Friday, April 4, 2014

Wild Plant Walk with Mark Suter

Spring is the season of renewal and growth, both metaphorically and physically! Here at the nature center spring, is marked by the sprouting forth of plants that have been in hibernation all winter. To welcome this spring season we had Mark Suter, an expert in wild plant identification, take us on a guided hike through the weaving trails of the nature center. This class had a focus on edible wild plants, as well as plants of medicinal, and practical values.

Identifying wild plants gives you an inherent appreciation for nature, something we strive for. Receiving sustenance from wild plants is not only rewarding, but exceedingly nutritional. Wild plants have been shown to possess more vitamins, mineral, phytochemichals (medicinal components), omega-3s, and fiber than our cultivated varieties.

Here is Mark showcasing wild mustard, a delicious and abundant salad green which can be seen running along major roadways. (Brassicaceae)

Showcasing stork's bill. (Erodium circutarium)

The group taking notes on a wild plant.

Pounding a magical puffball mushroom.

Everyone recognizes this wild edible. Wild onion! (Allium species)

Cleaver! No need to find this wild edible, it will find you when it sticks to your clothes. (Galium aparine)

The whole group after our invigorating hike.

This doesn't touch the surface of the plants Mark covered in this extensive class.

After taking this class you will have a new appreciation for the "weeds" in your yard and the wild plants of your local landscape. When you look out into a field rather than being intimidated by a sea of green, instead you will see a plethora of plant's you can recognize and utilize!

If you would like to learn more about wild edible plant identification come to one of Mark's classes or order his book Edible Wild Plants of Texas! The only complete guide to wild plants specifically designed for Texas.