Wild Food: Duck Potato, Wopato, Broadleaf Arrowhead...

in wildfood •  last month 

... and its poisonous look-alike:

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Peltandra virginica

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Last summer, I was all proud of my new found passion for plant identification. We had some friends come and walked over to the river.

Sure enough, here they were... those beautiful plants I had seen the year before. Something about them looked familiar so I looked them up and found out about all kinds of names it holds, but the one that stuck was Duck Potato. Ducks aparently like to eat them whole. Maybe it explained why they had disappeared shortly after I had seen them that first year!

Back to the friends... Look, this plant is edible. People use to eat the roots.

As I was saying this, my friend decided to pick a little corn looking thing coming out of a leaf growth and chewed on it.

Mmmh this is kind of tasty, wanna try it?

Without thinking I tried a bite and at that same moment, he was complaining about his mouth and throat feeling really itchy. And sure enough, it was my turn! After spitting and washing out our mouths as much as we could the itch lasted a while but eventually went away, after some hours!

This was Peltandra Virginica and not the Arrowhead I was so sure that it was...

We are alive!!!

Lesson learned:

Respect our habitat, always check for poisonous look-alikes when it comes to the plant kingdom. Fungi are a whole other story... with probably more danger, but the fact remains that we have to create relationships with the wild as we re-learn what our ancestors had figured out for our survival.

Re-wild with extreme caution please.


QUOTE OF THE MONTH: @Oivas

Forgiveness is not the act of liberating our adversary from guilt,

but

An art of releasing ourselves from hatred!!;

(If you want your quote featured here, lookout for the next contest!)

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Far out dude, be careful!

I double and triple check my wilds now for sure! I think we were lucky ot wasn't bad, but I will remember that moment for sure.

Whoa, my friend! You were lucky. Sometimes we need that serious reminder that it's very important to not take Mother Nature for granted.

Yeah for real! It could have been a big mistake

My grandmother had a quote pinned to her kitchen window curtain. This quote reminded me of it, I always loved it ~

Forgiveness is the fragrance of the violet, which still clings fast, to the heal that crushed it.

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Ah yeah it's very much in that same realm! Will you play this month?

Your quote contest? I’ll take a look.

I love learning what plants are, and how they can be used for food, healing, dyes, and and so many other beneficial things. Imagine the trial and error of our ancestors as they mastered this knowledge. 😬

Yeah for sure I can imagine how much trial and error they went through... unfortunately we seem to have detached ourselves from that knowledge. Maybe with a bit of a re-wilding movement we can remember some of it...

LOL - Reminds me of the time I "enjoyed" some Spurge.. or the time I ate the Sassafras seeds... still alive too!

Oh wow... I was just looking that up. So spurge looks kind of like purslane. I'm glad you're still alive too! I hope that was a good lesson for you also.