Thursday, March 13, 2014

Henbit, A Winter Weed

 Along the road I see a purple field every now and then. This time of year (February and March) the purple is probably the flowers of henbit an annual winter weed. It's scientific name is Lamium amplexicaule, and it is a member of the mint family--think square stems.

It can be eaten either raw or cooked. Added to a salad, it provides a different texture to the crisp lettuce. or if you prefer, harvest a bunch of it and boil it lightly with butter and cardamon. I found a recipe online if you feel inclined to try something different:

Chop four cups of shoots, cover with water, boil 10 minutes. In a separate pan melt three tablespoons butter, add one teaspoon curry powder, two whole cloves, and a quarter teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Stir and cook for one minute, stir in two tablespoons of flour and cook one more minute. Add a half a cup of boiling water from the Henbit, stir until smooth. Drain and add the boiled Henbit  and 3.4 cup sour cream. Cook on low for 15 minutes.
While I am weeding my flower beds and garden spot, i may save a few handfuls and try thrm for lunch.
Henbit, also known as Giraffe Head, grows everywhere in North America, even into the arctic circle. It grows in waste places, lawns, gardens, and even in places where grass won't grow. It is easy to get rid of by pulling it up when the ground is moist. but never fear, it will be back next year.

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