Aegopodium podagraria – Ground Elder

Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria) is an edible, invasive plant in the carrot family. Ground elder can be identified by its toothed, hairless leaves in groups of three. The plant grows less than a foot tall. The stalks are grooved and hairless, unlike Wild Carrot. In May-June, the plant sends up a flower stalk that grows […]

Sambucus racemosa – Red Elderberry

Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) is a native plant found in moist areas with partial to full sun. Red elderberries can be identified by their opposite leaves divided into 5-7 leaflets. The red fruit ripens July-August. Red elderberry stems, bark, leaves, and roots contain cyanide-producing toxins. Red elderberry seeds are also poisonous. Raw fruits may cause […]

Caulophyllum thalictroides – Blue Cohosh

Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) is a native plant that was traditionally used to induce labor. Blue cohosh grows best in mixed hardwoods. It can be identified by its blueish green lobed leaves. Blue cohosh is a non-aggressive plant that is at risk for over-harvesting.   Thoroughly roasted seeds of the blue cohosh berry have been […]

Cicuta spp. – Water Hemlock

Water hemlock (Cicuta spp.) is the most toxic plant in North America. Water hemlock contains cicutoxin which acts on the central nervous system causing seizures and often death. All parts of the plant are toxic, although the roots contain the highest levels of cicutoxin. Treatment for water hemlock poisoning includes activated charcoal and anticonvulsant medications. […]

Gyroporus castaneus – Chestnut Bolete

The Chestnut Bolete (Gyroporus castaneus) is an edible mushroom that can be found fruiting summer to fall. The chestnut bolete can be found in Europe and eastern North America. It grows singly or in small groups near hardwood trees, often oak and sweet chestnut. It is unclear if the mushroom has a mycorrhizal or saprobic […]

Oenothera biennis – Common Evening Primrose

Common Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) is a native plant that is edible tip to root. It can be found growing in yard edges and old fields. It will even grow in sand and clay. Evening primrose is a biennial, producing a basal rosette its first year and sending up a tall flower stalk its second […]

Eutrochium spp. – Joe-Pye weed

Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium spp.) is a native plant that has been used medicinally for centuries. There are five different Joe-pye weed (Eutrochium) species present in North America. They often hybridize so can be difficult to differentiate. Joe-pye weeds have pink-purple flowers that are present summer-fall. The stem is tall, erect, and has leaves arranged around […]

Daucus carota – Wild Carrot

Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) is an edible plant that was introduced here from Europe. Wild carrot, also known as Queen Anne’s Lace, is the same exact species as our cultivated carrot. Wild carrot can be found in sunny fields, disturbed soils, and parks. Wild carrot has finely divided, feathery leaves similar to our cultivated carrot. […]

Entoloma abortivum – Shrimp of the Woods

Shrimp of the Woods (Entoloma abortivum) is a unique looking mushroom that develops when an Entoloma fungus parasitizes a honey mushroom (Armillaria sp.). Shrimp of the woods can be found from September-November in decaying forest material. Shrimp of the woods have a folded, twisted, brain-like shape with a pink interior. They have no gills. The […]

Armillaria gallica – Bulbous Honey Mushroom

The Bulbous Honey Mushroom (Armillaria gallica) is a parasitic and saprobic mushroom that can be found July-November. Honey mushrooms will always be growing on wood, although sometimes the wood is buried. The mushrooms grow in clusters. Cap color varies from yellow to brown. Armillaria gallica tends to have more of a brown cap color, while […]

Lycoperdon pratense – Meadow Puffball

The Meadow Puffball (Lycoperdon pratense) is an edible puffball mushroom that can be found in lawns, meadows, and parks. Edible puffball mushrooms lack gills and are pure white inside. The meadow puffball has a stump-like stem, which differentiates it from the also edible Giant puffball (Calvatia gigantea) which lacks a stem.   Once the interior […]