I do allow wild flowers in my little patch and remove them only if they become invasive, I do this with cultured plants as well so I am not being prejudicial.
Our grass is strewn with wild sorrel, clover and moss but due to my neighbour’s dogs, I cannot not use any of it for eating. As a child, I chewed on the flower heads of clover, if it was good enough for the bees, it was good enough for me! I fed chickweed to our rabbit and guinea pig not realising it was edible for humans as well, now I know it was a favourite salad of the Victorians. Plantain, again has many uses, chew it for a salve for snakebites. I thought Dock leaves usually grew near stinging nettles for a reason but apparently relief from nettle sting is not true, it does have many other uses, practical or medicinal, and you can eat them. The nettle itself has an impressive list of health giving properties including allergy relief. When it comes to usefulness of wild flowers etc. the list is almost inexaustible.
Most people by now will have heard of courgette flower fritters but what of dandelions? Those can be frittered away as well. There is a surprising list of wild flowers, which we disrespectfully regard as weeds, that are edible. What a useful little plant moss is, it’s an absolute sponge for water so if you are thirsty, look to the moss.
If you are cold and there is dried moss around, it’s very flammable and would give a quick kindling start to a fire. Probably everyone has heard of Sphagnum Moss, it has all these qualities and more and can even be eaten.
Many wild flowers can be used for medicinal purposes. Rosebay Willowherb, I always understood was a sign of fertile ground but this amazing plant provides almost everything you need from a plant. Much of it can be eaten, pound the roots to use as a poultice, a tea for stomach disorders and a little bit more of the same can be used as a laxative. The soft down from it can be used to stuff mattresses. Short of a bit of string? Strip the outer stem and use the fibre.
I have never been in a position when I needed survival skills but now I see weeds as wild flowers and when I look at them, I wonder “what can I do with you?”
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