Friday, March 4, 2011

Miner's Lettuce

In the description of our blog, we say we will discuss the fauna and FLORA of the bay area, yet every post so far has been on animals.  I do not want to be labeled as a 'kingdomist' so here is the first (of hopefully many) posts on the kingdom plantae.
Walking around the house today, I saw miner's lettuce--Claytonia perfoliata--growing everywhere. It's hard to miss with its signature circular leaf on a stalk.  No wonder the University of California calls it a weed.  I took a bite of a leaf and it brought back memories of my childhood in Hollister.  We called it 'Indian Lettuce' back then and found it in the fields around our town.  It is slightly sweet and well deserving of the moniker 'lettuce'.  Apparently, the deer like to eat it, too.  Its little white flowers are a prelude to the plethora of spring wildflowers that should start blooming in the Bay Area this month.
If you come across some of this delightful plant and want to give it a try, here is a recipe for you.  I think I'll go out and pick some for a salad for tonight.

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