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Salad Tree (aka basswood)

 
Adrien Lapointe
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I was reading Samuel Thayer's The Forager's Harvest this past week and he talked about how young Basswood leaves are an amazing wild salad. So today after I was done planting our new swale, I went in the forest and picked some young basswood leaves (Tilia americana) and we had them for dinner. They were really tasty and mild. I.e. suitable for those who don't care for bitter wild salads.

Note: we ate them mixed with dandelion as a side for an oyster mushroom omelette.
 
Meryt Helmer
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Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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very cool! I want to make a list of trees that have yummy leaves! young leaves of the bay laurel tree, very young with a bit of red still taste wonderful! almost like root beer
 
John Saltveit
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There is a related species called Tilia cordata, which I am growing in my garden. Great tasting green leafy vegetables all year. They are available at Burnt Ridge Nursery in Onalaska, WA for about $5. I have no financial relationship with them. It's just a great plant.
John S
PDX OR
 
David Goodman
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It's strange - I've read of many people enjoying the leaves, however our local specimens have very rough, fuzzy leaves even when they're very young and should be tender. Flavor is fine but the texture is almost inedible.

Perhaps I have a different species down here in FL.
 
John Saltveit
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There are many species. I believe that this one comes from Europe. You can also make a cutting out of a young one and make another plant.
John S
PDX OR
 
Alder Burns
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On basswoods it's the young leaves in the spring, and on new shoots, that are good. Fully sized, mature, dark green leaves are going to be tough no matter what the species. The best way would be to have several and then coppice them, so you would always have sprouts with young leaves available.
Basswood (and apparently bay laurel too....hadn't heard of that one before) is one member of a fairly short and fairly important plant list....woody species that bear edible foliage. Sourwood (Oxydendrum) and rose-of-Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) are the first additional ones that come to mind....
 
Meryt Helmer
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Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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mature bay laurel leaves are the bay leaves people use as an herb or spice in cooking. lovely flavor! deer also like them. I learned about from this video

 
John Saltveit
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I am also growing Rose of Sharon Hibiscus Syriacus, for its pretty flowers and edible leaves. A great plant. They are vaguely related to Mallows, which are all edible as well.
Many are great salad perennial plants.
John S
PDX OR
 
Cris Bessette
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Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7A
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John Saltveit wrote:I am also growing Rose of Sharon Hibiscus Syriacus, for its pretty flowers and edible leaves. A great plant. They are vaguely related to Mallows, which are all edible as well.
Many are great salad perennial plants.
John S
PDX OR


Well, I did not know that. I have dozens of Rose of Sharon bushes I could be gnawing on!
 
Jamie Wallace
Posts: 82
Location: Lantzville, Vancouver Island,BC Cool temperate, Lat. 49.245 Zone 8a
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Hi Adrien
Excellent post, thanks. Amazing what we have in our own 'backyard', so to speak. I'm in the pacific northwest, and this year I discovered the joy of Douglas fir needles.
A great tonic if your feeling under the weather...
Douglas fir.jpg
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Douglas fir1.jpg
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John Saltveit
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The Native Americans of our area used to make a drink out of the newer needles of douglas fir and I believe grand fir that was very high in vitamin C in the Spring when not much fruit was available. I've made it several times. It tastes like Christmas! A resort in BC makes a dessert out of it.
John S
PDX OR
 
Adrien Lapointe
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Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
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The new shoots of spruce can be eaten too. I personally like the taste, but most people find them too strong. They are high in vitamin C.
 
Jamie Wallace
Posts: 82
Location: Lantzville, Vancouver Island,BC Cool temperate, Lat. 49.245 Zone 8a
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Hi John
Yes the flavor of douglas fir tea is quite unique...
Very refreshing...
I don't doubt that some culinary artisans have picked up on this...
As a side note the pitch or sap is excellent antiseptic and used for minor cuts or used on sore throats.
 
Jamie Wallace
Posts: 82
Location: Lantzville, Vancouver Island,BC Cool temperate, Lat. 49.245 Zone 8a
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Here is another fun thing we tried....chickweed/snapweed/kale salad....it's excellent. I now wonder why I pull these out and throw them on the compost pile.
Chickweed.jpg
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Gilbert Fritz
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Location: Denver, CO
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Are all Rose of Sharon plants edible? Is there any plants that go under the same name which are not edible?

If you have a moment, could you check out some pictures of mine, of what I think is a linden? I posted them in the tree forum.

Thanks
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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