Suburban foraging

The park where I forage has a ton of assorted edible plants all just growing wildly along the walking path. Today I discovered what looked like grapes. I asked and although I didn't get a perfect ID, all the suggested possibilities were.... grapes. There were also a ton of wild raspberries growing through there earlier in the season, and a mulberry tree. I'm really unclear on if all of those things are just there or if some of them were intentionally planted. I highly doubt the blackberry was placed there on purpose.

Maybe I'm just coming more aware of plants in general, and those good for foraging specifically. I hope to go out to more places as the weather gets nicer and see if I find anything elsewhere to spread the love a bit.

Foraging at home

Mostly foraging refers to finding plants in the wild or in public, but as I'm still learning stuff, I still find new things in my own garden as well.

Most recently, that has been this little succulent-looking thing (spoiler alert, it is a succulent)

up-close of a succulent with small leaves and red-tinted stems. It has started going to seed|400

I love how it looks, so I've been weeding around it, even though it seems to have sprouted from nowhere. I asked, which seemed pretty confident it was purslane.

Once I knew what it (probably) was, I started feeling like a very good witch for instinctively wanting more of this stuff. But then I saw warnings that spurge can be mistaken for purslane. Luckily, I learned there were a few tell-tale signs to distinguish them. I went back out to check my plant to see which one it appeared to be.

This is what I saw:
![image with purslane on the left and spurge on the right](/img/user/80-89 Assets/82 - Photo Attachments/Pasted image 20230902201234.png)
For those not in the know, this is a photo of purslane, edible and full of omega 3s on the left, and spurge, toxic and yucky on the right.

Although embarrassing, this is actually an ideal outcome for a forager. I lucked into a situation where an edible plant, and its toxic look-alike are right next to each other. I wish it were always this easy!

Now that I know what spurge looks like, I’ve been seeing it everywhere. However I’ve also been seeing this stuff, mixed in with my thyme in the herb bed.

It has small leaves but they grow kind of in clusters of three instead of two opposite leaves. I finally asked what it is, and that led to me getting a close look for the first time, and I only know realized how gorgeous it is.

It does help that it’s blooming. didn’t give me an exact definite match, but did inform me that it’s some kind of Lespedeza, or bush clover. It’s a legume native to southern Asia and North America, and apparently can be grown for nitrogen fixing or to combat soil erosion. So that’s cool. Some species are highly aggressive, though I haven’t noticed that in my garden.

Like true clover, the plants are edible, but seem to usually be preferred by bunnies more than humans. Bush clover is used as a forage crop for livestock.

I never purport to offer any kind of medical advice, but when it comes to herbal remedies always educate yourself beyond the information on this site. I’m learning as I go and nothing on this page should be taken as expertise. Especially when it comes to foraging, be careful when identifying unfamiliar plants.

Backlink | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash I didn't even take this picture and do not endorse the safety of eating any of these mushrooms.

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