Common chicory (Cichorium intybus)

While wandering the park the other morning, I came across some Bird's Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus).

I also came across this fellow, who it turns out is Jamie, my little boy. He was in his stroller.

As I sat down on the ground to take some photographs of plants, an 8 week old Boston Terrier appeared from nowhere, her leash dragging behind her, and jumped onto my lap. She gave me a lick hello and then lay down for a sleep. A minute or two later, her exasperated owner appeared. James was very interested in this puppy.

This was all before the park was mowed. So the Common Chicory (Cichorium intybus) was still abundant.

The roots can be baked and ground to be used as a coffee substitute or additive - this is done around the world.

Some beer makers even add this to their stout beers.

Here are the tap-roots. They taste sweet, when raw. I've never roasted them up, but might give it a try sometime.

The Clover (Trifolium) is edible - the flowers and seed-heads. When the flowers turn brown though, they become bitter (so I have found).

Clover is a legume - a plant that performs valuable nitrogen fixation.
"They contain symbiotic bacteria called Rhizobia within nodules in their root systems, producing nitrogen compounds that help the plant to grow and compete with other plants. When the plant dies, the fixed nitrogen is released, making it available to other plants and this helps to fertilize the soil."
Pull up a clover by its roots and you'll see little root nodules. Each of these contain the Rhizobia bacteria colonies. Neato.

Hope you've had a good day!


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