the library that has helped somewhat but at this early stage of trying to get familiar with the natural growth around us, i'm still not at a very confident place in identifying much - especially when it's in a wild urban setting as opposed to more "natural" environments (i.e. forest preserves and such). thanks to everyone in advance!
i have been posting amendments as different folks have been putting in their observations.
1. dandelion / wild lettuce / lactuca virosa
3. chiltepin / pepper / solanum
4. Convolvulus - morning glory relative
5. ragweed / ambrosia
6. Peppergrass Lepidium / capsella bursa pastoris
7. flea bane / euphorbia
8. wild lettuce
9. chiltepin / solanum
10. wild lettuce
11. queen anne's lace / wild carrot
12. common plantain
13. i believe this is dried out or chemically treated dock. it bears a strong resemblance to description and photo of dock in thayer's 'nature's garden' book.
thanks for the quick feedback, h ludi. i thought maybe pics 12 and 13 were plantain and dock. the rest were bafflers for me. is it safe to say that the leaf shape on the wild lettuce is the the common attribute that makes these lettuce? i can't help but notice, for instance, that they have an uncanny resemblance to arugula among other leafy greens.
pic 7 is one of the most common 'weeds' in the area (illinois) but i, too, am totally stumped. every abandoned lot and unhemmed yard is likely to have it growing and often at about 5 or 6 feet. the leafs are almost ribbon-like. the stem tends to be a bit hairy and slightly prickly to the touch. thanks again. i really do appreciate it at this early, early stage (the only thing i absolutely identified recently was sorrel - the clover, flowers and taste are dead giveaways.
thanks in advance to anyone else who cares to share further thoughts.
Joined: Feb 05, 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Dandelion, wild lettuce, and young sow thistles are often hard to tell apart, but they are all edible, so #1 is definitely edible. A mature dandelion will have deep indents in its leaves, and a wild lettuce or sow thistle will get prickly.
Jeanine Gurley wrote: This collection of photos would be a great resource if labeled with the names on the photos. It hard to find actual photos - I can usually just find drawings.
I tried to go back and forth from the answers to the photos but with my half blind eyes it just wasn't working out.
jeanine, i agree. i just updated the pics so they are at a more visible scale. there should now be no need to toggle between this forum and imageshack. in a moment i'll add some of the IDs everyone has produced so far.
Joined: Aug 02, 2011
Paleo Gardener wrote: Dandelion, wild lettuce, and young sow thistles are often hard to tell apart, but they are all edible, so #1 is definitely edible. A mature dandelion will have deep indents in its leaves, and a wild lettuce or sow thistle will get prickly.
thanks, paleo gardener. i haven't ventured much with the wild lettuces as many are quite large here in chicago this time of year and, i imagine, probably not as good as spring growths. of course, i could be wrong but it seems like at least 1 or 2 of the books i've looked through on wild edibles seem to suggest the late summer is a bit of an inbetween stage for hunting wild edibles before autumn nuts & berries.
Joined: Feb 16, 2011
Hello Here is what some of those look like to me. 1 Looks to be Chickory like what we have planted in good soil.
7. Flea bane
11. Wild Carrot
Joined: Aug 02, 2011
i amended this post with everyone's contributions if that's of any interest. if my hunches about the dried dock in item 13 is right, i think item 16 & 18 are the only stumpers at the moment. the fruiting plant pictured in #16 is in the back of another home a few doors down from ours as well.
Joined: Apr 12, 2011
Location: Granada City (that's in the south of Spain)
sorry english is not my mother tongue so i've typed scientific names... 1 and 13 .-young leafs and seeds of Rumex crispus (curly dock) 2 and 7 .- young plants of Conyza canadiensis (horseweed) 3 and 9 .- Solanum dulcamara (cause of it's purple flowers and red fruits) 8 and 10 .-lactuca virosa or lactuca sarriola, (anyway it's wild letuce) 12.- Plantago major (broad leaf plantain) 14.- Portulaca oleracea (purslane) 15.- Sonchus Oleraceus (sow thistle) 11.- not a good photo, but looks like Daucus carota (wild carrot)
Loads of people have answered your question, so I am not going to do that. What I would like to pass along is the field guide that I find the most useful. The publisher Lone Pine produces field guides that are specific to your area. I live in Ontario, Canada, so I purchased the Lone Pine field guide to Edible and Medicinal plants of Canada. There are books ranging all over North America. This book has helped me to identify loads of plants I had around the yard, as well as in woodland and waterfront settings. I highly recommend this publisher for high quality field guides, that will help you identify just about any plant! Best of Luck!
Joined: Jul 29, 2011
Location: Z3 MN
The curly dock hasn't been chemically treated. That is simply its ripe seed head. Foragers call it a "fifty-mile-an-hour" plant, 'cause you can recognise it while zooming down the highway. It is related to buckwheat, and you can harvest the three-cornered seeds, grind them, and mix it with other flours to bake muffins, pancakes, etc.
#1 looks more like chicory to me or maybe curly dock.
#13 is the seed head of curly dock, looking very healthy, not dried or chemically treated. The dock sends up the seed heads beginning the second year and every year after that. It's easy to find the plants from a distance after they send up seed stalks, and young leaves can still be harvested then. Burning off the chaff makes the seed less bitter if they are then ground into flour. I love dock leaves cooked like spinach or stir fried, and it is far richer in nutrients than most other plants. A few can go raw into a salad to give it a little character. Like spinach, it has oxalic acid which can be neutralized by dairy products.