Sunday, March 30, 2008
Stonecrop Family Field food and Remedy
Stonecrop Sedum species can be found on rocky hillsides just as the name implies. The common species here in the Pacific Northwest is Broad leafed sedum spathulifolim and Creamy Sedum oregonense both look similar, the one above is Creamy Stonecrop. Most of the leaves are light to medium green in color, some outer leaves may be red, these are the older leaves. Later in the season around May or June the plant will send up a shoot of yellow little star shaped flowers, they look beautiful against the rock face. In the snow you can look for the dried shoots against hillsides & find the plant underneath, it will stay juicy throughout winter. The entire plant is edible, and would be great in a survival situation, or as a trail food. It would make an interesting addition to a wild food salad. It tastes bland, slightly like a cucumber. If your throat is dry from a long day of hiking, the Stonecrops muciaginous and juicy nature is very soothing.
The plant is slightly astringent & muscilaginous. It can be used for externally for cuts, scrapes, stings and minor burns, making it very useful as a field remedy. Break apart a leaf and apply it directly to the effected area as needed.
Native Americans used a decoction of the root for sore throats and eye irritations. The roots are creeping rhizomes or stolons (roots that creep above ground).
Resource Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West By Gregory L Tilford