Phaeolus schweinitzii – Dyer’s Polypore

Dyer’s Polypore (Phaeolus schweinitzii) is a pathogenic polypore that causes butt rot on conifers. The mushroom can be found summer-fall on the roots of conifer trees. The mushroom is composed of multiple circular caps. The caps are densely hairy, giving the mushroom a velvety appearance. The caps start yellowish and become brownish with age. The […]

Morus alba – White Mulberry

White mulberry (Morus alba) is a non-native tree that was brought to the U. S. in the 1900’s to feed silkworms for the silk industry. White mulberries can be found in sun or partial sun in woodland edges, fields, and fence rows.   Leaves can be oval-shaped or lobed. They have a glossy top and […]

Rubus occidentalis – Black Raspberry

Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis) is one of the first native berries to ripen in the summer. Black raspberries are a native perennial that can be found in disturbed habitats, meadow edges, and stream banks. They can grow in full sun to partial shade. Black raspberry plants have thorny canes that are covered in a whitish […]

Portulaca oleracea – Purslane

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is a non-native annual succulent with edible and medicinal uses. Purslane can be found in disturbed areas such as gardens and yards. Purslane grows from a central taproot and stays low to the ground. Stems are thick and succulent. They can be reddish or green. Leaves are alternate and spatula shaped. Flowers […]

Lysimachia nummularia – Creeping Jenny

Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) is an invasive plant with medicinal uses. It can be found in damp pastures and along sunny streams. Creeping Jenny, also known as moneywort, has opposite, rounded leaves that resemble coins. Flowers are bright yellow, and cup shaped. Flowers can be eaten raw. They have a taste reminiscent of cilantro. Creeping […]

Prunus avium – Wild Sweet Cherry

Wild Sweet cherry (Prunus avium) is the same species as the commonly cultivated cherry plant. It is native to Europe and Western Asia but has become naturalized in New England. The tree can be found at forest edges and roadsides. The bark has horizontal lines called lenticels. The oval leaves have serrated edges. Fruits ripen […]

Rubus odoratus – Purple-flowering Raspberry

Purple-flowering raspberry (Rubus odoratus) is a native perennial with edible berries. The purple-flowering raspberry is found at the edge of trails. It can grow in sun to part shade. The plant has maple-like leaves and purple rose-like flowers. Canes are thornless, unlike other raspberry species. Flowers appear June-August. Flowers become red raspberries in mid-late summer. […]

Asclepias syriaca – Common Milkweed

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a native perennial with multiple edible parts. Common milkweed can be found in meadows and fields which receive full sun.   Leaves are opposite and oval-shaped with smooth edges. The stem is round and slightly fuzzy. It produces sap when broken. The pink flowers have five petals arranged in a […]

Lonicera japonica – Japanese Honeysuckle

Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is an invasive vine. It has no predators in New England, which allows it to proliferate. The plant has edible and medicinal uses, as well as toxic parts. Japanese honeysuckle can be found in woodland clearings, meadows, and fences.   Young vines are fuzzy. Older vines turn woody and brown. The […]

Symphytum officinale – Common Comfrey

Common Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a non-native perennial that has been used for food and medicine for thousands of years. Comfrey can be found on roadsides, old fields, and old homesteads. It can grow in moderate shade to full sun in rich, well-drained soil. Once a colony has been established, it can live for centuries. […]

Chenopodium album – Lamb’s Quarters

Lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium album) is a highly nutritious annual that is closely related to spinach and quinoa. Lamb’s quarters, also known as “pigweed” and “wild spinach”, can be found in gardens and other disturbed areas. It prefers nitrogen-rich soil and full sun. Lamb’s quarters have leaves that are variable in shape. The first set of […]

Silphium perfoliatum – Cup plant

Cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) is a perennial in the dandelion family. Cup plants are native to prairies in the central United States. They can be found growing in partial to full sun in moist soil. The plant often forms large colonies by rhizome. The cup plant is named for the cup that the leaves form […]

Aralia hispidia – Bristly Sarsaparilla

Bristly sarsaparilla (Aralia hispidia) is a native perennial in the ginseng family. It has been historically used as a medicinal herb. Bristly sarsaparilla can be found on cliffs, forest edges, and meadows. It prefers full sun and sandy soil. The plant has stiff hairs on its stem that are not strong enough to puncture the […]

Trifolium pratense – Red Clover

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is an introduced perennial legume. Red clover can be found in lawns and meadows with partial to full sun. It can grow in low nitrogen and poorly drained soil. Being a legume, it can fix nitrogen in the soil for use by other plants.   Red clover leaves consist of three […]

Laportea canadensis – Wood Nettle

Wood nettle (Laportea canadensis) is a native perennial that is in the same family as stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). Wood nettles can be found in rich, moist soil with full to partial shade. They can grow in abundance in river flood plains. They are often found in groups as they spread by rhizomes.   Wood […]

Panax trifolius – Dwarf Ginseng

Dwarf ginseng (Panax trifolius) is a native spring ephemeral. Dwarf ginseng, also known as “groundnut”, can be found in moist areas along forested creeks. It can form dense colonies in ideal conditions.   Dwarf ginseng has three leaves that are arranged in the shape of a triangle. Each leaf is made up of three or […]

Lunaria annua – Annual Honesty

Annual honesty (Lunaria annua) is a non-native biennial that can be found in cultivated gardens and as an escapee in woodlands and waste places. Annual honesty, also known as the “money plant”, has finely hairy, heart-shaped leaves with toothed edges. The flowers have four petals in a cross shape. They are usually purple but can […]

Wisteria spp. – Wisteria

  Wisteria (Wisteria spp.) is a genus of flowering vines in the legume family. There are both native (American wisteria) and invasive (Chinese and Japanese wisteria) species of wisteria that can be found in CT. All wisteria flowers are edible and can be used interchangeably in recipes. Wisteria can be found in areas that receive […]

Geranium maculatum – Wild Geranium

Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum) is a native perennial that blooms late spring to early summer. Wild geranium, also known as “Crane’s bill geranium” can be found growing in dense patches in deciduous woodlands and meadows. It can also be easily cultivated in partial shade to full sun.   The plant has deeply lobed leaves with […]

Pluteus cervinus – Deer Mushrooms

Deer mushrooms (Pluteus cervinus) are common edible mushrooms that can be found around the world. There are 40+ species of Pluteus in North America. All species in this genus are wood rotters with free gills and pinkish spore prints. Some Pluteus mushrooms are edible, some are psychoactive, and some are too small to forage. Deer […]