From the category archives:

Species Profiles

Sow Thistle

May 26, 2014

It’s spring and time to weed. Sow thistle is a delicious invader found throughout the continent.

    Full article

    Lamb’s Quarters

    November 16, 2013

    Lamb’s quarters was a popular spring tonic in the South—an early season edible green—but its leaves are good throughout the summer.       Chenopodium album Native range: Described by Linnaeus in 1753, this European native has been transferred throughout much of the world. Because its spread was rarely recorded, C. album‘s native and invasive [...]

      Full article

      Garlic Mustard

      July 29, 2013

        Alliaria petiolata Native range: Europe, Asia, Northwest Africa Invasive range: Much of the Lower 48, Alaska, and Canada. (See map.) Habitat: Moist, shaded soil of floodplains, forests, roadsides, edges of woods, and forest openings. Often dominant in disturbed areas. Description: Biennial herb. First-year plant has a rosette of green leaves close to the ground. [...]

        Full article

        Wild Fennel

        June 7, 2013

          Foeniculum vulgare Native range: Mediterranean, from Turkey west to Spain and Morocco Invasive range: Much of North and South America, South Africa, and parts of Oceania and the British Isles. Check out the USDA Plants Database to see if it’s found near you. Habitat: Roadsides, pastures, along the edge of wild habitats. Rocky shores [...]

          Full article

          Nutria

          March 26, 2013

          Nutria, also known as coypu and river rat, is native to temperate and subtropical South America. It has been introduced to Europe, Asia, and Africa, mainly for fur farming. These voracious. . .

            Full article

            Wakame

            March 1, 2013

              Undaria pinnatifida Native range: Japan Sea Invasive range: Southern California, San Francisco Bay, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Argentina Habitat: Opportunistic seaweed, can be found on hard substrates including rocky reefs, pylons, buoys, boat hulls, and abalone and bivalve shells. Description: Golden brown seaweed, growing up to nine feet. Forms thick canopy. Reproductive sporophyll in [...]

              Full article

              Northern Snakehead

              January 28, 2013
              Thumbnail image for Northern Snakehead

              His sister was ailing, and the man in Maryland remembered that, back home in Hong Kong, there was a fish that was considered a delicacy and a restorative. He would make a fish soup…

                Full article

                Burdock

                January 21, 2013

                Native to the Old World, burdock’s introduction to North America was noted in 1672 by John Josselyn, a sharp-eyed English visitor, who used Gerard’s Herbal: The Historie of Plants of 1597 as a field guide. . . .

                  Full article

                  Japanese Knotweed

                  October 17, 2012

                  It’s the 1880s. Frederick Law Olmstead, who, in his thirties, co-designed a little patch of ground in New York called Central Park, in his forties sells Boston on the Emerald Necklace, a whole new…

                    Full article

                    Purslane

                    August 21, 2012

                    George Washington ate weeds. That is, he ate what he thought of as garden vegetables: Martha’s Booke of Cookery and Book of Sweetmeats, includes a handwritten recipe for Pickled Purslane. The manuscript . . .

                      Full article

                      Land

                      Wild_boar

                      Wild Pig

                      Did the domestic ancestors of today’s feral pigs streak off De Soto’s ship into the Florida scrub of their own accord in 1539? Or did they have to be urged to go find something to eat? All you need to…


                        EAT ME!
                        6a00d83451b96069e2017d3d0b7851970c-400wi

                        Garden Snail

                        Deliberately or accidentally, by the movement of plants and by hobbyists who collect snails, humans have spread the garden snail to temperate and subtropical zones around the world.


                          EAT ME!
                          nopales con huevo

                          Prickly Pear

                          Fall is here, and the “cactus fig” is in season. Time to plate-up another widespread invader.


                            EAT ME!
                            Screen Shot 2012-11-18 at 8.02.21 AM

                            Sow Thistle

                            It’s spring and time to weed. Sow thistle is a delicious invader found throughout the continent.


                              EAT ME!
                              800px-ChenopodiumAlbum001

                              Lamb’s Quarters

                              Lamb’s quarters was a popular spring tonic in the South—an early season edible green—but its leaves are good throughout the summer.       Chenopodium album Native range: Described by Linnaeus in 1753, this European native has been transferred throughout much of the world. Because its spread was rarely recorded, C. album‘s native and invasive [...]


                                EAT ME!

                                Sea

                                Hemigrapsus_sanguineus_big

                                Asian Shore Crab

                                The first sighting of the Asian shore crab in the United States was at Townsend Inlet, Cape May County, New Jersey, in 1988. Though the source is unknown . . .


                                  EAT ME!
                                  Periwinkles

                                  Periwinkle

                                  The common periwinkle, which first appeared in New England in the 1860s, is now found along the coast wherever there’s hard substrate–rocks, riprap, broken concrete, or docks–from Labrador to . . .


                                    EAT ME!
                                    Pterois volitans

                                    Lionfish

                                    Some say it started in 1992 in Miami when Hurricane Andrew smashed an aquarium tank. Don’t blame the weather, others say; in the mid-nineties, disappointed yet softhearted hobbyists…


                                      EAT ME!
                                      chuka wakame

                                      Wakame

                                        Undaria pinnatifida Native range: Japan Sea Invasive range: Southern California, San Francisco Bay, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Argentina Habitat: Opportunistic seaweed, can be found on hard substrates including rocky reefs, pylons, buoys, boat hulls, and abalone and bivalve shells. Description: Golden brown seaweed, growing up to nine feet. Forms thick canopy. Reproductive sporophyll in [...]


                                        EAT ME!
                                        Kleiner_Taschenkrebs_(Carcinus_maenas)

                                        Green Crab

                                        Since the green crab was first recorded off southern Massachusetts in 1817, it has been hard to ignore. A few minutes of rock-flipping in Maine can turn up dozens of them, brandishing their claws as they retreat…


                                          EAT ME!

                                          Fresh

                                          Armored Catfish Meatballs (1)

                                          Armored Catfish

                                          The armored catfish is abundant and destructive in Florida, Texas, and Mexico. Cast your nets for these flavorful natives of the Amazon. Scientific name: Two types have become established in North America: armadillo del rio, Hypostomus plecostomus, and sailfin catfishes in genus Pterygoplichthys Native range: Amazon River Basin Invasive range: Texas, Florida, and Hawaii; also [...]


                                            EAT ME!
                                            Picture 1

                                            Common Carp

                                            For a bottom-feeder, what is the good life? The common carp isn’t very demanding: any body of water that’s sluggish and murky will do. If the water is clean, and you’ve got corn for bait, try one of these recipes.


                                              EAT ME!
                                              IMG_W007-2

                                              Watercress

                                                Nasturtium officianale Native Range: Northern Africa, Europe, temperate Asia, and India Invasive Range: In USA: all lower 48 states, except North Dakota. Found in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Also southern Canada, Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Australasia, and parts of tropical Asia. Habitat: Common along stream margins, ditches, and other areas with [...]


                                                EAT ME!
                                                rusty_crayfish-large

                                                Crayfish

                                                  There are numerous invasive crayfish. We include details for the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and the rusty crayfish (Orenectes rusticus). The same recipes can be used for both species–and many other invasive crayfish. Red Swamp Crayfish Native range: Known as Louisiana crayfish, crawdad, and mudbug, Procambarus clarkii is native to the south central [...]


                                                  EAT ME!
                                                  nutria-mugshot

                                                  Nutria

                                                  Nutria, also known as coypu and river rat, is native to temperate and subtropical South America. It has been introduced to Europe, Asia, and Africa, mainly for fur farming. These voracious. . .


                                                    EAT ME!

                                                    Field Notes

                                                    invasive-brushes

                                                    The Alien Aesthetic

                                                    Patterson Clark turns invasive plants into art. As a volunteer for the National Park Service, he got an idea: “One day, when I was pulling a plant, I thought, how can I change my relationship with this plant so that it’s not just eradication, taking something’s life? Since then, I’ve been harvesting invasive plants, rather [...]


                                                      EAT ME!
                                                      Screenshot 2017-12-15 08.38.28

                                                      The Lionfish Market

                                                      In a sign that the eat-the-invaders movement continues to gain steam, the University of West Florida’s College of Business is offering a course on marketing the highly invasive lionfish to consumers. Read more about it here.


                                                        EAT ME!
                                                        images

                                                        New Species Invade Campus Dining

                                                        Inspired by the work of the Eat the Invaders project, UVM Dining and the University of Vermont Real Food Working Group hosted a dinner featuring edible invasive species.


                                                          EAT ME!
                                                          7fe8ef238ab2d59accbebfb6e97ac751-600

                                                          Invasive Herbs for Herbal Tea

                                                          The ingredients for many herbal teas, including lemon balm, mint, and nettles, have become naturalized in the United States. RateTea reviews a few of them here.


                                                            EAT ME!
                                                            whole_fried_lionfish

                                                            Can Markets Handle Invasive Species?

                                                            Marketing campaigns are underway to spur demand for the flaky white fillets of lionfish. The Reef Environmental Education Foundation has published a cookbook in an attempt to get people to realize that lionfish is an option for dinner. Whole Foods has hosted “Take a Bite Out of Lionfish”: live filleting and cooking demos and lionfish [...]


                                                              EAT ME!

                                                              “What we see as weeds is dinner for a pollinator. A perfectly green, manicured lawn is a biological desert for pollinators.”

                                                              May Berenbaum in Heirloom Gardener