Identify Wintercress & Creasy Greens: A Guide to Barbarea

Wintercress is a wild plant that is popular throughout the globe as a late winter/early spring wild edible. It has four petaled yellow flowers and alternating leaves that can take on various shapes. The leaves can be lance shaped with sharply toothed margins, rounded with various small lobes running down the leaf stem, or a mixture of the two. The stem is very stiff and almost feels and looks square with distinct grooves running vertically through it.

Foraging for Wintercress is easy and can be done in late winter and early spring. The leaves are best boiled but can be eaten raw in moderation. The flowerbuds can also be boiled for a few minutes and served like broccoli. This plant grows all across the United States and can be found in fields, meadows, and along roadsides.

Wintercress is an excellent wild edible that is easy to identify and has many uses. It is a great addition to any wild edible forager’s repertoire and can provide a tasty addition to any meal. It is also a great way to get some extra nutrition into your diet during the winter months when fresh fruits and vegetables are harder to come by. So go out and give Wintercress a try!

Written by Keith Jacobs

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