Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus

Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus

Within the UK you will find Bilberry bushes growing amongst heather and gorse plants on upland acidic soils. I’ve found them on pretty much every UK mountain I have climbed or visited, even if the species was only represented by a few straggly bushes clinging on between some rocks, away from the relentless grazing of sheep or deer.

It is sometimes known as the Judas Tree, from the tale that Judas Iscariot hung himself from the bough of an Elder. There are also many (often paradoxical) folk tales surrounding the use and planting of the tree – from seeing the devil himself after burning the wood to planting Elder near a home to ward him off. Continue reading

Read more...

Cep Boletus edulis

Cep Boletus edulis

Cep (Boletus edulis) is one of the most reassuring edible mushroom that you will find in the UK. It has a distinctive appearance, few things to confuse it with and very tasty. It’s a highly-prized mushroom in the kitchen and can be found across the Northern Hemisphere.

It is sometimes known as the Judas Tree, from the tale that Judas Iscariot hung himself from the bough of an Elder. There are also many (often paradoxical) folk tales surrounding the use and planting of the tree – from seeing the devil himself after burning the wood to planting Elder near a home to ward him off. Continue reading

Read more...

Elder Sambucus nigra

Elder Sambucus nigra

Elder (Sambucus nigra) is a tall flowering shrub with clusters of white, fragrant flowers in late Spring and red berries in early autumn. It has a long history of uses as a source of food, for hedgerows, for keeping insects (and perhaps the Devil) at bay, and a host of other uses.

It is sometimes known as the Judas Tree, from the tale that Judas Iscariot hung himself from the bough of an Elder. There are also many (often paradoxical) folk tales surrounding the use and planting of the tree – from seeing the devil himself after burning the wood to planting Elder near a home to ward him off. Continue reading

Read more...

Rock Samphire Crithmum maritimum

Rock Samphire Crithmum maritimum

Rock Samphire (Crithmum maritimum) is a prized edible coastal plant that can be found on much of the UK coastline, but sometimes takes a bit of effort to locate. The taste is loved by some and loathed by others – John Wright claims it has a ‘carrots and kerosene’ flavour. I find it palatable, but not really worth the effort if you cannot locate it easily! Continue reading

Read more...