Monday, June 28, 2010

Having Your Wildflowers - And Eating Them Too!

We are in the peak of the daylily season, a native of Asia that  stormed across the countryside adding brillilant splashes of orange to rural roads, meadows and wet ditches.  This is one alien invader, an invasive species no one battles and most love. And some of that love is directed to your taste buds.  I've been munching and grazing on 'wild' daylilies ever since I was a camp naturalist back in Western N.Y. during summers in my college years.  And more than a few eyebrows were raised as kids on my nature walks came back munching on flower petals. Now that I write for newspapers and know the dreaded word LAWYER, here is my disclamier: The plant is considered an edible plant but I have no idea what your stomach will think about it, so I'm just telling you what I do, not what you should do.  But ask your grandparents about them: I bet they ate them too! The name daylilies is self-evident: each blossom lasts but a day.  I eat fresh petals raw or toss them into a salad. I'll take closed buds and fry'em up like fritters, and when camping I have dug the rhizomes and cooked them like a potato. Bottom line: all parts of this wondrous plant are edible; raw or cooked. So be bold  if you so choose and eat these tasty aliens: Eat'em raw, steam them, stir-fry them, boil them or just smile at this orange flowering escapee that has been here since other foreign invaders (American settlers) trekked across the land with their tuber-like roots that were easy to transport across the sea and  even easier to transplant. I think the tubers taste best in fall --not sure why. But watch where you pick!  Some roadsides are bathed in chemicals from "weed control" operations and others hold toxic lawn chemical run off.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are on to something. These buds, when dried, are traditionally used in Chinese hot and sour soup.

June 29, 2010 at 11:23 AM 

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