310 species of vascular plants were said to be found in Greenland in 1911, including 15 endemic species. Although individual plants can be profuse in favourable situations, relatively few plant species tend to be represented in a given place. Except for in Qinngua Valley, Greenland has no native forests, although 9 stands of conifers had been cultivated by 2007.
In northern Greenland, the ground is covered with a carpet of mosses and low-lying shrubs such as dwarf willows and crowberries. Common flowering plants in the north include bog rosemary, yellow poppy, Pedicularis, and Pyrola. Plant life in southern Greenland is more abundant, and certain plants, such as the dwarf birch and willow, may grow several feet high.
The only natural forest in Greenland is found in the Qinngua Valley. The forest consists of mainly of downy birch (Betula pubescens) and grey-leaf willow (Salix glauca), growing up to 7–8 metres (23–26 ft) tall.
Horticulture shows a certain degree of success. Plants such as broccoli, radishes, spinach, leeks, lettuce, turnips, chervil, potatoes and parsley are grown up to considerable latitudes, while the very south of the country also rears asters, Nemophila, mignonette, rhubarb, sorrel and carrots. Over the last decade, the growing season has lengthened by as much as three weeks.
In the 13th-century Konungs skuggsjá (King’s mirror), it is stated that the old Norsemen tried in vain to raise barley. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barley
Wild and cultivated harvesting
found in acidic, nutrient-poor soils throughout the temperate and subarctic regions of the world. They are closely related to North American wild and cultivated blueberries and huckleberries in the genus Vaccinium. One characteristic of bilberries is that they produce single or paired berries on the bush instead of clusters, as the blueberry does. Blueberries have more evergreen leaves.
Bilberries are dark in color, and usually appear near black with a slight shade of purple. While blueberry fruit pulp is light green in color, bilberry is red or purple, possibly staining the fingers, lips, and tongue of consumers when eating the raw fruit, a color effect from significant anthocyanin content.
Bilberries are difficult to grow and have small fruits, and are thus seldom cultivated. Fruits are mostly collected from wild plants growing on publicly accessible lands throughout northern and central Europe, where they are plentiful – for example, up to a fifth (17-21%) of the land area of Sweden contains bilberry bushes. Bilberries can be picked by a berry-picking rake like lingonberries, but are more susceptible to damage.
Bilberries are softer and juicier than blueberries, making them difficult to transport. Because of these factors, the bilberry is only available fresh on markets and in gourmet stores. Frozen bilberries however are available all year round in most of Europe.
In Scandinavia, bilberries are collected in forests. They are eaten fresh or made into jams and dishes. The most famous one is bilberry pie (Finnish: mustikkapiirakka, Swedish blåbärspaj).
In Iceland, bilberries (known as aðalbláber, or “prime blueberry”) grow predominantly in Westfjords and the surrounding area. In most of the country, the closely related bláber occupy the same habitat. Both species are commonly found growing with dwarf birch and crowberries. Wild growth is vast compared to the population of Iceland and wildharvesting is legal. As a consequence, it is a popular activity in August when the berry season peaks. A popular use for bilberries is to eat them with skyr.
In Ireland, the fruit is known as fraughan, from the Irish fraochán, and is traditionally gathered on the last Sunday in July, known as “Fraughan Sunday”.
Bilberries were also collected at Lughnasadh in August, the first traditional harvest festival of the year, as celebrated by Gaelic people. The crop of bilberries was said to indicate how well the rest of the crops would fare in their harvests later in the year.
In Poland, the fruit are known as jagody. They are gathered in forests.
Bilberry is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species (see the list of Lepidoptera that feed on Vaccinium).
Vaccinium vitis-idaea (lingonberry, partridgeberry, or cowberry) is a short evergreen shrub in the heath family that bears edible fruit, native to boreal forest and Arctic tundra throughout the Northern Hemisphere from Eurasia to North America. Lingonberries are picked in the wild and used to accompany a variety of dishes in Northern Baltoscandia. Commercial cultivation is undertaken in the U.S. Pacific Northwest
Lingonberry jam on toast
The berries collected in the wild are a popular fruit in northern, central and eastern Europe, notably in Nordic countries, the Baltic states, central and northern Europe. In some areas, they can legally be picked on both public and private lands in accordance with the freedom to roam.
The berries are quite tart, so they are often cooked and sweetened before eating in the form of lingonberry jam, compote, juice, smoothie or syrup. The raw fruits are also frequently simply mashed with sugar, which preserves most of their nutrients and taste. This mix can be stored at room temperature in closed but not necessarily sealed containers, but in this condition, they are best preserved frozen. Fruit served this way or as compote often accompany game and liver dishes. In Sweden and Norway, reindeer and elk steak is traditionally served with gravy and lingonberry sauce. Preserved fruit is commonly eaten with meatballs, potato pancakes. A traditional Swedish dessert is lingonpäron (literally lingonberry pears), consisting of fresh pears which are peeled, boiled and preserved in lingondricka (lingonberry juice) and is commonly eaten during Christmas. This was very common in old times, because it was an easy and tasty way to preserve pears. In Sweden and Russia, when sugar was still a luxury item, the berries were usually preserved simply by putting them whole into bottles of water. This was known as vattlingon (watered lingonberries); the procedure preserved them until next season. This was also a home remedy against scurvy. This traditional Russian soft drink, known as “lingonberry water”, is mentioned by Alexander Pushkin in Eugene Onegin. In Russian folk medicine, lingonberry water was used as a mild laxative. A traditional Finnish dish is sautéed reindeer (poronkäristys) with mashed potatoes and lingonberries, either cooked or raw with sugar. In Finland, a porridge made from the fruit is also popular. In Poland, the berries are often mixed with pears to create a sauce served with poultry or game. The berries can also be used to replace redcurrants when creating Cumberland sauce to give it a more sophisticated taste.
The berries are also popular as a wild picked fruit in Eastern Canada, for example in Newfoundland and Labrador and Cape Breton, where they are locally known as partridgeberries or redberries, and on the mainland of Nova Scotia, where they are known as foxberries. In this region they are incorporated into jams, syrups, and baked goods, such as pies, scones, and muffins.
In Sweden lingonberries are often sold as jam and juice, and as a key ingredient in dishes. They are used to make Lillehammer berry liqueur; and, in East European countries, lingonberry vodka is sold.
The berries are an important food for bears and foxes, and many fruit-eating birds. Caterpillars of the case-bearer moths Coleophora glitzella, Coleophora idaeella and Coleophora vitisella are obligate feeders on V. vitis-idaea leaves.
Nutritional properties ripe lingonberries The berries contain plentiful organic acids, vitamin C, vitamin A (as beta carotene), B vitamins (B1, B2, B3), and the elements potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Traditional medicine In folk medicine, V. vitis-idaea has been used as an apéritif, astringent, antihemorrhagic, anti-debilitive, depurative, antiseptic (especially for the urethra), a diuretic, a tonic for the nervous system, and in various ways to treat breast cancer, diabetes mellitus, rheumatism, and various urogenital conditions. In traditional Austrian medicine the fruits have been administrated internally as jelly or syrup for treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys and urinary tract, and fever.
Arctostaphylos alpina, with the common names alpine bearberry, mountain bearberry, or black bearberry is a dwarf shrub in the heather family Ericaceae. The basionym of this species is Arbutus alpina L..
Arctostaphylos alpina is a procumbent shrub usually less than 6 inches (15 cm) high with a woody stem and straggling branches. The leaves are alternate and wither in the autumn but remain on the plant for another year. The leaves are stalked and are oval with serrated margins and a network of veins. They often turn red to scarlet in autumn. The flowers are in groups of two to five, white or pink and urn-shaped and about 3 to 5 mm (0 to 0 in) long. They have five sepals, five fused petals with five small projecting lobes, ten stamens and a single carpel. The fruits are spherical, 9 to 12 mm (0 to 0 in) long, initially green, then red and finally glossy black and succulent when ripe. This plant flowers in June.
Distribution and habitat
Arctostaphylos alpina has a circumpolar distribution. It is found at high latitudes, from Scotland east across Scandinavia, Russia, Alaska, Northern Canada and Greenland. Its southern limits in Europe are the Pyrenees and the Alps, in Asia, the Altay Mountains and Mongolia, and in North America, British Columbia in the west, and Maine and New Hampshire in the east. Its natural habitat is moorland, dry forests with birch and pine and hummocks covered in moss at the edges of bogs.
Arctostaphylos alpina forms a symbiotic relationship live with fungi which supply it with nutrients such as phosphorus. The berries are appreciated by birds.
Juniper berries, here still attached to a branch, are actually modified conifer cones.
A juniper berry is the female seed cone produced by the various species of junipers. It is not a true berry but a cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales, which give it a berry-like appearance. The cones from a handful of species, especially Juniperus communis, are used as a spice, particularly in European cuisine, and also give gin its distinctive flavour. Juniper berries have been called the only spice derived from conifers, although tar and inner bark from pine trees is sometimes considered a spice as well.
Mature purple and younger green juniper berries can be seen growing alongside one another on the same plant.
All juniper species grow berries, but some are considered too bitter to eat. In addition to J. communis, other edible species include Juniperus drupacea, Juniperus phoenicea, Juniperus deppeana, and Juniperus californica. But the berries of some species, such as Juniperus sabina, are toxic and consumption of them is inadvisable.
Juniperus communis berries vary from four to twelve millimeters in diameter; other species are mostly similar in size, though some are larger, notably J. drupacea (20–28 mm). Unlike the separated and woody scales of a typical pine cone, those in a juniper berry remain fleshy and merge into a unified covering surrounding the seeds. The berries are green when young, and mature to a purple-black colour over about 18 months in most species, including J. communis (shorter, 8–10 months in a few species, and about 24 months in J. drupacea). The mature, dark berries are usually but not exclusively used in cuisine, while gin is flavoured with fully grown but immature green berries.
Dried juniper berries at a market in Syracuse, Sicily
The flavor profile of young, green berries is dominated by pinene; as they mature this piney, resinous backdrop is joined by what Harold McGee describes as “green-fresh” and citrus notes. The outer scales of the berries are relatively flavourless, so the berries are almost always at least lightly crushed before being used as a spice. They are used both fresh and dried, but their flavour and odour are at their strongest immediately after harvest and decline during drying and storage.
Juniper berries are used in northern European and particularly Scandinavian cuisine to “impart a sharp, clear flavor” to meat dishes, especially wild birds (including thrush, blackbird, and woodcock) and game meats (including boar and venison). They also season pork, cabbage, and sauerkraut dishes. Traditional recipes for choucroute garnie, an Alsatian dish of sauerkraut and meats, universally include juniper berries. Besides Norwegian and Swedish dishes, juniper berries are also sometimes used in German, Austrian, Czech, Polish and Hungarian cuisine, often with roasts (such as German sauerbraten). Northern Italian cuisine, especially that of the South Tyrol, also incorporates juniper berries.
Juniper, typically Juniperus communis, is used to flavor gin, a liquor developed in the 17th century in the Netherlands. The name gin itself is derived from either the French genièvre or the Dutch jenever, which both mean “juniper”. Other juniper-flavoured beverages include the Finnish rye-and-juniper beer known as sahti, which is flavored with both juniper berries and branches. The brand Dry Soda produces a juniper-berry soda as part of its lineup. Recently, some American distilleries have begun using ‘New World’ varieties of juniper such as Juniperus occidentalis.
A few North American juniper species produce a seed cone with a sweeter, less resinous flavor than those typically used as a spice. For example, one field guide describes the flesh of the berries of Juniperus californica as “dry, mealy, and fibrous but sweet and without resin cells”. Such species have been used not just as a seasoning but as a nutritive food by some Native Americans. In addition to medical and culinary purposes, Native Americans have also used the seeds inside juniper berries as beads for jewellery and decoration.
An essential oil extracted from juniper berries is used in aromatherapy and perfumery.
While classified as generally recognized as safe in the US, juniper berries may have various side effects that have not been tested extensively in clinical trials. Mainly due to an increased risk of miscarriage, even in small doses, consuming juniper berries may affect pregnant or breastfeeding women and people with diabetes, bleeding disorders or after surgery.In traditional medicine, juniper berries were used for female birth control. In an in vitro study, juniper essential oil was studied for its possible antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
Juniper berries, including Juniperus phoenicea and Juniperus oxycedrus have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs at multiple sites. J. oxycedrus is not known to grow in Egypt, and neither is Juniperus excelsa, which was found along with J. oxycedrus in the tomb of Tutankhamun. The berries imported into Egypt may have come from Greece; the Greeks record using juniper berries as a medicine long before mentioning their use in food. The Greeks used the berries in many of their Olympics events because of their belief that the berries increased physical stamina in athletes. The Romans used juniper berries as a cheap domestically produced substitute for the expensive black pepper and long pepper imported from India. It was also used as an adulterant, as reported in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History: “Pepper is adulterated with juniper berries, which have the property, to a marvellous degree, of assuming the pungency of pepper.” Pliny also incorrectly asserted that black pepper grew on trees that were “very similar in appearance to our junipers”.
Empetrum nigrum, crowberry, black crowberry, or, in western Alaska, blackberry, is a flowering plant species in the heather family Ericaceae with a near circumboreal distribution in the northern hemisphere. It is also native in the Falkland Islands.It is usually dioecious, but there is a bisexual tetraploid subspecies, Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum, that occurs in more northerly locations and at higher altitude.
Evolutionary biologists have explained the striking geographic distribution of crowberries as a result of long-distance migratory birds dispersing seeds from one pole to the other.
The metabolism and photosynthetic parameters of Empetrum can be altered in winter-warming experiments.
The leaves are 3–6 mm (0.12–0.24 in) long, arranged alternately along the stem. The fruits are drupes, 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) wide, usually black or purplish-black but occasionally red.
The fruits contain mostly water. Their vitamin content is low, as is the concentration of volatile liquids, the lack of which makes them almost odorless. The acidity is lower than is typically encountered in forest berries, and benzene acids are almost absent.
The yellow-leaved cultivar Empetrum nigrum ‘Lucia’
Empetrum nigrum subsp. asiaticum (Nakai ex H.Ito) Kuvaev – Korean crowberry
Cultivation and uses
E. nigrum can be grown in acidic soils in shady, moist areas. It can be grown for the edible fruit, as a ground cover, or as an ornamental plant in rock gardens, notably the yellow-foliaged cultivar ‘Lucia’. The fruit is high in anthocyanin pigment, and can be used to make a natural food dye.
After waning popularity, E. nigrum is regaining its reputation as an edible fruit. It provides a steady crop and the gathering is relatively easy. Cooking enhances the flavor. The fruits make good pie and jam.
In subarctic areas, E. nigrum has been a vital addition to the diet of the Inuit and the Sami. The Dena’ina (Tanaina) harvest it for food, sometimes storing in quantity for winter, and like it mixed with lard or oil. The fruits are usually collected in fall, but if not picked they may persist on the plant and can be picked in the spring. They keep well in a cool place without any special preparation. The Inuit and Native Americans mix them with other berries, especially blueberries.
The leaves and stems are used in Dena’ina medicine for diarrhea and stomach problems; they are boiled or soaked in hot water, and the strained liquid drunk. In Dena’ina plantlore in the Outer and Upper Inlet area of Lake Clark, the root is also used as a medicine, being used to remove a growth on an eye and to heal sore eyes. The roots are boiled and the eyes are washed with the strained, cooled tea, to which a little sugar may be added.
In Labrador, where the name “blackberry” is used, the smoke of the burning stems and leaves is used to smoke fish, notably Salmon, Sea Trout and Arctic Char.
Common cottongrass (food)
Eriophorum angustifolium, commonly known as common cottongrass or common cottonsedge, is a species of flowering plant in the sedge family Cyperaceae. Native to North America, North Asia, and Northern Europe, it grows on peat or acidic soils, in open wetland, heath or moorland. It begins to flower in April or May and, after fertilisation in early summer, the small, unremarkable brown and green flowers develop distinctive white bristle-like seed-heads that resemble tufts of cotton; combined with its ecological suitability to bog, these characteristics give rise to the plant’s alternative name, bog cotton.
Eriophorum angustifolium is a hardy, herbaceous, rhizomatous, perennial sedge, able to endure in a variety of environments in the temperate, subarctic and arctic regions of Earth. Unlike Gossypium, the genus from which cotton is derived, the bristles which grow on E. angustifolium are unsuited to textile manufacturing. Nevertheless, in Northern Europe, they were used as a substitute in the production of paper, pillows, candle-wicks, and wound-dressings. The indigenous peoples of North America use the plant in cooking and in the treatment of digestive problems. Following a vote in 2002, Plantlife International designated E. angustifolium the County Flower of Greater Manchester, as part of its British County Flowers campaign.
In the wild, Eriophorum angustifolium is a creeping rhizomatous perennial sedge, with an abundance of unbranched, translucent pink roots. Fully grown, it has a tall, erect stem shaped like a narrow cylinder or triangular prism; it is smooth in texture and green in colour. Reports of the plant’s height vary; estimates include up to 60 cm (24 in),15–75 cm (5.9–29.5 in), and up to 100 cm (39 in). E. angustifolium has “stiff grass-like foliage” consisting of long, narrow solidly dark green leaves, which have a single central groove, and narrow from their 2–6-millimetre (0.08–0.24 in) wide base to a triangular tip. Up to seven green and brown aerial peduncles and chaffs, roughly 4–10 millimetres (0.16–0.39 in) in size, protrude from umbels at the top of the stem from which achenes are produced after fertilisation, each with a single pappus; these combine to form a distinctive white perianth around 5 centimetres (2.0 in) long.
Eriophorum angustifolium is described as “a rather dull plant” in winter and spring, but “simply breathtaking” in summer and autumn, when 1–7 conspicuous inflorescences – composed of hundreds of white pappi comparable to cotton, hair, tassels, and/or bristles – stand out against naturally drab surroundings.
Eriophorum angustifolium differs from other species within the genus Eriophorum in its habitat and morphology. Its multiple flower heads and growth from rhizomes distinguish it from E. vaginatum, which has a single flower head and grows from dense tussocks. Although E. latifolium has 2–12 flower heads, it has laxly caespitose (tufted) growth, and its pappi are forked. The smooth peduncles and preference for acidic soil pH distinguishes E. angustifolium from E. gracile, which grows in swamp with a neutral pH and has scabrid (rough) peduncles.
The seeds of E. angustifolium are adapted to wind-dispersal.
Eriophorum angustifolium is a hardy, herbaceous, rhizomatous, perennial plant,meaning that it is resilient to cold and freezing climatic conditions, dies back at the end of its growing season, has creeping rootstalks, and lives for over two years. It grows vigorously from seed over a period of 2–5 years, and thrives particularly well in freshly disturbed, cut or eroded peat. E. angustifolium is protogynous.
Sexual reproduction in Eriophorum angustifolium begins with flowering in spring or early summer (in or around May), when groups of 3–5 brown flowers are produced. Fertilisation usually takes place in May or June, via anemophily (wind-pollination), and the white bristle-like perianth, composed of achenes with pappi (seeds with hairs) then grows outwards to appear like short tufts of cotton thread. These pappi endure well into summer, lasting from around June to September. Like the pappus of Taraxacum (dandelions), this aids in wind-dispersal, and also serves as thermal insulation, conserving the temperature of the plant’s reproductive organs by trapping solar radiation
In human culture
The stem of Eriophorum angustifolium, an edible part of the sedge used in Native American cuisine
Eriophorum angustifolium seeds and stems are edible and are used in traditional Native American cuisine by Alaska Natives, Inuit and Inupiat people. The leaves and roots of E. angustifolium are also edible and, because of their astringent properties, used by the Yupik peoples for medicinal purposes, through a process of decoction, infusion or poultice, to treat aliments of the human gastrointestinal tract, and in the Old World for the treatment of diarrhoea. In abundance, E. angustifolium can grow with enough density to disguise wetland and bog. Consequently, it may be used as a natural indicator of areas which are hazardous and to avoid travelling through. Attempts to make a cotton-like thread from the hairs of the plant’s seed-heads have been thwarted by its brittleness, but it has been used in the production of paper and candle wicks in Germany, and was used as a feather substitute in pillow stuffing in Sweden and Sussex, England. In Scotland, during World War I, it was used to dress wounds.
In 2002, the County Flowers campaign of Plantlife International, which asked members of the public to nominate and vote for a wildflower emblem for each of the counties and metropolitan areas of the United Kingdom, resulted in Eriophorum angustifolium being announced as the County Flower of Greater Manchester.
Taraxacum (/təˈræksəkᵿm/) is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae which consists of species commonly known as dandelion. They are native to Eurasia and North America, but the two commonplace species worldwide, T. officinale and T. erythrospermum, were imports from Europe that now propagate as wildflowers. Both species are edible in their entirety. The common name dandelion (/ˈdændᵻlaɪ.ən/ DAN-di-ly-ən, from French dent-de-lion, meaning “lion’s tooth”) is given to members of the genus. Like other members of the Asteraceae family, they have very small flowers collected together into a composite flower head. Each single flower in a head is called a floret. Many Taraxacum species produce seeds asexually by apomixis, where the seeds are produced without pollination, resulting in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant
The genus is taxonomically complex, with some botanists dividing the group into about 34 macrospecies, and about 2000 microspecies; about 235 apomictic and polyploid microspecies have been recorded in Great Britain and Ireland. Some botanists take a much narrower view and only accept a total of about 60 species.
Dandelions are thought to have evolved about 30 million years ago in Eurasia. Fossil seeds of Taraxacum tanaiticum have been recorded from the Pliocene of southern Russia. Dandelions have been used by humans for food and as a herb for much of recorded history. “They were well known to ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and have been used in Chinese traditional medicine for over a thousand years. Dandelions probably arrived in North America on the Mayflower – not as stowaways, but brought on purpose for their medicinal benefits,” according to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.
Leaf resemblance to lion tooth
The Latin name Taraxacum originates in medieval Persian writings on pharmacy. The Persian scientist Al-Razi around 900 CE wrote “the tarashaquq is like chicory”. The Persian scientist and philosopher Ibn Sīnā around 1000 CE wrote a book chapter on Taraxacum. Gerard of Cremona, in translating Arabic to Latin around 1170, spelled it tarasacon.
The English name, dandelion, is a corruption of the French dent de lion meaning “lion’s tooth”, referring to the coarsely toothed leaves. The plant is also known as blowball, cankerwort, doon-head-clock, witch’s gowan, milk witch, lion’s-tooth, yellow-gowan, Irish daisy, monks-head, priest’s-crown, and puff-ball; other common names include faceclock, pee-a-bed, wet-a-bed, swine’s snout, white endive, and wild endive.
The English folk name “piss-a-bed” (and indeed the equivalent contemporary French pissenlit) refers to the strong diuretic effect of the plant’s roots. In various northeastern Italian dialects, the plant is known as pisacan (“dog pisses”), because they are found at the side of pavements.
In Swedish, it is called maskros (worm rose) after the small insects (thrips) usually present in the flowers. In Finnish and Estonian, the names (voikukka, võilill) translate as butter flower, due to the color of the flower. In Lithuanian, it is known as “Pienė”, meaning “milky”, because of the white liquid that is produced when the stems are cut. The Welsh (dant-y-llew), German (Löwenzahn), Norwegian (løvetann) and Spanish (diente de león) names mean the same as the French and the English names.
Dandelions are found on all continents and have been gathered for food since prehistory, but the varieties cultivated for consumption are mainly native to Eurasia. A perennial plant, its leaves will grow back if the taproot is left intact. To make leaves more palatable, they are often blanched to remove bitterness, or sauteed in the same way as spinach. Dandelion leaves and buds have been a part of traditional Kashmiri, Slovenian, Sephardic, Chinese, and Korean cuisines. In Crete, the leaves of a variety called ‘Mari’ (Μαρί), ‘Mariaki’ (Μαριάκι), or ‘Koproradiko’ (Κοπροράδικο) are eaten by locals, either raw or boiled, in salads. T. megalorhizon, a species endemic to Crete, is eaten in the same way; it is found only at high altitudes (1000 to 1600 m) and in fallow sites, and is called pentaramia (πενταράμια) or agrioradiko (αγριοράδικο).
The flower petals, along with other ingredients, usually including citrus, are used to make dandelion wine. The ground, roasted roots can be used as a caffeine-free dandelion coffee. Dandelion was also traditionally used to make the traditional British soft drink dandelion and burdock, and is one of the ingredients of root beer. Also, dandelions were once delicacies eaten by the Victorian gentry, mostly in salads and sandwiches.
Dandelion leaves contain abundant vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A, C, and K, and are good sources of calcium, potassium, iron, and manganese.
Medicinal use medicinal properties of dandelion
Historically, dandelion was prized for a variety of medicinal properties, and it contains a number of pharmacologically active compounds. Dandelion is used as a herbal remedy in Europe, North America, and China. It has been used in herbal medicine to treat infections, bile and liver problems and as a diuretic.
Garden angelica wild celery
Angelica archangelica, commonly known as garden angelica, wild celery, and Norwegian angelica, is a biennial plant from the Apiaceae family, a subspecies of which is cultivated for its sweetly scented edible stems and roots. Like several other species in Apiaceae, its appearance is similar to several poisonous species (Conium, Heracleum, and others), and should not be consumed unless it has been identified with absolute certainty. Synonyms include Archangelica officinalis Hoffm., and Archangelica officinalis var. himalaica C.B.Clarke.
During its first year it grows only leaves, but, during its second year, its fluted stem can reach a height of 2.5 meters (just over 8 feet), from that stem the root is known as ginger. Its leaves comprise numerous small leaflets divided into three principal groups, each of which is again subdivided into three lesser groups. The edges of the leaflets are finely toothed or serrated. The flowers, which blossom in July, are small and numerous, yellowish or greenish, are grouped into large, globular umbels which bear pale yellow, oblong fruits. Angelica grows only in damp soil, preferably near rivers or deposits of water.
Angelica archangelica grows wild in Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland, mostly in the northern parts of the countries. It is cultivated in France, mainly in the Marais Poitevin, a marsh region close to Niort in the department Deux-Sèvres. It also grows in certain regions in Germany like the Harz mountains, in certain regions of Romania, like the Rodna Mountains, in hilly and coastal regions of Poland and some South East Asian countries like Thailand.
From the 10th century on, angelica was cultivated as a vegetable and medicinal plant, and achieved popularity in Scandinavia in the 12th century and is still used today, especially in Sami culture. Angelica is a shamanic medicine among the Saami or Laplanders.
A flute-like instrument with a clarinet-like sound can be made of its hollow stem. Linnaeus reported that Sami peoples used it in reindeer milk, as it is often used as a flavouring agent.
In 1602, angelica was introduced in Niort, which had just been ravaged by the plague.[dubious – discuss] It is used to flavour liqueurs or aquavits, (e.g., Chartreuse, Bénédictine, Vermouth, and Dubonnet), omelettes and trout, and as jam. The long bright-green stems are also candied and used as decoration.
Angelica is unique amongst the Umbelliferae for its pervading aromatic odour, a pleasant perfume entirely different from fennel, parsley, anise, caraway, or chervil. It has been compared to musk and to juniper. Even the roots are fragrant, and form one of the principal aromatics of European growth – the other parts of the plant have the same flavour, but their active principles are considered more perishable.
The fruits are tiny mericarps and are used in the production of absinthe and other alcoholic drinks. Seeds of a Persian spice plant known as Golpar (Heracleum persicum) are often labeled as “angelica seeds”.
Angelica archangelica roots have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally as tea or tincture for treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, nervous system, and also against fever, infections, and flu.
John Gerard’s Herball praises the plant and states that “it cureth the bitings of mad dogs and all other venomous beasts.
Archangelica comes from the Greek word “arkhangelos” (=arch-angel), due to the myth that it was the archangel Michael who told of its use as medicine.
In Finnish it is called väinönputki, in Kalaallisut kuanneq, in Northern Sami fádnu, boska and rássi, in English garden angelica, in German Arznei-Engelwurz or Echte Engelwurz, in Dutch grote engelwortel, in French angélique, in Persian Sonbol-e Khatāyi سنبل خطایی, in Swedish kvanne, in Norwegian kvann, in Danish kvan, in Icelandic hvönn, in Polish arcydziegiel, angelika, dzięgiel lekarski, dzięgiel wielki, anielskie ziele, archangielski korzeń, anielski korzeń, and in Faroese it has the name hvonn.
Cladonia rangiferina, also known as reindeer lichen (c.p. Sw. renlav), lat., is a light-colored, fruticose lichen belonging to the Cladoniaceae family. It grows in both hot and cold climates in well-drained, open environments. Found primarily in areas of alpine tundra, it is extremely cold-hardy.
Other common names include reindeer moss and caribou moss, but these names may be misleading since it is not a moss. As the common names suggest, reindeer lichen is an important food for reindeer (caribou), and has economic importance as a result. Synonyms include Cladina rangiferina and Lichen rangiferinus.
Reindeer lichen, like many lichens, is slow growing (3–11 mm per year) and may take decades to return once overgrazed, burned, trampled, or otherwise consumed.
A similar-looking species also known by the common name Reindeer lichen is Cladonia portentosa.
Thalli are fruticose, and extensively branched, with each branch usually dividing into three or four (sometimes two); the thicker branches are typically 1–1.5 mm in diameter. The color is grayish, whitish or brownish grey. C. rangiferina forms extensive mats up to 10 cm tall. The branching is at a smaller angle than that of Cladonia portentosa. It lacks a well-defined cortex (a protective layer covering the thallus, analogous to the epidermis in plants), but rather, a loose layer of hyphae cover the photobionts. The photobiont associated with the reindeer lichen is Trebouxia irregularis. It grows on humus, or on soil over rock. it also grows mostly in taiga and the tundra.
Habitat and conservation
Cladonia rangiferina often dominates the ground in boreal pine forests and open, low-alpine sites in a wide range of habitats, from humid, open forests, rocks and heaths. A specific biome in which this lichen is represented is the Boreal forests of Canada.
In certain parts of its range this lichen is a threatened species. For example in the British Duchy of Cornwall it is protected under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
This lichen can be used in the making of aquavit, and is sometimes used as decoration in glass windows. The lichen is used as a traditional remedy for removal of kidney stones by the Monpa in the alpine regions of the West Kameng district of Eastern Himalaya. The Inland Dena’ina used reindeer lichen for food by crushing the dry lichen and then boiling it or soaking it in hot water until it becomes soft. They eat it plain or, preferably, mixed with berries, fish eggs, or lard. The Inland Dena’ina also boil reindeer lichen and drink the juice as a medicine for diarrhea. Due to acids present in lichens, their consumption may cause an upset stomach, especially if not well cooked.
A study released in May 2011 claims that some species of Lichens including the Cladonia Rangiferina are able to degrade the deadly prion implicated in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) through the enzyme serine protease.