Berberis darwinii Darwin’s barberry In full bloom.
Ulmus glabra Wych elm (also Ulmus procera-English elm)
The wych elm is flowering. The flowers develop rapidly into circular winged seeds.
When still green and soft, the fruits are edible, and have a succulent sweetness rather like garden peas. The young tender leaves are also edible.
Allium vineale Crow garlic
At this time of year crow garlic looks looks like chives and can be used in much the same way. It is tougher though, and is able to grow in grass and tolerate some mowing. Leaves are available though most of the winter.
Allium Neapolitanum Daffodil garlic
Allium sativum ophioscorodon Serpent garlic
This looks and grows like a normal garlic, but in addition produces bulbils at the top, which can be eaten or used for propagation. Serpent garlic is also less prone than normal garlic to rotting in the soil over winter.
Myrrhis odorata Sweet cicely
Campanula poscharskyana (harebell)
Peltaria alliacea Garlic cress
This spreading perennial has a strong hot flavour with an element of garlic to it. It is green and edible all winter when it is at its best. In summer it becomes unbearably hot. It is now starting to shoot upwards in preparation for flowering.
Alliaria petiolata Jack-by-the-hedge, Hedge mustard
Cardamine hirsuta Hairy bittercress
Claytonia sibirica (Montia sibirica) Pink purslane
Hemerocallis spp. Day lilies
The young shoots and flowers are edible. The shoots are best cooked. The large beautiful fleshy flowers are sweat and juicy when eaten raw but some people find it has an unpleasant aftertaste. One of the best is Hemerocallis fulva var.Quanso which has a large orange double flower (see the front cover of Kens book) This is a major food in Japan and some other oriental countries, where they find it delicious. The flowers are wilted and used to thicken soups.
Cynara scolymus Globe artichoke
Cynara cardunculus Cardoon
These two plants look similar, and can be used in the same way. The flower buds are a delicacy when steamed or boiled. The leaves are intensely bitter and can be made into a tea which is an excellent digestive tonic, and is especially good for the liver.
Not edible – but the underground stem-tubers work well as a paper glue!
Leucojum vernum Spring snowflake
April Walk by Ariadne Fern is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Photos by by Ajna Fern, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.