Here’s a couple of plants that we’ve overlooked in the past. This
year they have grown in such large numbers that we just had to find out
if they were edible or not. There are literally hundreds of acres in the
Midwest that get covered with patches of these plants in the early
spring and it seems like a waste to not utilize them.
The henbit and purple dead nettle are members of the mint family. Our
early spring has them popping up everywhere. They seem to thrive open
ground like cornfields and gardens but they can be found in grass
covered turf as well, anyplace that sees even an hour or two of sun.
They probably won’t catch your eye until they’ve bloomed. They grow
in clumps and bloom together so their telltale purple color can be seen
from quite a distance.
These plants grow in patches that look very similar at a distance but
up-close there are differences in the leaf shape. It is easy to see the
differences and below are some photos of each plant.
The deadnettle leaf is triangular and the henbit’s leaf is more
rounded with deeper serrations, almost clamshell shaped. Both plants
bloom lavender or purple blooms. Henbit is less common in our Northern
Indiana area but I did happen to see some while on a recent trip to
Missouri. It may be that henbit is more common in the southern states.
You don’t always have to go far to find Purple Dead Nettle. The plant
below is a young plant that I found growing next to one of our sheds.
It doesn’t have it’s purple top yet and the blooms are just starting to
This plant should not be overlooked for a potential source of food.
It seems to grow in massive amounts and would provide an excellent
source of nutrition in the late winter and early spring. The flower,
leaves and stems are edible but most prefer to eat the younger leaves
raw. These plants are said to be as nutritious as spinach, high in iron,
vitamins and fiber.
Research shows that the purple deadnettle’s seeds are high in
antioxidants. In the past, the henbit and deadnettle have been used in
tonics for fever-reduction and as a laxative.
Disclaimer—The articles here are not intended to be medical,
nutritional, or other professional advice. The research and information
presented on this website is that of AdvancedSurvivalGuide.com and is
for informational purposes only. Please use this information with
Thanks to: http://advancedsurvivalguide.com