Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Edible Plant Walk, Central Park

Cornelian cherries

Central Park's North Woods
23 August 2014, 11am-1pm

The last summer walk!

In the shorter days of late summer stone fruit and edible weeds flourish in Central Park. If we look up, there are Cornelian cherries (actually Cornus mas, a Mediterranean dogwood), black cherries, and perhaps hackberries, too.

Weed, or herb?

In the North Woods, jumpseed, pokeweed and mature stands of Japanese knotweed carpet the woodland floor, while plantain and burnweed pop up opportunistically beside paths. Burdock and lambsquarters are in bloom, and the cooler season's dock might be beginning to show itself after our unusually mild August. 

American burnweed

As we walk, learn to spot these and many other wild edibles, and how to use them. And enjoy a brunch scone along the way, spiced with mahlab - the powdered kernels of wild cherries and stuffed with black cherry jam.

Mahlab and black cherry scones

Closest subways are the 2/3 at 110th Street, and the B/C at 110th.



  1. I would love to go to this! So far not booked for Sat, will keep it that way, only impediment is a late night biay party night before, totally doable. See you Saturday! Olga

  2. Jam muffins! I'll put the kettle on...

  3. I spend all summer pulling two things from my garden - grass and that burnweed. How do you like to prepare it for eating?

    1. It's not for everyone. But if you like raw cilantro (or the other herb with a confusingly similar name, culantro), I think you'll like burnweed. It has a strong flavour that goes well with fresh lime, chiles, fish sauce, dried peppers. Think Mexican and SE Asian dishes. Best raw, for me. Someone I know likes to peel and cook the stems and then eat them with a soy dipping sauce. I ahve not tried that, yet.


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