Author Archives: seasonalforaging

About seasonalforaging

We are a group of friends who enjoy walking in the countryside in Provence searching for plants and herbs to identify and use.

Asphodelus ramosus

Branched Asphodel – Asphodèle   In ancient Greece it was connected with death and the underworld.  In Greek mythology, the Elysian fields, final resting place of the souls of the heroic and virtuous, were covered in Asphodel.  It was planted … Continue reading

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Arbutus unedo

Strawberry Tree – Arbousier In autumn you can’t miss this tree when you come across it.  The fruits are so noticeable, initially green, then yellow, orange and finally red.  They resemble strawberries, hence the name.  As the strawberry tree has … Continue reading

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Opuntia spp.

Prickly Pear – Le figuier de Barbarie Native to the Americas. Introduced into Europe by the Spanish colonists on their return from the Americas. They now grow all over the Mediterranean region.  Prickly Pears have flat rounded pads (Cladodes). They … Continue reading

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Celtis australis

European Nettle Tree – Micocoulier The leaves of this tree look so similar to the leaves of nettles, hence the name.  It grows 15-20 m tall.  The flowers are rather small, male and female on the same tree, single or … Continue reading

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Cichorium intybus

Wild Chicory – Chicorée sauvage Wild Chicory, in summer, is a very common plant here in Provence and very easily recognisable with its bright blue flower-heads.   It is sometimes slightly hairy with branched stems, height 30-100 cm.  The basal … Continue reading

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Euonymus europaeus

Spindle Tree – Fusain d’Europe A native to much of Europe, belonging to the Celastraceae family.  It grows in open woodland, clearings, hedgerows but always close to water.  The tree can reach a height of 3-6 m.  The leaves are opposite, … Continue reading

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Bellis perennis

Daisy – Pâquerette Here in Provence the first Daisies have come up.  They stay more or less all through the winter till spring.  The flower is made up of white ray florets and yellow disc flowers.  Each little yellow bit … Continue reading

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Saponaria officinale

Soapwort – Saponaire officinale With the mild weather and some rain, a lot of wild flowers are making their appearance.  Soapwort is one of them and very easy to recognise.  Native to Europe and Asia, a perennial 30 – 40 … Continue reading

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Portulaca oleracea

Common Purslane – Pourpier commun Common Purslane is native from Greece to China and has been introduced elsewhere.  It is found in our area in dry, sandy,  nitrogen-rich soil in full sun.  It should not be confused with the ‘Sun … Continue reading

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Ficus carica

Common Fig/Le Figuier  Taking my dog for his daily walks, I pass five wild fig trees, all of them fruiting at the moment.  I press the fruits to see if they are ripe and eat them as I go along … Continue reading

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