As spring weather moves in, you may notice several weeds sprouting up on your lawn. But did you know that many of these weeds are edible? Yes, you may be able to repurpose those pesky weeds for your own culinary purposes. Besides often adding a fun, natural flavor to meals, these edible weeds can often offer several health benefits. If you are looking to find new, naturally healthy ways to spice up your family meals, consider looking at your lawn’s spring weeds. The following four weeds are all edible and are common in Maryland lawns.
Wild Violet Flowers
These are abundant at this time of year and are hard to miss with their vibrant purple coloring. The leaves and flowers are high in Vitamin C and a remedy for coughs, fevers, and lung ailments such as bronchitis. Adding a sprinkle of wild violet blossoms to a salad can increase the flavor and appearance of your traditional healthy meal. Violets can also be turned into a poultice, compress, infused oil, or salve for dry skin, abrasions, eczema, and more. It is cooling, soothing, and anti-inflammatory.
Chickweed is one of the edible weeds that is growing abundantly right now and can be spotted by its delicate white flowers with five divided petals. Chickweed is rich in Vitamin C as well as several vital nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and more. This weed is also a digestive aid and helps reduce fever and heal wounds! When the weed is young, you can use fresh leaves, stems, and flowers in a salad or juice. Fresh-crushed leaves can also be used as a poultice for bruising, cuts, burns, insect bites, and other skin irritations, which is very useful if you have kids who like to play outside.
Perhaps the most well-known of the edible weeds, dandelions are growing abundantly now, and they are easy to notice. This bright-yellow weed can be difficult to eradicate but is very easy to harvest for more beneficial purposes. The leaves, roots, and flowers all have edible in addition to their medicinal purposes. The easiest way to use the dandelion weed is by plucking the small leaves found at the center of a dandelion clump, which are most tender and least bitter, chop them finely and sprinkle them into salads, where they will add a touch of tangy flavor. The yellow leaves can also make an excellent garnish.
Purslane is commonly found during the summer in Maryland but has one of the highest antioxidant levels of these edible weeds. Purslane is high on the omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect the heart and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. This weed also contains dopamine, noradrenaline, iron, potassium, and more! It makes an excellent salad herb as well as a great addition to raw soups like gazpacho, or as a substitute for okra. Purslane has been used for many medicinal purposes, including improving dry cough, gingivitis, hypertension, sore throat, and more. The weed can also be used as a poultice to help treat bee stings, burns, and boils.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!