Glossary of Terms for our Edible Plant Guide Series!

Susan Sunhee Volz
Aug 13, 2021

TTF Foraging Guide 2022 cover page

Do you ever see people picking plants in parks or on sidewalks? They’re foraging!

Foraging is the practice of exploring an area to pick wild plants, often for food or medicine, but also for craft and other raw materials. It’s an important practice in many cultures, especially in many of the communities that live around Tacony Creek Park. We often see neighbors foraging in the park!

It may be intimidating to start foraging if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for. That’s why in the summer of 2021, we created a series of edible plant guides, written by our Alliance for Watershed Education FellowMyKyah Vessels, to help you during your foraging journeys!

MyKyah has led many foraging walks in Tacony Creek Park. Stay tuned for walks in future seasons!

The Edible Plant Guide series features these commonly-seen plants:

  1. Broadleaf Plantain | Llenten
  2. Common Mugwort
  3. Greater Burdock
  4. Black Walnut
  5. Yellow Wood Sorrel

The below glossary of terms can be used in reference to reading the series! View the full Edible Plant Guide here.

By MyKyah Vessels, Alliance for Watershed Fellow

Edible Plant Guide Glossary

Annual – A plant that completes its life cycle in one year. When the new season comes, an entirely new plant grows from the seed of the previous plant.

Biennial – A plant that lives for two years. They flower during their second year of life and after the third a new plant grows.

Bract – A modified leaf underneath or surrounding the flower.

Cholagogue – Stimulates and increases the flow of bile.

Deciduous – A tree or shrub that sheds its leaves.

Herbaceous – A plant stem with little to no woody tissue.

Mordant – A chemical that binds a natural dye to a natural fiber.

Moxibustion (Mandarin: 艾灸)- This is an external treatment in Chinese Traditional Medicine and other countries in East and Central Asia in which bundles of dried Mugwort or wormwood are burned over the body.

Perennial – A plant that lives more than two years. It survives by its roots when the top portion dies back or is evergreen.

Petiole – The stalk that supports the leaf and connects the blade to the stem.

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