Sunday, April 9, 2017

Common Evening Primrose 

Its April in Wisconsin, prime spring foraging time! I came across at least a half dozen plants that were ready to harvest and they were the mainstays of my evening dinner. One of the most beautiful plants and easy to spot is Common Evening Primrose. The basal rosette with a white stripe up the middle is the first step in identification. If you dig up the root (the edible part) you will see that it is a tap root with a faint spicy scent reminiscent of a radish. There will be a pinkish part at the top of the root as it goes into the plant. 

Collect a bunch of roots and bring back home again.  You can eat the roots raw but I like to eat them boiled and mashed and add a bit of coconut oil added for added flavor. You can mix in some small potatoes to create a better consistency as the primrose doesn't have as much starch and they don't mash as well as a potato. 

This plant is found around grassy, wastelands, alongside roads or bike trails, meadows and on beaches. It is a full sun type of plant. Its a biennial plant so the above photo represents a first year growth or early second year growth. The second year it grows a tall stalk. 

This plant is great medicine and food. It contains protein, carbs, beta carotene, calcium, potassium and vitamin B3. Native americans made a poultice of this plant to help with bruises and the cherokee used the root in a tea to loose weight.