|Fireweed - Photo by Ken Korczak|
I was driving through the narrow gravel road (trail) that runs through the heart of the Twin Lakes Wildlife Management Area here in northern Minnesota when I saw bright flashes of purple-pink near the side of the road. I stopped to investigate, and, sure enough, found some lovely bright fireweed blossoming.
It's called fireweed because it tends to show up after an area has been burned. In this case, the DNR burns off this section of land every spring.
Fireweed can be eaten. Here is what Lee Allen Peterson says in his excellent manural, A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants:
"The young shoots can be prepared like asparagus and the tender young leaves like spinach. The taste may become bitter and unpalatable as the plant grows older. The mature leaves can be dried and used for make tea."
Wow, "Fireweed Tea" - how rock-in-rollin' does that sound? I'm going to go back out there and get some leaves and try the tea. I'll report back later on how I like it.
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