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Native Edibles: Cooking on the Wild Side

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Presentation on theme: "Native Edibles: Cooking on the Wild Side"— Presentation transcript:

1 Native Edibles: Cooking on the Wild Side
Tamara Walkingstick, Ph.D. UA Division of Agriculture Arkansas Forest Resources Center

2 Introduction Wild Edible Plants What’s Native? Native plants
Non-native Resources

3 Why Wild Edibles? Connects people to the environment
Much more interesting than tree id., esp. for kids Can tie together culture, plant study, & history Also connects w/different audiences including MG’s, kids, older adults, environmentalists, teachers, libraries, schools, etc.

4 Teaches about Trees Tree & Plant Id.
Compound vs. Simple leaf Deciduous vs. Coniferous So Identification is Key!


6 Leaf Arrangement

7 Name that Tree! Alternate Leaf Lobed Leaves No Hairs Fruit is an Acorn
What is it?

8 Name That Tree!!! Opposite Leaves Simple Leaf Fruit is a samara

9 What is a Native Plant? First define “Native”
Some Controversy over definition 1) Anything that’s been here awhile 2) Anything here prior to European settlement Native: “Existing in or belonging to one by nature; Growing, living, or produced originally in a certain place” Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary

10 Why “Native”? More suited to environment
Adapted to soils, temperatures, & rainfall Require less irrigation & fertilization More resistant to insects & diseases Native trees usually not too invasive Conserves native vegetation Planting “native” helps & educates

11 A Few Natives Oaks Hackberry Sassafras Black Walnut Hickory Persimmon
Eastern Redbud Paw Paw Honeylocust Pines Elderberry Sumac Jerusalem Artichoke Pokeweed Sunflower Spiderwort Prickly Pear Spider-Flower Greenbrier Yucca Sweet Goldenrod Violets May Apple Others

12 Oaks: Quercus sps. Several Species Size varies by Sps. (75 – 100 Ft)
Two families: white & red All are edible but White oak is better Good Shade Fall Color Relatively fast growing Very adaptable Acorns are edible

13 Hackberry: Celtis occidentalis
Rapid growth Medium sized: 40 to 60 ft. Very adaptable Drought, wind, & pollution tolerant Berries are edible in Fall Use berries to make syrup, pemmican, etc

14 Sassafras: Sassafras albidum
Moderate to rapid growth Good fall color Medium sized: 60 – 80 ft. Interesting leaves Wildlife attractant Roots & leaves for tea & spice 1st crop of colonies Used medicinally

15 Black Walnut Juglans nigra
Valuable wood Likes deep soil Large, difficult to crack nuts Alleopathic Hulls used for dye & “fishing”

16 Hickory: Carya sps. Several species Member of the Walnut family
Very tasty nuts Very difficult to crack Important for many SE tribes Used just like a pecan Avoid Bitternut Hickory

17 Eastern Redbud: Cercis canadensis
Widely spread Purple-pink flowers Use flowers in salads Can use green seed pods as a veggie Twigs used to make baskets

18 PawPaw: Asimina triloba
Prefers moist sites Good butterfly tree Interesting fruit “Vanishing” native Fruit can be used in ice cream, bread, jam, popsicles Taste like a banana sort of…

19 Honeylocust: Gleditsia triacanthos var.
Thornless cultivars available Sturdy, withstands bad conditions Fruit pod has sticky substance inside Can be used to make a drink Used to make beer in 1600’s

20 Pines Pinus Species Native to Arkansas All have edible nuts
Shortleaf Pine Loblolly Pine All have edible nuts Best are Pinon, Digger, & Sugar Pines Large, fast growing Young growth can be used as a “tea”

21 Common Persimmon Diospyros virginiana
Name means “fruit of the Gods” One of best wild fruits – when ripe Invades pastures Need male & female trees Important wildlife food

22 Elderberry: Sambucus canadensis
Rich, Moist site Shrubby Opposite, compound leaves Deep Purple fruit Can be mistaken with water hemlock Makes good jelly, fritters, and wine

23 Pokeweed: Phytolacca americana
Woodland margins Disturbed sites Used as food, medicine, ink, dye Toxic but can eat it Indians introduced it to colonists Prevented scurvy

24 Sumac: Rhus sps. Common on roadsides, pastures, fence rows
Several species are edible: Smooth, Staghorn, Aromatic: all have red berries Poison sumac and ivy have WHTIE berries Make lemonade of berries

25 Sunflower: Helianthus annuus
Domesticated by Indians Cultivated for over 3,000 years Increased seed size by 1,000% Part of belief system of several tribes © James L. Reveal USDA, NRCS

26 Jerusalem Artichoke: (Helianthus tuberosus L.
Same family as sunflower Large, edible knobby root Can grow to 12 feet tall Grows aggressively Cultivated by Native Americans Dig roots in winter or early Spring Use like potato: raw can create tummy upset

27 Spiderwort: Tradescantia occidentalis
Roadsides: sandy soil Perennial to about 20 inches tall Used as food by Cherokees Young stems and leaves as pot herb Flowers in salads Flowers in early summer © William S. Justice

28 Spider-Flower: Cleome serrulata
Nice crown shape Somewhat invasive Attracts butterflies Young plant used as food Seed can be used Plant boiled to make paint

29 Prickly Pear: Opuntia phaeacantha
Rocky or Sandy soils Showy Flowers Fruit & pads are edible Plant can be invasive Good for droughty areas & soils Native to Arkansas

30 Greenbrier: Smilax sps.
Common “weed” of woodlands, roadside, clearings, fields Native to Arkansas Can be very invasive Young tendrils and shoots are edible…tastes like asparagus Best served raw

31 Yucca: Yucca arkansana
Native to central South US & AR Usually dry, sandy soils Has been planted a lot Young flower stalks, flowers & buds Fibers used as well for weaving Leaves for soap

32 Sweet Goldenrod: Solidago odora
Fall blooming perennial Grows in E. US on sandy soils Leaves have licorice odor & taste Use as tea & as a dye Used as substitute for tea during Amer. Revolution

33 Violets: Viola species
Edges of Woods, rich soils, meadows, roadsides Blooms in early Spring Leaves heart-shaped Edible flowers are the blue flowered variety Leaves & flowers edible

34 May Apple: Podophyllum peltatum
Rich deciduous woods, moist shaded roadsides Occurs in large colonies Plant is toxic except for RIPE fruit Takes 7 years to produce a single fruit Used medicinally Photo by Dave Schilling

35 Other Edible Plants NATIVE Sheep Sorrel Ostrich fern Bee Balm
Jewel weed Spring beauty Water cress May Pop New Jersey Tea NON-NATIVE Dandelion Sour Dock Lamb’s Quarters Evening Primrose Henbit Pigweed Kudzu Day Lily

36 Resources Lots of books On-line resources
Best to start with identification Check several sources Be 100% certain of your id & that it is edible Try different recipes Common question: can I buy this in stores Answer: not usually. That’s the point. Get out there & forage

37 Summary Native trees & plants have a great natural history
Even “weeds” can have value Know your plants before you try any edible Thank you to Billy Joe Tatum and others

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