WHAT IS THIS PLANT? September 23, 2012 by T3S2V494 Comments 6 thoughts on “WHAT IS THIS PLANT?” Karl Anderson said: Ooh yuck! That’s a basal rosette of a thistle, looks like Canada Thistle, Cirsium arvense, to me. A rapidly spreading and hard-to-get-rid of weed. Not native to North America, despite the name. The thing is rhizomatous, so a single plant can spread into a colony in a relatively short time. Get rid of it. Dig it out and be sure you get all of the roots and rhizomes. Chances are that you won’t on the first attempt, but keep after it. Karl A. Meadows and More said: the young tender roots (in spring) are good, called azami in japanese and pickled. i also know that jonathan in toronto is braising the larger roots from the langdon hall vegetable garden. sam_schaperow said: Dear Meadows and More: I had read this from an author named Samuel Thayer: “Of the thistles in the genus Cirsium, all have edible roots except for Canada thistle (C. arvense). This is because Canada thistle creeps by rhizomes, while all the others are perennials/biennials which stay put and accumulate energy in their taproot before flowering and dying. ” Sam Schaperow, M.S. http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/PlantForagers Meadows and More said: Hi Sam. It is definitely edible. Im not sure why creeping by rhizomes would make it not edible. The JApanese eat young roots of the Japanese thistle but Japanese here have eaten very young roots of Canada thistle and find it nice. Chef thought it was pretty good also. I ate some too and would put it in the “not too bad but a bit fiddly” category. You also may want to check out the website: pfaf (plants for a future). it gives the roots an edibility factor of 2! BTW no interest from anyone in the flowers or buds….though I tried sam_schaperow said: Interesting. The literature, I now see, has a lot of conflicting info. about it. http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/cirarv/all.html states: “Canada thistle does not form rhizomes, despite this assertion in some literature. Adventitious root buds that may form new adventitious shoots can develop along the root at any location, and at any time of the year with favorable growing conditions [55,85].” Now, even if it had creeping rhizomes, if fleshy enough to eat, they could still have been edible. Maybe he was reiterating something from incorrect literature, rather than by experience. It wasn’t something in any of his books that I can recall, so who knows? If the subject interests anyone, I can find out where he was coming from. Maybe there’s more to the story than seems obvious. Sam Schaperow, M.S. http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/PlantForagers Meadows and More said: you are right. when I dig it out it seems more like a taproot and nothing creeping that I noticed in the young ones anyway. On the garlic mustard roots I will try it out this year, although you can get plenty of flavor and more volume in the leaves alone…. Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment.