You can eat day lilies in a pinch! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From Euell Gibbons' Stalking the Wild Asparagus, David McKay Company, New York, 1962 (no ISBN).

". . . Gather the unopened flower buds when they are nearly full-sized, boil only a few minutes, then butter, season and serve like green beans. . . dip the buds, or even the opened blossoms, in a rich egg batter, then quickly fry in very hot fat to a golden brown. . . . Buds and flowers can be added during the last few minutes of cooking to soups and stews. Like okra, they impart a desirable gelatinous quality and the flavor is delightful. . . . The closed and withered blooms of yesterday. . . are good for food too. . . soups and stews. The Oriental . . . also dries large quantities for out of season use.

The day lily. . . also produces edible tubers underground. . . freed of connecting rhizomes and tiny feeder roots, washed and boiled in salted water for about fifteen minutes, they have the sweetness and texture of whole-grain sweet corn and a mild and delicious flavor all their own. They can be dug any time of the year when the ground is not frozen. The older tubers become soft and inedible so use only those which are firm. . . .

In the spring, long before the bloom stalks appear, the sprouting stalks of day lilies are edible. Cut just above the roots and, the larger leaves removed, the tender inner portions of the stalk can be sliced into a tossed salad or cooked like asparagus. . . ."

Edited and typed by

-- Old Git (, March 20, 1999


Old Git,

Great reference. Thanks,

-- Watchful (, March 20, 1999.

Another edible flower is the marigold. Not only is it usable as a colorful salad addition, it works to lower ones blood pressure.

If used for this purpose, it is suggested that a tea be made for drinking.


-- Floyd Baker (, March 20, 1999.

I understand ol' Euell died after mistaking some poison hemlock for watercress. Not a figure I wish to emulate, thanks.

-- sparks (, March 21, 1999.

I heard that dandelion greens are edible, if prepared correctly.

-- Tim (, March 21, 1999.

All parts of the nasturtium are edible. The leaves and flowers are excellent in saladd. Leaves are peppery and radishy in flavor. The flowers are less so but colorful. I plant some in a planter on my deck every summer and pinch some off for salads. Best of all, no bugs around here, except the slugs, like nasturtiums much.

-- Ramp Rat (Aviation_R_us@noname.nocity), March 21, 1999.

Old Git....

great thread!

there is a whole grocery store/ pharmacy out there if you know what you're doing

a good reference book is:

"Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants" by Steve Brill (ISBN:0-688-11425-3)

loads of good info and illustrations

this kinda book could save your life if you have to cut and run......

take time to learn now before you have to take chances and end up like sparks mentioned

-- andrea (, March 21, 1999.

Sparks, I don't think Gibbons died as you heard--that could well be an urban legend. A photo of poison hemlock can be see at

and it looks nothing like water cress. The immediately obvious difference is in height--hemlock grows to over 6', whilst water cress is a low plant, maybe 6" tall at best. The leaves and style of growing are also completely different on the two plants.

I couldn't find a cause of death for Gibbons but I did trip over this great site on how to make wine from wild plants:

-- Old Git (, March 21, 1999.

Lots of flowers are edible. Check out
Cook's Thesaurus for more info on this subject. Bobbi

-- Bobbi (, March 21, 1999.

Old Git,

Just spent yesterday at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. (Refreshing change).

Went to some lectures on Farmers Markets and how to grow vegies from seed. One of the presenters, Renee Shepherd, used to own Shepherds Garden Seeds (good print catalog you may want to order)...

She sold that and now has Renees Garden Seeds (organic, heirloom, sells at orchard Hardware Supply, etc., no web-site yet ... phone: 888-880-7228). She HIGHLY recommended ... The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasy. Its out-of-print at Amazon, but it looks like they can still find copies ... obidos/ASIN/051742472X/qid%3D922038428/002-6206835-8453850

Tucked in among one of the many elaborate garden displays, was a little plot with edible plants & herbs from a local arboretum. They had a double-sided handout on edible plants from around the world. They refer to the term as Ethnobotany for Dinner.

Time to prep for the spring garden.

Mixed flowers and vegies anyone?


-- Diane J. Squire (, March 21, 1999.

Yup, got that catalogue, thanks, Diane! There's a very good book out about herbs/edible plants by a Dr. ? Stuart from Cambridge, ethnobotanist. Has very clear photographs or, in a few cases, careful drawings. Wish I could give more details but it's among that part (BIG part!) of our clutter in the storage thingie, keeping things uncluttered to try and sell the house. I'll be typing up other stuff from Gibbons' book when I get the time.

-- Old Git (, March 21, 1999.

Lot of plants and flowers we don't usually think of are edible. E.g., roses. So, after next valentines, don't toss the bouquet, eat it.

-- a (, March 21, 1999.

Euell Gibbons died of stomach cancer. I spent an enjoyable day foraging with a young man who interviewed his wife for a book.

Cattails are an excellent source of food. Roots can make flour, growth spikes used as *potatoes*, new stalks cooked or eaten raw, flowers boiled and eaten like corn on the cob, and pollen used as a flour extender.

Good books in my personal library (many on their 2nd or more copy, field use is hard on books....)

Peterson's "A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants", mainly midwest and northeast. Photos and black and white drawings

Peterson's "A Field Guide to Wildflowers", mainly midwest and northeast. A good companion to the first. Color and black and white drawings

Peterson's "Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants"

Gibbon's "Stalking the Wild Asparagus", "Stalking the Healthful Herbs", and Stalking the Blue Eyed Scallop"

"Edible Wild Plants", An Outdoor Life Book nice illustrations

"Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie" an ethnobotanical guide by Kelly Kindscher University Press of Kansas

"Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Great Lakes Region" Thomas Naegele black and white line drawings

Peterson's "Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants of North America" Photos, black and white line drawings

Peterson's "Mushrooms of North America" 100% color illistrations.

Orson Miller's "Mushrooms of North America" 100% Photos

Audubon Society's "Field Guide to North American Mushrooms" 100% Photos

Peterson's "Eastern Trees" 100% color drawings with range maps

"Survival Skills of the North American Indians", Peter Goodchild Very interesting and useful, no plant pictures.

For those of you who live near the ocean, I like the following:

The Audubon Society "Field Guide to North American Seashore Creatures" LOTS of things that wiggle, squirm and swim are edible. In fact, most are.

The Audubon Society's "Atlantic and Gulf Coast Field Guide"

285 Days

Waste anything but time...

-- Jon Williamson (, March 21, 1999.

Old Git,

Thanks for the tid bit. Day Lillies grow like weeds too! Very hardy.

-- Deborah (, March 21, 1999.

Definitely get the field guides and be very careful if you intend to do this. The time to start learning is now, not when you're hungry. Stick with plants that don't have poisonous lookalikes. Hemlock, by the way, may not look much like watercress, but it does look pretty similar to wild carrot (Queen Anne's Lace). Some other well-known edibles have nasty lookalikes too.

On the other hand, I expect you all are very familiar with dandelions. And pine needles steeped for tea are an excellent source of vitamin C and A.

Peterson's guides are good, and so is Brill's book. According to Tom Brown, there are also half a dozen edible plant books common in bookstores which will kill you.

-- Shimrod (, March 22, 1999.

Euell Gibbons died of stomach cancer? I wonder what he ate.

-- Floyd Baker (, March 23, 1999.

May not have been what he ate. For example, New Orleans has about the highest rate of stomach cancer anywhere--it's attributed to the drinking water (by many authorities, green and otherwise).

-- Old Git (, March 23, 1999.

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