The Pocket Guide to Wild Mushrooms by Pella Holmberg and Hans Marklund is a great resource for any wild food forager. This week we’re featuring a review and giveaway of this handy little book. While no book can take the place of an experienced guide, this pocket guide should provide you with the information you need to forage safely for mushroom varieties that are new to you. Fall is typically prime season for many mushroom varieties, so I am looking forward to taking this book out with me more later this year. I shared it with my neighbor last week, and if the weather cooperates this fall (you need rain for mushrooms, and it’s been a dry summer), we’re going to go investigating in their woods to see what we can find.
Today’s featured plant is Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare.
Tansy is also known as Common Tansy, Wild Tansy, Gold Leaf Tansy, Stinking Willie, Bitter Buttons, Ginger Plant, Cow Bitter, Scented Fern (for the odor), Cheese (for the flowers), Mugwort, or Golden Buttons. (source 1 and 2) This is not the same plant as Artemisia vulgaris, Common Mugwort, or Tansy Ragwort, Senecio jacobaea.
Today’s featured plant is Dame’s Rocket, Hesperis matronalis.
Dame’s rocket is also known as sweet rocket, white rocket, purple rocket, damask violet, dame’s violet, dames-wort, dame’s gilliflower, queen’s gilliflower, rogue’s gilliflower, winter gilliflower, rucchette, roquette, summer lilac and night-scented gilliflower, vesper flower and mother-of-the-evening (due to its scent being stronger during the evening hours and almost non-existent during the day).
It is in the mustard family (Brassicaceae), like Winter Cress (AKA Yellow Rocket, Barbarea vulgaris). It resembles garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) and Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata L.), but Dame’s Rocket flowers have four petals and phlox flowers have five. (All members of the mustard family have four petals.)
Range and Identification of Dame’s Rocket
When Should I Harvest Dandelion Roots?
Dandelion roots are best harvested from late fall through early spring, when the plant is dormant and has stored up energy in the root. For medicinal use, most sources say fall harvest is best. This is because the levels of inulin (insoluble fiber) are higher and the fructose levels are lower.