Hi Aaron. Thanks. I ate a leaf this morning to better answer you. No noticeable smell and the taste was mild. The leaves were quite tender. I'll try again later in the year to see how much it might change. I'd really love to pin down it's species identity!
Never consume a plant without identifying it. For example we have death camas here which resembles wild onions, and horse nettle which resemble little tomatoes. Both can kill you. A garden can have a lot of deadly weeds or volunteers.
For help identifying it check with you local extension to be sure.
Thank you Kevin...I mainly agree, which is why I am very hopeful that someone can help me with this. I received this plant with a name from another permie who has eaten it and had received it from another who was eating it. Having said that, I still followed the basic rules of trying a new plant. Mainly just a very conservative tasting relying on observation during and after the consumption. I would not have done this if I had not known that others had been consuming it and finding it to be a useful and nice tasting edible. I just am not certain of the species ID and was hoping that someone in this crowd could nail that down. It appears to have a lot going for it and so I'm really hoping for a positive ID to the species level before making it a meaningful part of my diet. If no one is able to help solve this mystery I will just continue to try and get to the ID by growing out plants to compare it to for confirmation before letting it spread too far and sharing it with others. I just figured with all the plant lovers here someone would say....oh, that's blah blah blah....still hoping it could be that easy :)
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I often taste unknown plants. It's a perfectly natural way of evaluating the world.
I apologize for the late response. I assume the badlands are out West. In the region you live there may be very few toxic plants, but for example in Kentucky where I live there are numerous highly toxic species you can run into. So as a fellow forager myself, respectfully I say it is highly unwise.
I'm fairly certain that I have a species of valerian on my hands, but I'm still not sure of the species ID. Anyone good with valerians? Here's a photo of it in flower. I missed getting a photo of it after flowering when it gets feathery features to disperse seeds.