Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Backyard Native Weeds: Pennsylvania Pellitory

Pennsylvania Pellitory, Parietaria pensylvanica is an easy plant to overlook.  There's not much about it appearances to separate it from the crowd.  In fact, it mostly resembles a diminutive Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioca.  Which is no really no surprise, they are both members of the Nettle Family, Urticaceae.  Like Stinging Nettle, the leaves of Pennsylvania Pellitory have small hairs.  However they do not sting.  And also like Stinging Nettle, it is edible.  I tried the leaf of a plant growing in our backyard.  The taste was actually quite good, very cucumber-like.  But way to rough, it left a scratchy feel on my tongue for a bit.  Maybe if it was cooked briefly.


  1. This is one I've overlooked in 33 years of foraging, but I'm going to try to find, identify, and cook it. I have found that tasty edible plants with irritating hairs, such as quickweed (Galinsoga spp.) can be quite good cooked and puréed in a blender, in cream soups (I'm a vegan, so I make dairy-free versions) and sauces.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Good idea, I think I'll have to try it in a dish next spring/ summer. We have a nice patch in the backyard. I'm not familiar with Galinsoga, I'll have to keep my eyes out for it