Ground Elder was once intoduced here by the Romans, to supply their soldiers with fresh vegetables along the roadside. Then add the nettle tops and fry for 5 minutes or so, followed by the ground elder stems and another 5 minutes frying. In Colorado, lots of invasive plants barely hang in there, but what did it in was my mulching-in-place; ie. CAUTION : In North America, deadly Water Hemlocks(Cicuta spp.) I have got a 2 meter by 3 meter shady moist patch. They look so tasty too. A vegetable that invented the slogan ‘all you can eat’. This species is native to Eurasia, and has been introduced aroun… Ground elder often forms dense stands which exclude all other plants. Problem is - alot of it is intertwined with the snowdrops and stuff which I don't want to dig up at the moment but I expect that it's going to be inevitable eventually. ( Log Out /  Once Ground Elder flowers it becomes a mild laxative, a diuretic and a soporific so it is best not eaten once the flowers appear or one could fall asleep and wake up in all sorts of trouble! After this the taste becomes less pleasant and have occasionally been reported to have a mild … Maybe not for everyone, but I like it. Appreciate all the comments, been trying to get around to cking up on ground elder. In my garden (based on very sandy subsoil that once was a pine forest) it seems to prefer sticking to spots that either got the original soil switched out a foot deep with compost (e.g. The complexity of flavor has me preferring it to spinach for cooked dishes most the time! Maybe I have that “variegated” variant, but mine really doesn’t spread that badly. One option is to grow ground elder in a ‘thug bed’ with other strong growers such as wild garlic. It might be interesting to try the seeds since the seeds of many related plants are used as spices, but I never have. The pictures are very helpful and make me realize that I’ve been letting mine mature too much before picking and cooking. This invasive weed has been the scourge of gardeners for generations. If you have ground elder in your garden, invited or uninvited, it is very important not to put fragments of it into your compost as this will spread it into other areas. It’s a pity – they could make a sort of vegetable spaghetti . What did the Romans ever do for us? I’m not keen on it raw either, but I’ve never noticed any fuzziness. Some plants are poisonous to chickens although fortunately they are quite savvy about what not to eat and it is very rare for a chicken to eat poisonous plants due to their bitter taste. The plant was used mainly as a food that could counteract gout, one of the effects of the rich foods eaten by monks, bishops etc at this time. At this stage they have a glossy, translucent green colour that helps you to pick them out. Sauté a finely chopped onion in a generous knob of butter until softened, add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir well. For keeping intestinal problems at check, you can depend on this vegetable. I’ve never tried cooking it, but will give it a go! Ground-elder was probably introduced into the UK from continental Europe in Roman times for use as a medicinal and culinary herb; it soon became established as a pernicious weed of gardens, shady areas and cultivated ground. Well, they introduced ground elder…. In spring I make one that I call Strong Salad. Thank you for sharing. Always make 100% sure your identification is correct. I have a ‘toxics’ compost bin where persistent weeds like docks and ground elder and potential disease spreaders like potato haulms go for extended treatment. Characterised by apple-green, lobed leaves and flat heads of cream-white flowers in summer, ground elder spreads rapidly. dark humor -expecting to make it that far and only can get to where I can walk to for a long time to come. Gone. As far as a pot herb goes, the leaves are papery and perfumed with a hint of lemon. You could possibly even manage it gently for greater production. You kill ground elder by either smothering the area for over a year under a black tarp, or steadily weeding ALL the shoots as they come up, thus depriving the roots of photosynthetic nourishment. Raking dead leaves 5″ deep over the beds every fall. The result is usually not good. Mine is starting to flower…are the flowers or seeds edible? When I moved into my wife’s place she had a huge plot of ground elder. I quite like ground elder, tastewise anyway. Then add the cream and a little water, a teaspoon of bouillon or other stock powder and fresh, finely-chopped herbs such as parsley, wild celery, Scots lovage and sweet cicely. Ground elder has certainly spread considerably since the Romans were here so probably not, but it’s a nice idea. Find ground elder on. In existing flowerbeds, the best way to eradicate ground elder is to dig up all the plants and wash their roots to tease out the cream-white roots of ground elder. Ground elder does not deal well with poor soil. Enjoyed reading this post and its associated comments. , Oak – A Foraging Guide to Its Food, Medicine and Other Uses, Fat Hen – A Foraging Guide to Its Food, Medicine and Other Uses. It’s a shame that this puts so many people off, because, picked and prepared properly, ground elder is actually very nice indeed. Honestly, chickweed spreads much more easily, and dandelion roots or virginia creeper vines take far longer to die in the compost. It is a perennial, so doesn't die over winter and mainly spreads by rhizomes, although it does seed. 4. Organic methods of dealing with ground elder. The area that I harvest, and where the plants actually bloom, has a drainpipe lying alongside it that’s connected to a roof downspout, so it’s almost always well-watered. It is the petiole or leaf stem more than the leaves themselves that constitute the vegetable, so pick them off as low down as you can manage. Add the linguine and stir. But despite not mowing, it doesn’t really manage to grow any taller than clover among the grass, so it doesn’t bother me. If foraging isn’t an option, or you’re feeling particularly brave, and you want to give growing it a try, you will have to bring in the big guns in terms of containment. Should she try again … Interesting. That said, my ground elder looks a bit different than yours, at least compared to the picture in the end. If you have a patch of Ground Elder keep cutting it back and young fresh leaves will grow back in no time. And I do not specially hot compost the roots and seeds or anything. 10-20 ground elder shoots Ground elder is rife on my allotment plot and elsewhere and I was weeding the heads yesterday as a priority, so they wouldn’t set seed. garlic Cow parsley has very smooth clean green stems, where-as ground elder has stems which have purple stains and hairs on them. There is a good article that shows the difference in a recent issue of Guinea Pig magazine. 1st time messing around with cough drops eventually turned out OK (inc dried marshmallow root and licorice root, sorry no Latin today, loosing the sun shine. Be careful when foraging for ground elder in the wild (or more likely, in a park or cloister ruin): the other plants in the same family are highly poisonous. I’ve only ever foraged it and never had it anywhere I’ve gardened though, which would probably give me a different opinion of it! Prevention is far easier than cure. The result is usually not good. Try to prepare your Ground elder recipe with EAT SMARTER! Many people will have read that ground elder is edible and nibbled a leaf speculatively, perhaps wondering whether they could eat the damn thing into submission. Ground elder, also known as Bishop’s weed and goutweed, is one of the first abundant edible greens that appear in springtime. Yeah, no kidding. Cook gently for a couple more minutes and serve. 6. Mine doesn’t have white patches on the leaves. Ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria) is one of those plants in my garden that I’m almost afraid to call a weed.If I do, I would have to commit to trying to eradicate it, and that’s not happening without a total topsoil transplant. Change ). hello from 9 miles by the way the crow flies from Stonehenge. I suspect it would spread quite happily by seed but I have never given it the chance – fortunately the flower shoots are just as nice to eat as the leaf shoots! The trick to ground elder is to pick only the youngest, freshest leaf shoots – before the leaf has even unfolded. I have ground elder in my garden, did the Romans plant it here? Either stir-fried like spinach, or in small amounts in root vegetale stew or to season potato mash in early spring, when the parsley isn’t growing much yet. One plant is enough to create such complete shade with its densely-packed leaves that no other shoots can grow, but ground elder perhaps also employs chemical warfare against any potential competitors: many plants secrete allelopathic substances which inhibit the growth of other plants. There is evidence of some of kind ancient road nearby – a pair of ditches (crop marks) can be seen from Google Earth. After eating you feel fortified. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Removing the flowers won’t have much effect on the quality of the leaves but cutting the whole lot down around the time they start to flower is a good way to get a flush of new, fresh leaf stems. Hi Vivi. 1 tsp stock powder It may take several seasons until the ground elder is completely destroyed. The bed has to be bordered on all sides by GE-proof barriers, which is to say short mown grass, paving without lots of cracks or a woodchip path that is hoed regularly. It spreads by underground rhizomes – white root-like stems that produce new plants at every opportunity. anything might become useful, esp if it is Green! Yes, you can. The ground elder can now be evicted by digging, or by covering the ground with black polythene to starve the weed of light. Modern herbals still recommend ground elder as a treatment for gout, sciatica, rheumatism, haemorrhoids, inflammation, and water retention. a few mushrooms, finely chopped What about the ground elder roots? Ground Elder. Even in more complicated dishes, frying is a good way of bringing out its flavour – as in this recipe. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209592584870967&set=a.1221575499037.34018.1218439324&type=3&theater. All these barriers should be a metre or more wide as the runners can go a good distance underground. For the rest, use the biggest frying pan you can find as you want to fry rather than steam the ingredients. Pernicious pasta (1 serving) Just found this growing in my side alley picked some young stems tried it just as it was it was delicious sort of very slight aniseed cross celery flavour can’t believe I’ve had it twenty years never tried it. 50-100 ml double cream hummmm, first time here…. We’ve been enjoying fresh raw ground elder shoots in our salads for the last couple of weeks. Just one digging session will not eradicate all the roots and rhizomes. One big question remains though: does it taste any good? Ground elder is edible but I have to confess, I’ve never tried it. Ground elder is very similar to Cow parsley, which IS safe for piggies. The Romans introduced it to Britain and cultivated it as as a salad crop. It's an almost ineradicable weed, laughing off regular weeding, hoeing, often surviving glyphosate unless it's applied carefully. Add the garlic (if using wild garlic, chop in near the end) and mushrooms (ideally shiitake, otherwise cultivated) and fry for a couple of minutes more. Love your website B.T.W. Many people will have read that ground elder is edible and nibbled a leaf speculatively, perhaps wondering whether they could eat the damn thing into submission. You could also eat the ground elder into submission – the first flush of green in spring tastes rather good. They were in partial shade in heavy clay under and around a lilac. 3. It needs moist, humous-rich soil, which is why you’ll have more luck looking for it in a park or where the garden of a cloister once was, than in some random meadow. To many gardeners, this one fact alone is probably enough to condemn the entire 400-year Roman occupation of southern Britain out of hand. but concentrates for later my usual cough syrup got frozen. This is an excellent vegetable and eating the leaves is a nice way to keep the ground elder under control in your garden. I’m just looking for information, if I can use it in the same way as regular ground elder. Ground elder is best eaten between February and June when it flowers. Established flowerbeds, freshly dug soil, cracks in paving, lawns. At that point, the taste changes and they also start to work as a laxative. Will try this one out. ( Log Out /  Uses Edible Uses. All this adds up to a plant that is considered by most gardeners to be one of the worst weeds that there is. We can eat it. Likely in ice cube trays for sm amount to add to things this Covid winter. List of various diseases cured by Ground Elder. ( Log Out /  Ground elder is the only plant in the family with a triangular stem. The white patches are the variegation. Ah, ground elder. I’ve also found that it’s one of the few things that will grow under a walnut tree – in case someone wants to know. ‘The Romans favoured ground elder as a pot herb and medicinal plant.’ Photograph: Alamy. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209592584870967&set=a.1221575499037.34018.1218439324&type=3&theater. Many plants are edible, some of which might be surprising. No excuses now! My mother says that’s how she cleaned the bed that originally was infested, though. Awesome cooked, though – freezes well after you blanch and drain it, too! Killed my mint, too. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. I’ve read that ground eld doesn’t like the full sunlight – maybe that’s why. The bed should be in fairly deep shade under a tree or wall. Thanks for all this info! Ground Elder is a popular foraged leaf in Scandinavian countries and in ancient times was planted by the Romans as a ready crop for the marching soldiers. You want to cut the whole stand down as soon as it starts to flower, both to encourage new shoot production and to prevent seeding, so you can’t mix it in with anything that won’t take being cut down in late spring. 1. The Romans continued their travels, but ground elder stayed. Ground elder was once used as a medicinal plant for various ailments, but its primary purpose was as a cure for gout and to relieve pain and swelling. The variegated variety tastes just the same as the regular form to me. The name "ground elder" comes from the superficial similarity of its leaves and flowers to those of elder (Sambucus), which is unrelated. 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