Chickweed- Stellaria media

imageCommon chickweed, Stellaria media is a hearty little wild edible is found throughout North America. This is found throughout the year, provided it is above freezing. It is often one of the first plants to sprout in spring. While is found in the summer, it doesn’t like high temperatures very much.

Even though it is distributed throughout North America, it isn’t a native plant. It is a highly invasive Eurasian species that has pushed native plants to the edge. You show me a green lawn that doesn’t have grass and I will show you a huge patch of chickweed.

wpid-20140420_170538.jpgAs the name implies, chickens (and in my experience, children) love this wild edible. It is a very nutritious plant! It can be eaten raw or lightly cooked. Do not overcook this or you will cook the nutrients right out of it.

It tends to form in huge clumps.  It can be eaten fresh in salads, just make sure there has been no chemicals sprayed on it and that you wash it carefully. It tends to be silty and get silt in all of your meal. wpid-2014-04-21-07.49.58.jpg.jpeg

Chickweed is easy to spot because of the leaves and the little mohawk like row of root hairs from the bottom of the stem. This is a great one to collect, and is pretty tasty if added to scrambled eggs at the last second. It has a mild taste that is hardly there. Perfect for picky eaters who are coming over the the foraging side.
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To my knowledge, there is no dangerous look alike plant. Give it a try!  You will often find it growing with another very common edible, Dead Nettle.  See my posting on that topic for identification.

 

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