“Stachys palustris” as Food


THERE is no reason to think that Stachys palustris, L., is anywhere used now for food in the British Isles. The cultivation of the potato must have long since put it out of court for any such purpose. But that it was once so employed there seems abundant evidence. The part eaten, however, was not the “rhizomes”, but the subterranean tubers. That the use of these is now quite forgotten may be inferred from the fact that the tubers themselves are not even mentioned in standard sys tematic books. Yet Irmisch (see Botanical Gazette, vol. ii. p. 293) gives the potato and Stachys palustris as well known instances of dicotyledonous plants producing stem tubers which become detached by the dying away of the older parts of the parent plant which produced them.

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DYER, W. “Stachys palustris” as Food. Nature 28, 435–436 (1883). https://doi.org/10.1038/028435c0

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