Useful members of the Brassica (Cabbage!) Family. Part 1

Family 87: the Brassica or Cabbage Family, scientifically known as the Brassicaceae, has approx 52 native genera according to Stace!

Crambe maritima or Sea kale is an impressive member of the Brassicaceae here on Chesil Beach, Dorset.

This family has a good representation on the British Isles mainly with annuals and perennials. It is easy to recognise as the former family name was Cruciferae which means the flowers always have 4 petals and 4 sepals forming a cross or crucifix. If not in flower the fruits are also a distinctive feature useful for identification.  Many have both the flowers as well as the fruit at the same time, making identification even easier!

Several improved members of this family have been in cultivation for hundreds of years for their food value especially in winter-time such as all the different cabbages and kales. Throughout the year there are vegetables available of this family from salad leaves such as Rocket, Mustard, Cress and their peppery tasting roots such as in the Turnip and Radish!

Some general uses on the next page, followed by more detail description of the more important members of this large family! There will be a part 2 in the future.

I use colour coding for easy reading! Blue background is general interesting info (although I hope you find it all interesting!!). Green is about all the uses except for medicinal uses or if there is a warning in which case I use a pink background. Pictures by Matt Summers unless stated.

Continue reading “Useful members of the Brassica (Cabbage!) Family. Part 1”

Introduction to My Wonderful Weeds Blog

To talk kindly about the weeds in my blog, we first need to identify those weeds of which many people despise…!

Common Ragwort is despised by horse owners in particular but lots of wildlife, including this house sparrow is depending on it! See more in this post. (Picture by Matt Summers)

A useful place to find this information is on the RHS website please see here. You can also find out how to tackle them. It mentions over 20 most troublesome weeds, for which I will hope to do a write up in the coming weeks.

Continue reading “Introduction to My Wonderful Weeds Blog”