jewelweed salad

Jewelweed, Maple Leaf, Wood Sorrel, Red Clover, & Goutweed Salad

Yellow and orange spotted jewelweed for sweetness

Our bumbles and hummers are enjoying the profusion of jewelweed blooms, and I find them to be a sweet and colorful treat as well.

None of the rest of the jewelweed plant is edible, but the flowers provide an easy trail snack, and some of them have a little drop of nectar inside that makes me want to pick and eat more.


And because they have that little tunnel down the middle of the flower, it’s smart to check for guests before picking and eating.

It’s easy to forage enough of these blooms quickly to make a very good base for a salad.

Cutleaf Japanese maple leaves for color and texture

Maples take some trial and error.

I have tried leaves from every maple tree I can find on our mountain, I have not yet come across any, other than these red cutleaf Japanese maples, that aren’t prohibitively bitter. (It’s worthwhile to note that I have not tried them cooked.)

There were two of these cutleaf maples by the house when we moved in, and one of them had been trained into a low bonsai-like tree. It is very fast-growing, though, and Lance has cut it back quite a few times to keep it from taking over. And the leaves taste good, unlike all the other maples here.

And of course, it’s also worthwhile to note that maple seeds (samaras) are good, too, but even with those you have to find the ones that don’t taste bitter.

Gathering flowers and greens for salad
Gathering flowers and greens for salad (Yes, there’s a tiny mock strawberry in my bowl, too. It’s edible!)
Jewelweed, Maple Leaf, Wood Sorrel, Red Clover, & Goutweed Salad
From the top left: maple leaf, jewelweed (in the bowl), variegated goutweed, wood sorrel, red clover

Wood sorrel for a bit of sour

Wood sorrel is what we used to call “sour clover”, and it grew in every yard in the Tenessee suburb I grew up in. We nibbled on it while waiting for the ice cream truck to come around, or maybe just because we could. The little yellow flowers are just as good as the clover-looking leaves and stems are.

Red clovers are always good to add in

Red and white clover blooms and leaves/stems are all edible, and because they are so common and abundant, they make a good base for a salad or even for a pot of cooked greens. You can also dry and grind the flowers for flour.

Bishop's weed behind one of our woodpiles
Bishop’s weed behind one of our woodpiles

Goutweed, also called bishop’s weed

I’m guessing someone planted this variegated goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria) or bishop’s weed near our house many years ago. It definitely spreads easily, or even aggressively, and I have seen it sprouting up in lots of places on the mountain. We also have the plain green variety in the woods. Both are edible, and I prefer the young leaves to the older ones. I normally don’t pick and use this plant after it blooms, because it tastes better early on.

jewelweed salad
jewelweed salad

In all, a gorgeous salad with lots of color and nutrition packed in.

Bonus! Regal Beezus

Just like the salad, Bee is gorgeous too.


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