Thursday, August 14, 2014

Strawberry Spinach, aka Strawberry Blite

Strawberry Spinach  © SB
This summer, I had the opportunity to taste a new-to-me (to eat, at least) native plant: Strawberry Spinach, also known as Strawberry Blite, or Chenopodium capitatum.

By any name, these members of the Goosefoot family are edible, and the berries have a slightly spinach-like — and far from sweet strawberry — taste. 

I can see adding a handful of bright red Strawberry Spinach to a salad, perhaps with a few young leaves. 

And I brought some seeds home to test this theory next summer... Now, if I could only remember where I packed them... Then again, these native plants spread very freely, so perhaps my co-gardener will be grateful if I do not try... 

Vance/Jowsey says that Strawberry Blite is widespread across North America, growing in moist areas such as the edges of gardens and roadways.

They also say the red flesh is part of the flower, i.e., its ripening sepals... So where is the fruit? Royer-Dickinson explain that the fruit is the black specks throughout the berries. This is a very seedy eat!

And as for the petals themselves, these apparently are small and inconspicuously green, and long gone by the time the berries appear.

Strawberry Spinach  © SB

Prairie Wildflower: Strawberry Spinach or Strawberry Blite (Chenopodium capitatum)
Location: Near Muenster, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Photo Date: July 20, 2014. 


1 comment:

  1. What an interesting plant/berry and certainly one that I've never heard of before.


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