Coastal wildflowers – Alexanders
Alexanders are common around here as they like coastal areas, and flower from early spring. Alexanders grow up to about 1m high with glossy leaves and greenish umbels. As far as I know they are the only tall wild plant with green umbels (umbel is a flat-topped flower head) combined with large glossy leaves. The leaves are “thrice trifoliate” which just means they’re in three sets of three leaflets.
Other names include Alisanders and Horse parsley.
Smyrnium olusatrum is edible
Apparently tender young stems can be steamed and taste a little like celery. It is mentioned in Roman texts, so possibly was used as a cultivated food plant at that time.
I would not recommend eating anything unless it was identified by an expert though, as there are various tall wildflowers with whitish umbel flowers which are poisonous.
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