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London, United Kingdom
This blog will contain pictures and information from my everyday encounters with nature in London and the surrounding areas. I will log details of the origin of each photograph thus recording what there is to be seen and where it was seen. I very much welcome anyone else who can upload photos and information about nature in London and the home counties. I work freelance in the film industry so have plenty of days off. I hope to update Monday to Friday and once on the weekend posting at around 19.30, I don't post on bank holidays

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum)

Stem & Seed- Reculver, Kent

This is an incredible plant, which I’d never heard of before the food foraging course I mentioned in Sundays post. It grows predominantly in coastal areas on cliff tops and nearby where it grows in abundance. This picture was taken near Mondays picture of Coltsfoot. It has largely disappeared from menus but I ate it in several different forms and it was superb. The large thick stems make a substitute for celery, which I found to be sweeter, more tasteful and all together, more agreeable. The seeds, which you can see in the picture, tasted a little like juniper to me and are sometimes used in blended coffee substitutes. The thick stems cut up and cooked in water for 10 minutes were delicious also. The roots can be eaten like parsnip and the leaves may be used in Salads. The plant is said to have come from Macedonia hence the name but we have the Romans to thank for its existence in Britain. Take care when picking and always make sure you have made certain identification of a plant before eating it.

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