Indian or Miner's Lettuce-Claytonia perfoliata. Native of Pacific coast, but spreading eastward. Apr.-May.
The whole plant is eaten by western Indians and by whites. In a raw state makes an excellent salad ; also cooked with salt and pepper, as greens.
Wild Pea. Lupinus perennis.
Dry, sandy soil. Me. to Minn., south to Fla., Mo., La. May-June.
Edible; cooked like domestic peas.
Althaeea Officinalis. Salt marshes. Mass. to N. J. Summer.
The thick, very mucilaginous root, has familiar use as a confection; also used in medicine as a demulcent. May be eaten raw.
Malva verti-cillata (M. crispa). Waste places. Nova Scotia to Minn., south to N. J. Naturalized. Summer.
A good pot-herb.
Meadow-gowan. Cowslip. Caltha palustris. Swamps and meadows. Newfoundland to S. C, west through Canada to Rocky Mrs., and south to Iowa. Apr.-June.
Beware of mistaking for this plant the poisonous white hellebore (Veratrum viride).
Deer Grass. Rhexia Virginica. Sandy swamps. Me. to Fla., west to north N. Y., 111., Mo., La. July-Sep.
The leaves have a sweetish, yet acidulous taste, Make a good addition to a salad, and may be eaten with impunity.
Asclepias Syriaca (A. Cornuti). Fields and waste places generally. June-A ug. Also other species.
The young shoots, in spring, are a good substitute for asparagus. Kalm says that a good brown sugar has been made by gathering the flowers while the dew was on them, expressing the dew, and boiling it down.
The number of edible species is legion. It is not difficult to distinguish the poisonous ones, when one has studied a good text-book; but no one should take chances with fungi until he has made such study, for a few of the common species are deadly, and for some of them no remedy is known. A beginner would do well, perhaps, to avoid all of the genus Amanita. All mushrooms on the following list are of delicious flavor.
Coprinus comatus Hypholoma appendiculatum Tricholoma personatum Boletus subaureus. Boletus bovinus Boletus subsanguineous C lav aria botrytes Clavaria cinerea Clavaria inaequalis Clavaria vermicularis Clavaria pistillaris Lactarius volemus Lactarius deliciosus Russula alutacea Russula virescens Cantharelles cibarius Marasmius oreades Hydnum repandum Hydnum caput-Medusae Morchella esculenta Morchella deliciosa.
It would be well for every outer to learn the easily distinguishable beefsteak fungus (Fistulina hep-atica) and sulphur mushroom (Polyporus sulphur-eus) that grow from the trunks of old trees and stumps, as they are very common, very large, and "filling".
Brassica, several species. Fields and waste places. Naturalized.
The young leaves are used for greens.
JJrtica dioica, and other species; also the Sow Thistle, Sonchus oleraceus. Fields and waste places.
Should be gathered, with gloves, when the leaves are quite young and tender. A pleasant, nourishing and mildly aperient pot-herb, used with soups, salt meat, or as spinach; adds a piquant taste to other greens. Largely used for such purposes in Europe.
Solatium nigrum. Waste places, commonly in cultivated soil. Nova Scotia to Manitoba, south to Fla. and Texas. July-Oct.
This plant is reputed to be poisonous, though not to the same degree as its relative from Europe, the Woody Nightshade or Bittersweet (S. Dulcamara). It is, however, used as a pot-herb, like spinach, in some countries, and in China the young shoots and berries are eaten. Bessey reports that in the Mississippi Valley the little black berries are made into pies.
Allium, many species. Rich woods, moist meadows and thickets, banks and hillsides.
Used like domestic onions.
Masterwort. Heracleum lana-tum. Moist ground. Labrador to N. C. and Mo., Alaska to Cal. June-July.
"The tender leaf and flower stalks are sweet and very agreeably aromatic, and are therefore much sought after [by coast Indians] for green food in spring and early summer, before the flowers have expanded. In eating these, the outer skin is rejected".
Lepidium Virginicum. Fields and along roadsides. Quebec to Minn., south to Fla. and Mexico. May-Nov.
Like the cultivated peppergrass, this is sometimes used as a winter or early salad, but it is much inferior to other cresses. The spicy pods are good seasoning for salads, soups, etc.
Beet-root. Amaranthus retroflexus. Fields and waste places. Throughout the continent except extreme north. Naturalized. Aug.-Oct.
Related *to the beet and spinach, and may be used for greens.
Keerless. Amaranthus hy< bridus (A. chlorostachys). A weed of the same wide range as the preceding. Naturalized. Aug.-Oct.
Extensively used in the South, in early spring, as a salad plant, under the name of "keerless".
Plantago major. A naturalized weed of general range like the preceding. May-Sep.
Used as early spring greens.
Asclepias Tuberosa. Dry fields. Me. to Minn., south to Fla., Texas, Ariz. June-Sep.
The tender young shoots may be used like asparagus. The raw tuber is medicinal; but when boiled or baked it is edible.
Phytolacca decandra. A common weed east of the Mississippi and west of Texas. Now cultivated in France, and the wild shoots are sold in our eastern markets.
In early spring the young shoots and leaves make an excellent substitute for asparagus.