Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for....

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   Today I have 2 more plants that are edible. One you probably already know about and one you may not. The first is "Texas Thistle" Cirsium texanum. This plant grows through out the state, except the Panhandle and the Pineywoods. The young leaves can be eaten raw in a salad or cooked. The tap root is also edible, and I read that when cooked the flavor resembles the artichoke. The stem fibers of the thistle plant can also be used as thread. 
   The Texas Thistle blooms from April through October.

Cirsium texanum
Picture from University of Texas Plant Resource Center

  As you can see others think it pretty good food too.                                  

Photo by Melody Lytle of Travis.Tx

   The second edible plant on today's list is "Texas Prickly Pear"   Opuntia engelmannii  var.  lindheimeri. The Prickly Pear is one of the most well recognized of all the plants in Texas. It grows abundantly through out most of the state. The flowers on this castus can be yellow or orange. The orange being the most common in south Texas. During droughts it can also be used as emergency food for cattle. The prickly pear or tuna of the plant is delicious and the flat succulent leaves when the spines are removed are cooked as "nopalitos". Beware that older pads contain oxalic acid and may cause oxalic acid poisioning if eaten to excess.
   The cactus blooms from March through July, and is a feast for the eyes.

Opuntia engelmannii
Picture from University of Texas Plant Resource Center
Photo by Melody Lytle of Travis.Tx
Photo by Joseph Marcus of Austin, Tx


Laura Eno said...

I'm realizing that if left out in the open, I'd starve or get poisoned. All my food grows in a grocery store. Everything out there looks like a weed to me. :)

Elizabeth Mueller said...

good to hear the tap root is edible and not the owie pricklies (top pic)!

A to Z co-host

M Pax said...

How neat to learn which plants are edible. I'd be joining Laura in death most likely if left on my own. My friends know not to let me wander far on my own ... :) Great meeting you.

Cindy Dwyer said...

Beautiful pictures. I'd never guess some of that was edible!

Anonymous said...

Stopping in from the A to Z Challenge to say hello! Great pics. I do love a good flowering cactus.