I loosely say plants you have never heard of because if you have grown up in Ireland, or lived there, or lived in near by countries, or have hard of them, then you would have heard of them. To be honest I hadn’t hard of a lot of the plant on this list until I moved to Ireland. Today not only have I heard of them but I also own some of them. If you are looking to grow some native Irish plants that will thrive in this “every season in one day” weather we have out here then here are some ideas for you. This blog is part 1 of 2 with part two coming out next Thursday which is when we post our blogs about plants.
Bilberries (Fraochán)- Bilberries look and taste a lot like blueberries but they are not. Their bushes are smaller in size, and their berries do not have a start shape at the base where the berry is not connected to the stem. Man made forest have killed off a lot of the wild bilberry plants but they are not extinct and to my knowledge are not going extinct. My guess is this is all thanks to the Bilberry Bumblebee.
Sea Carrot- Sea Carrots are a lot like carrots but they turn woody sooner. For this reason they are mostly used as a herb, and their flowers can be used for tea.
Swedes – Look just like turnips but they are bigger and taste a little different. Many stores here in Ireland sell them under the label turnip. If you are in Ireland or you come to Ireland and you see a giant turnip bigger than any turnip you have ever seen before, it’s a Swedes. Swedes taste like a cross between a cabbage and a turnip but with sweet notes.
Self Heal – Self Heal is a flower that looks a lot like Lavender but the purple color is darker. This plants name pretty much sums it up, it heals almost anything. Mostly made into a tea this plant taste like rosemary and is bittersweet.
Plantain – No this is not a banana or anything that even looks like a banana. Irish Plantain is a flower that also does not taste like plantains. The flower head is edible and it is said that to taste like mushrooms. It can also be used topically to stop a wound from bleeding.
Sú talún fiáin (Wild Strawberry)- Wild Strawberries here in Ireland are a little bigger than wild strawberries in North America, but they are as big as the strawberries you buy at the grocery store. They also aren’t as sweet as store bought strawberries but they are still very good, and they normally grow with more strawberries pre cluster. They aren’t really like alpine strawberries in my opinion because alpine strawberries are longer and more narrow, but some people saw they are alpine strawberries.
Sea spaghetti – Sea spaghetti is a long spaghetti looking plant that comes out of the salty waters here in Ireland. Funny enough some people do make spaghetti out of it. There are other more traditional recipes using sea spaghetti though so there is a lot of verity to choose from.
I hope you enjoyed reading this and that you come back for part 2 next week where I list 7 more native Irish plants you have (probably) never heard of.