Last spring, I posted an article with pictures of all the wildflowers I found in my yard. (See “Wildflowers or Weeds.”) Some would call them weeds, but I find most of them quite acceptable in my yard. This spring, I was enjoying many of these same flowers when I noticed a few new ones. Well, new to me, at least. So, here is a “part two” of my yard’s wildflowers. (The picture above is a blue-eyed grass flower.)
I’ve had this plant in my yard since I moved here, but I didn’t know what it was until recently. What helped me identify it was its flower. I had not seen it bloom until this year – when I waited longer than usual for the first spring mowing. It’s actually quite pretty when flowering.
At my last meeting of the South Carolina Herbal Society, I learned that henbit is edible – leaves, stems, and flowers. Although I haven’t tried it (yet), I read it has a sweet peppery flavor. It can be eaten fresh or cooked. I also read that it stimulates the body to remove toxins via the skin and digestive system.
Another thing I learned is that henbit is an important nectar and pollen plant for bees, especially honeybees. So, in my book, this is definitely not a weed but a keeper!
CAROLINA BRISTLE MALLOW
It took me a while to identify this one, but I’m pretty sure I got it right. The flower was just beginning to open when I took the picture, so that made identification a little more difficult. Thankfully, the leaves helped me identify it.
On several sites, I read that this plant can be toxic to livestock if eaten in great quantities. So, this isn’t a plant I’d want to try eating!
CATSEAR OR FALSE DANDELION
I found this plant growing between the foundation and the walkway below my front door. Of course, once I took a picture of it and identified it, I started noticing it elsewhere in my yard.
Like the dandelion, this plant is fully edible. However, the leaves and roots are the parts most eaten. I haven’t tried eating this one yet, either, but I read that the leaves are not as bitter as dandelion leaves (which I have eaten). The roots are often roasted and ground to be used as a coffee substitute.
With all the wildflowers and herbs I’ve found on my property, I think I can say my yard is a veritable salad bowl!
What wildflowers are growing in your yard this spring?