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 […]

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 […]

Allium tricoccum – Ramps

Ramps (Allium tricoccum) are a native species of onion that can be found late March- early May in CT. Ramps can be found in woodlands with rich, moist, well-drained soil. They usually grow under trees but get full sun since the leaves are not yet out. Ramps have 1-3 leaves that attach to a white […]

Matteuccia struthiopteris – Ostrich Fern

The Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) is the only fern in CT that produces edible fiddleheads in the spring. The fiddlehead is the immature, furled frond of a fern. Ostrich ferns can be found in rich, disturbed soil. Check near water sources with wet, sandy soil. They are most common in river floodplains. Ostrich ferns can […]

Reynoutria japonica – Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica) is an invasive perennial that was brought to the U.S. from Asia as an ornamental. Japanese knotweed can be found in moist areas that receive sunlight. It often grows in large thickets in disturbed areas. It can grow up to 15 feet tall and its root system can reach 20 feet […]

Alliaria petiolata – Garlic Mustard

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an edible invasive plant in the mustard family. Garlic mustard can be found in human-disturbed areas, shaded field edges, and woodlands. It has the ability to take over woodlands and kill off 90% of all other herbaceous plants. Garlic mustard has no native predators and seeds can last up to […]

Barbarea vulgaris – Wintercress

Wintercress (Barbarea vulgaris) is a non-native plant in the mustard family. Wintercress, also known as Yellow Rocket, can be found in fields, gardens, and disturbed soil in full sun. Wintercress produces a basal rosette of deeply lobed emerald green leaves. The leaves resemble arugula with larger, rounder lobes. The plant produces a hairless flower stem […]

Picea abies – Norway Spruce

Norway Spruce (Picea abies) is a common spruce tree that came from Europe. Spruce trees have needles that have 4 sides. The needles of spruces are individually attached to the stem, unlike pine needles which are grouped in fascicles. All spruces produce edible tips. The flavor of spruce tips varies by species from being citrusy […]

Hesperis matronalis – Dames Rocket

Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) is an invasive, yet edible plant in the mustard family. In early spring, you can find the basal rosette of Dame’s rocket leaves in disturbed areas. The leaves are covered in small, fuzzy hairs and have irregularly toothed margins. Dame’s rocket leaves taste like peppery arugula. They are best foraged for […]

Claytonia virginica – Virginia Spring Beauty

Virginia Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica) is an edible ephemeral that likes to grow in dappled sunlight. The plant is often found near ramp patches, as both species like to grow in maple-hardwood forests. Virginia Spring Beauty has white to pink flowers with pink stripes. The flowers open when it is warm and sunny. They will […]

Uvularia sessilifolia – Wild Oats

Wild Oats (Uvularia sessilifolia) is a native woodland plant in the lily family. Wild Oats have alternate leaves that attach directly to the stem. In late April-early May the plant produces a yellow-cream colored flower. Wild Oat shoots can be eaten raw after the leaves are stripped away. Flowers can be added raw to salads. […]

Houstonia caerulea – Quaker Lady Bluet

Quaker Lady Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) are native edible flowers that can be found blooming April-July. Quaker ladies can be distinguished from other bluets by the patch of yellow at their center. Quaker ladies are in the coffee family. They have a taste similar to alfalfa sprouts. An infusion of Quaker lady roots was used by […]

Cerioporus squamosus – Dryad’s Saddle

Dryad’s Saddle (Cerioporus squamosus) is a choice edible mushroom when found young. Dryad’s saddle, or Pheasant back, can be found in the spring and fall, fruiting on dead or dying hardwood trees. Look for the fungus 1-2 days after a heavy rain. The mushroom is parasitic, causing white rot disease to the tree. Dryad’s saddle […]

Larix laricina – Tamarack

Tamarack (Larix laricina) is a native deciduous conifer in the pine family.   Tamarack, also known as “American larch”, is usually the first tree to grow on filled lake bogs. It has 1-inch needles that grow in clusters of 10-20. The needles turn bright yellow in late autumn and then fell off. Tender spring shoots […]