Wednesdays Words

I am going to spend a few weeks talking about eatable weeds that can be found in the US. I think that it is important to know about these, since many are very prolific where they grow.

Today we will talk about Rattlesnake Weed.

Stachys floridana is a species of betony in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is native to the United States, where its true native range is probably limited to Florida, but today it is known throughout the Southeast as an introduced species and common weed It occurs as far west as Texas and it has been recorded in California. Its common names include Florida betony, Florida hedgenettle and rattlesnake weed.

Stachys floridana 114718683.jpg
By Lauren Whitehurst –

This species is a perennial herb producing a hairy, erect stem up to about half a meter in maximum height. It grows from a network of rhizomes with tubers. The distinctive pale-colored tuber is several centimeters long and about one centimeter wide, and is segmented in such a way that it resembles the rattle on the tail of a rattlesnake, the inspiration for the common name “rattlesnake weed” The tuber is also said to resemble “a fat grub “The plant is a prolific producer of seeds, but it often undergoes vegetative reproduction via its rhizome and tubers. Small segments of rhizome can sprout into new plants and the transport of the tuber to new areas may be the most common way the plant spreads. The plant grows in disturbed habitat types, such as roadsides, often on wet soils. It grows in turf and in beds of ornamental plants

The plant was considered to be a Florida endemic until the 1940s and 1950s, when it began to spread throughout the southeastern United States. Its rhizome system extends easily into the loose soils of cultivated ground, and it became a weed of residential and commercial land. It can be found in lawns and other turfgrass, especially centipedegrass and St. Augustine grass. It is a weed of ornamentals, where it can be harder to control than in lawns, because fewer herbicides are approved for use on ornamental herbs and shrubs than on turfgrasses. It is one of the worst weeds of the cultivated ornamental leatherleaf fern (Rumohra adiantiformis). Weed control in ornamentals may require hand-pulling, with careful removal of all the tubers.

The “crisp, succulent” tuber is edible, and has “a pleasingly crunchy texture and a bland, slightly sweet taste”. Most people will pickle it either in a Chinese Soy Sauce. or regualr pickeling juice. they taste like radishes and can be used as pickels or put into salads so some extra crunch.

By John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org –

Well, that’s all the news from the south,
Happy” farming” to all the farm girl sisters out there.
See you next time down on the farm..

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