Wild herbs – Terrific Tasty Tarragon

Believe it or not, there isn’t much difference between wild tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) and the tarragon you can buy in the store. The store-bought variety is simply a specific cultivar, most often French tarragon. The fact is that all cultivars can be used in the same way and wild tarragon is a plant that grows wild through most of North America, Europe and Asia. It is occasionally called dragon wormwood because of its scientific name; dracunulus, meaning dragon. Wild tarragon in general This wild herb is found in places that get dry and that drain well, but which also get plenty of sunshine. In Montana, it is found from the lowlands of about 3,000 feet to mountainous country that is in excess of 5,000 feet. Tarragon is a perennial, bushy and hardy member of the sunflower family. Because of its hardiness, it is found from the Yukon in Canada to Southern California and east through Texas. It also grows in the midwest states. The plants are variable in size, from barely over a foot tall to about six feet in height. The leaves can get about three inches long but are quite narrow. On smaller plants, they don’t reach this length. The flowers are also tiny, seldom as broad as a fifth of an inch, most often dull yellow to yellowish-green. These produce a lot of seeds, but in some species, the seeds are infertile. Wild tarragon grows up from a rhyzomous root, rather like those of crabgrass. It can Continue Reading →

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Tips for Finding Wild Asparagus

A lot of people know by now that asparagus is very good for you and that there are a lot of tasty recipes for it. The plant grows well in many areas and wild asparagus is common in many locations. This plant is also native to Europe, Asia and Africa, and it is now naturalized through most of North America. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans were all fond of asparagus. Many people are surprised to learn that there isn’t a great deal of difference between wild asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) and the kind that is grown in gardens and flower beds or sold at the store, though. The flavor is virtually the same, the look and health benefits are the same and they are harvested in the same manner. There is one major difference however. Wild asparagus is grown by nature, so the only expense and effort is usually in finding and harvesting it. Growing locations Wild asparagus tends to grow near rivers, streams and irrigation ditches, primarily in places where it can also get plenty of sunshine. It can grow profusely if the conditions are right. Wild asparagus also likes the same conditions that garden asparagus does. For instance, there is a huge amount of the plant growing along ditch banks near the Oregon towns of Redmond and Bend, both of which are known for having bitter and snowy winters and hot, dry summers. This area is at the edge of the Oregon High Desert. These conditions are nearly Continue Reading →

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Nutritious and Healthy Lamb’s Quarters

Lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium album) is an annual plant that is commonly thought of as a weed in lawns and gardens, however it is quite edible and flavorful. This is an edible weed that is another of the survival foods that people should appreciate more, rather than spending so much effort poisoning, pulling and otherwise trying to eradicate it from the yard. Lamb’s Quarters description This widespread plant is also called goosefoot, white goosefoot, wild spinach or pigweed. The latter designation is because it is a member of the pigweed family and because pigs enjoy the great flavor. The plant usually grows up to three feet tall, though normally less than this. Depending on the location and the growing conditions, it can get much taller, however. The leaves are green on top and whitish below. From a distance, this can give the plants a look as if dust has settled upon them. The leaves are broad at the base and taper to the end. The edges are usually smooth or toothed, though not normally deeply. The flowers are green, small, lack petals and there are a great number of them that grow tightly around the stem. Each plant is usually capable of producing in excess of 50,000 seeds. Lamb’s quarters is hardy and will grow in most locations that have reasonably good soil and sunlight. It withstands both cold and hot temperature and it is drought hardy. The white that is under the leaves is actually a waxy coating that waterproofs Continue Reading →

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