This is a blog about the pursuits of Naturalist Alan Russo to incorporate all things Natural, especially Plants, into his daily life. Living close to Nature has always been a passion of mine and I try, with natures help, to live a Healthy lifestyle for myself and for the Earth.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Speedwells are one of those flowers I have always admired. It is one of the plants I mentioned in a previous post about looking more closely at the smaller things in nature.
 Just the other day it got a little warmer and I did some walking around my property. On the southeast side of the house it was pretty warm and the speedwells were starting to bloom! These photos don't do them justice as they are incredibly beautiful when seen through a loupe or magnifying glass. As much as I have always admired them and use them on my walks to point out the subtle beauty of Nature, and as interested I am in the edible and medicinal qualities of wild plants, it never occurred to me to check if they were edible or medicinal! I don't know why, maybe I was just satisfied with their beauty. Anyway, I decided to look them up in several books. Turns out they are both edible and used as medicine especially in Europe where they originated from. So of course I had to go out and pick some! Turns out they were pretty good, not eat a ton of them good, but put some in a salad good. I have read they make a pretty good tea and will try it in the early spring as they get more prolific.
 There are many types of speedwells and one of the problems in in identifying them is they tend to cross pollinate and hybridize so you may see a flower that looks like a speedwell but not find it in any ID book.They all have one thing in common, the flowers have three wider petals on top and one narrower petal facing down. The flowers above are from the common speedwell and are only about 1/4in in diameter.


  1. Hmm speedwells edible? In durham and chapel hill all of the speedwells I have eaten were horrible tasting. What reference books do you use? Perhaps I'll muster the desire to try them again...

  2. I usually eat only the flowers, though the leaves are not that bad, they are certainly not my favorite Wild Edible. Remember there are lots of different Speedwells, some worse than others. I have a large collection of Plant books that I reference when needed, cross referencing is important when studying a new plant.