Before cooking, it should have several washings in cold water to remove the smoky taste. It is cooked with game, or as gruel (boil 35 minutes), or made into bread, or merely eaten dry. Its food value is equal to that of our common cereals. "An acre of rice is nearly or quite equal to an acre of wheat in nutriment." (For details see Bulletin No. 50 of the Bureau of Plant Industry, U. S. Dep't. of Agriculture).


Wild or Goose Tansy. Goose^ grass. Potentilla Anserina. Shores and salt meadows, marshes and river banks. Greenland to N J., west to Neb.; Alaska, south along Rocky Mts. to N. Mex. and Cal. May Sep.

Roots gathered in spring and eaten either raw or roasted. Starchy and wholesome. When roasted or boiled their taste resembles chestnuts.


Helianthus, many species. Prairies, etc. July-Sep. "The seeds of these plants form one of the staple articles of food for manv Indians, and they gather them in great quantities. The agreeable oily nature of the seeds renders them very pnlatable. When parched and ground they are highly prized, and are eaten on hunting excursions. The meal or flour is also made into thin cakes and baked in hot ashes. These cakes are of a gray color, rather coarse looking, but palatable and very nutritious. Having eaten of the bread made from sunflowers, I must say that it is as good as much of the corn bread eaten by whites." (Palmer).

The oil expressed from sunflower seeds is a good substitute for olive oil.

Valerian, Edible

Tobacco-root. Valeriana edulis. Wet open places. Ontario to B. C, south to O., Wis., and in Rocky Mts. to N. Mex and Ariz. May-A ug.

"I ate here, for the first time, the kooyah or tobacco-root (Valeriana edulis), the principal edible root among the Indians who inhabit the upper waters of the streams on the western side of the [Rocky] mountains. It has a very strong and remarkably peculiar taste and odor, which I can compare to no other vegetable that I am acquainted with, and which to some persons is extremely offensive. . . To others, however, the taste is rather an agreeable one, and I was afterwards always glad when it formed an addition to our scanty meals. It is full of nutriment. In its unprepared state it is said by the Indians to have very strong poisonous qualities, of which it is deprived by a peculiar process, being baked in the ground for about two days." (Fremont, Exploring Expedition, 1845, p. 135-) POT-HERBS AND SALADS

All of the plants hitherto mentioned are native to the regions described. In the following list will be found many that are introduced weeds; but a considerable proportion of these foundlings may now be seen in clearings and old burnt tracts in the woods, far from regular settlements. Directions for cooking greens are given in Vol. I., pp. 369-371

Adder's Tongue, Yellow

Dog's-tooth Violet. Erythronium Americanum. Moist woods and thickets. Nova Scotia to Minn., south to Fla., Mo., Ark. Mar.-May.

Sometimes used for greens.

Bean, Wild Kidney

Phaseolus polystachyus {P. perennis). Thickets. Canada to Fla., west to Minn., Neb., La. July-Sep.

Was used as food by the Indians; the Apaches eat it either green or dried.


Uvularia perfoliata. Moist woods and thickets. Quebec and Ont. to Fla. and Miss. May-June.

"The roots of this and other species of Uvularia are edible when cooked, and the young shoots are a good substitute for asparagus." (Porcher).

Brooklime, American

Veronica Americana. Brooks and swamps. Anticosti to Alaska, south to Pa., Neb., N. Mex., Cal. Apr-Sep.

"A salad plant equal to the watercress. Delightful in flavor, healthful, anti-scorbutic." (Sci. Amer).

Burdock, Great

Cockle-bur. Arctium Lappa. Waste places. New Brunsw. to southern N. Y., and locally in the interior. Not nearly so widely distributed as the smaller common burdock {A. minus). July-Oct.

A naturalized weed, so rank in appearance and odor that nothing but stark necessity could have driven people to experiment with it as a vegetable. Yet, like the skunk cabbage, it is capable of being turned to good account. In spring, the tender shoots, when peeled, can be eaten raw like radishes, or, with vinegar, can be used as a salad. The stalks cut before the flowers open, and stripped of their rind, form a delicate vegetable when boiled, similar in flavor to asparagus. The raw root has medicinal, properties, but the Japanese eat the cooked root, preparing it as follows: The skin is scraped or peeled off, and the roots sliced in long strips, or cut into pieces about two inches long, and boiled with salt and pepper, or with soy, to impart flavor; or the boiled root is mashed, made into cakes, and fried like oyster plant.


Wild Mustard. Brassica arvensis (B. Sinapistrum). Fields and waste places. Naturalized everywhere. May-Nov.

Extensively used as a pot-herb; aids digestion.


Alsine media. (Stellaria m.). Waste places, meadows, and woods. Naturalized; common everywhere. Jan-Dec.

Used like spinach, and quite as good.


Wild Succory. Chichorium Intybus. Roadsides, fields, and waste places. Nova Scotia to Minn., south to N. C. and Mo. July-Oct.

All parts of the plant are wholesome. The young leaves make a good salad, or may be cooked as a pot-herb like dandelion. The root, ground and roasted, is used as an adulterant of coffee.


Trifolium, many species.

The coast Indians of California use clover as a food. The fresh leaves and stems are used, before flowering. "Deserves test as a salad herb, with vinegar and salt".


Symphytum officinale. Waste places, Newf. to Minn., south to Md. Naturalized, June-Aug.

Makes good greens when gathered young.

Cow Pea. China Bean

Vigna Sinensis. Escaped from cultivation. Mo. to Texas and Ga. July-Sep.