Eatin' Wild Series: Cleavers
Eatin' Wild is my series of articles on edible or medicinal plants that grow wild around us, including edible weeds that you may have been spraying or mowing over. This installment of the series covers a great spring/summer edible weed that is both food AND medicine!
Just this week I found a fantastic wild edible growing on my property for the first time this year. I was so excited that I shot a quick video to share a few details about this highly useful weed known as cleavers.
Cleavers (Galium aparine) have a lot of nicknames, but the ones that I hear most commonly are sticky weed, sticky plant, goosegrass, or velcro weed. One touch of the leaves or stems, and you'll quickly learn why cleavers have picked up these monikers. Tiny hooks on the leaves and stems cling to just about everything, including your skin, your clothes, your pets, and even itself. Once the plant seeds, well, they'll cling to you too. But there are a lot of good reasons not to mow this sticky plant down! Read on to learn more about cleavers, and how you can use them for food and medicine.
Edible Landscaping Series: Turk's Cap
In the Edible Landscaping series, we take a look at plants that marry form with function. All plants in this series have value as beautiful landscaping plants, while also being useful for food or medicine. You can find out more about these practical plants and how to use them by attending one of my Practical Gardening workshops.
Turk's cap is in full bloom right now in my home state of Texas. Bright red, unique-looking blooms grow prolifically from the upper foliage of this hardy perennial. Turk's cap, also called Mexican apples, wax mallow, or Scotchman's purse, is favored as a landscaping plant because of its beauty, hardiness, and reliable performance through a range of climate and soil conditions. Hummingbird and butterflies also love Turk's Cap. This garden beauty's usefulness doesn't end there though. Turk's Cap shines as an edible plant, making it one of my favorite plants to have in a functional garden.
I'm Jennifer Capestany, a clinical herbalist and freelance writer with a practice in North Texas. Helping people deal as naturally as possible with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic illness and other chronic conditions is my calling.