Foraging in Central Park - July 29, 2000

Based on a walk given by "Wildman" Steve Brill in Central Park, Manhattan. These are in fine compression.

1: Wisteria. Flowers are edible, seeds and leaves are poisonous. Blooms in spring, but you will get some summer blooms where it has been cut back.
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2: Epazote. Can dry and save. You don't eat it, but use as a seasoning in bean dishes.
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3: Epazote. Close up of flowers.
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4: Lamb's quarters. A wild spinach. Eat in salad or steamed.
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5: Hackberries. Not ripe yet.
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6: Central Park Lake
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7: Central Park Lake
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8: Poor man's pepper
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9: Gill-over-the-ground, or ground ivy. Can make tea with fresh leaves. Is in the mint family.
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10: May apple. Green on plant is poisonous. When fallen and yellow is delicious.
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11: May apple. Wildman about to eat a ripe one.
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12: May apple leaves
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13: Wild raisin. Ripe in October.
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14: Doubles arches on 77th St. bridge. Under the left one was originally an extension of the lake.
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15: Wineberries. An Asian raspberry. Humans have taken most.
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16: Wineberry closeup.
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17: Extension of Central Park Lake
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18: Black cherries
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19: Sweet gum tree. See five pointed leaf. Not edible. Crush leaf and smells like furniture polish.
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20: Indian pipe. Native American plant. A wildflower that parasitizes tree roots. Does not make chlorophyll.
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21: Reishi mushroom. Need to boil two hours.
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22: Common nightshade. Poisonous, but won't kill you.
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23: Spider that one of the kids found while eating lunch.
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24: Garlic mustard. Leaves in summer too bitter.
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25: Garlic mustard root. Is good now. Like horseradish.
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26: Burdock. 1st year. Can dig up root. Slice diagonally and cook.
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27: Burdock. 2nd year. Not edible.
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28: Bitter dock flower
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29: Bitter dock seeds
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30: Poke weed. Poisonous seeds.
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31: Lady's thumb. A mild salad green. In smartweed family.
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32: Common plantain. Seeds are edible. Steve doesn't like.
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33: Blackberries. European cut leaf variety.
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34: Elderberries. But no berries!
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35: American persimmon. But no fruit this year.
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36: Kentucky coffee tree beans. Poisonous now. Must be baked 3 hours at 300 degrees. Must cover as they will pop. Then grind up. Can collect year round.
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37: Kentucky coffee tree leaves.
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38: Garlic mustard. 2nd year. Can collect seeds. Put in at end of cooking.
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39: Common violet closeup. New small leaves edible. Root poisonous.
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40: Field garlic. Drooping. Seeds edible now. Also bulbs, but small and hard to peel.
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41: Sassafras tree. Note three leaf shapes.
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42: Sassafras root. Can make tea from it. Flavor is in the cambium, the outer layer on the root.
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43: Wood sorrel. Nice patch near Belvedere Castle. Note heart shaped leaves.
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44: Chickweed. Small patch. Bigger one now covered with wood chips.
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45: Blueberries near Belvedere Castle. Surprising that humans didn't get them first.
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46: Yew berries. Berry is edible, but seed is poisonous.
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47: Apple
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48: Cornelian cherry. Still green. Different trees ripen at different times. Needs to be a dark red to be good. If bright red will ripen at home.
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49: Cornelian cherries on the ground.
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50: Someone found a caterpiller.
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51: Juneberry bush. Season is past. In June.
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52: Hawthorne. Too early.
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53: Purslane
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54: Peach tree. There are three of them south of the 86th St. transverse road.
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55: Peaches. Not ripe yet.
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