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38 responses to “On Miner’s Lettuce, America’s Gift to Salad”

  1. Jules

    I saw some while I was reading meters yesterday. My grandpa taught me to eat this one too, but who knows where the guys have been spraying, so I abstained. The chickens don’t leave us any of this in my own yard, although there’s plenty of mallow and stinging nettle. Those belong to the goats.

  2. Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie)

    How do you know this has not been sprayed/contaminated. It is my constant thought.

  3. Jessa

    The roommate brought home a giant bag of miner’s lettuce he’d collected from his work the other day and we’ve been munching it all week! Certainly one of my favorite spring greens (and yes, the first wild edible I learned to identify as a kid). It’s great with a quick nutritional yeast/soy/garlic dressing, too.

    I think this year I’d like to try to freeze some for later use in soups and quiches (taking the place of frozen spinach). Maybe even use them in a spanakopita. Have you ever tried this? I assume that it would hold up well, being of a similar texture.

  4. Shae @ H2H

    Thanks, Hank. It’s growing all over our property. I’m going to go out today and pick my salad!

  5. FatStupidAmerican

    Hello from the 916!

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and I was starting to wonder if you were in my part of Cali.

  6. Carmen Hirkala (Biomouse)

    I love that you’re sharing the secrets of nature walks and the bounty of edible wild plants with a fun post and beautiful pictures. The overlook trails off Hazel looking over the dam are perfect at this time of year for claytonia, as well as Slab Creek/El Dorado area (though they’ll have snow tomorrow!).

  7. Cork @ Cork's Outdoors

    With all this water, there’re tons of this stuff in a school field in which I train Ziggy. Can I wash the likely pesticide and other chemicals off the miner’s lettuce to eat it–or just too much risk?

  8. Karen

    never even heard of it…probably because I’m stuck on the East Coast :(. We’ve got shore greens a-plenty, but no miner’s lettuce…maybe I can figure out where in NH it’s growing, because I’d really like to try it !

  9. Peter

    The other thing I love about it is that it’s superbly cold-tolerant; I can keep it going under hoops deep into the winter. Not that you Californians need to know of such horrors.

  10. Karen

    It’s growing wild in my yard…Northern Cali….

  11. Mike

    Just had mine with some scrambled eggs. Of course the chickens have been eating it for a couple of weeks now. If only I still had that amazing Mangalista bacon, life would be complete.

  12. You better eat your weedies… |

    […] Miner’s lettuce is good for you. The 49′s foraged for it in the Sierra Nevadas during the gold rush, one of their only remedies for scurvy.  If it’s good enough for miners and Joe Montana, it’s good enough for me.  It’s packed with more vitamin C than your Sunny D. Grab it, wash it, toss it, dress it, and eat. Don't go smoking them tweeds! […]

  13. Miner’s lettuce | Root Simple

    […] If you want to learn more about miner’s lettuce, here’s a nice longer article about it at Hunter Angler Gardener Cook […]

  14. Kelley

    I am thinking of using those beautiful long stems for stir fries…..almost like noodles but not.

    I have about 60 sq ft of miner’s lettuce, beautifully green in my side yard, not sprayed as my guy knows to leave that bed alone entirely.

    We’re going to be 100% completely and totally scurvy free at my house.

  15. Erin

    I grew up snacking on this when we’d move cattle. We always stopped at springs to water the cows at the troughs there, and miner’s lettuce grew all around the (fenced) actual spring. Living in Montana, I grow it not only because it’s tasty, but because it’s cold hardy!

  16. Jen64

    Went for a hike a couple weeks ago here in Northern CA – coast to redwoods and found lots of Miner’s lettuce. The kids love to munch on it while we hike. I snagged a few and brought them home and planted it in a pot. It’s starting to flower! I want to plant it in my yard but need to gather some seeds first. I understand it is a winter annual that dries up in the summer? I may plant it in the fall.

  17. The Salad Days | PDXX Collective

    […] favorite spring green is miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata), so called because it provided vital vitamin C for gold miners, protecting […]


    […] Love this article by the ever-wise-about-foraging Hank Shaw: Foraging for Miner’s Lettuce […]

  19. Five Very Green Things | Heart of the West Coast

    […] This distinctive plant, with its lilypad-like leaves and tiny white flowers, is one of my favourite signs of early spring. The plant itself is edible, and has a fresh mild taste. Its common name comes from the fact that prospecting miners snacked on it as they made their way to the coast for the California gold rush – it provided an easy source of vitamin C to prevent scurvy! For a lovely account of the historical significance and greographical distribution of Miner’s Lettuce – as well as some suggestions for how best to prepare it – check out Hank Shaw’s post on Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. […]

  20. Taylor’s Mushroom Hike with Myriad Mycology | Life as We Know Him

    […] is a picture of miner’s lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata,  and a wild strawberry bloom.  I ate some of the lettuce while I was out […]

  21. Earth Day: Foraged Food | Without a Map

    […] fortunate to have a patch of miner’s lettuce growing only a few feet from my front door. Miner’s lettuce is remarkably similar to spinach […]

  22. P J Kielberg-McClenahan

    I just noticed a nice patch of miner’s lettuce on our lower road. We are harvesting it tomorrow morning.

  23. Back To Organic – Sparta Lion’s Mane Mushroom Salad

    […] Greens- Wash and trim the roots of foraged Miner’s lettuce or another readily available lettuce variety. Tyler used pea shoots. For more spring color, […]

  24. Spring Beauty | Eat | Drink | Breathe

    […] makes miner’s lettuce ‘kinda special, as Hank Shaw from Hunter|Angler|Gardener|Cook pointed out. This isn’t some transplant from Europe like the Himalayan Blackberry or the […]

  25. The Bounty of Spring: Utilizing Wild Foods for Health and Budgeting | The Food Reality

    […] or by trash cans… you know. Use your head.  I have a friend in Boise, Idaho who forages for Miner’s Lettuce behind a strip club.  To each his or her own! However, the city is often home to some great wild […]

  26. grumpy bear

    Caution: miners lettuce contains oxylates,(oxalic acid),so if kidney problems like stones,or arthritis,eat in moderation,same as spinach.The plant contains vitamin C but not in extraordinary amounts & varies according to soil conditions,etc. Average daily amounts of vit.C varies by country from 40mgs-100mgs.In the above “100gm” amount,it would be difficult to determine the mg. amount of vit-C,however,in emergency,i.e.,scurvy,it’s moot. My 2-cents! Cheers!

  27. john

    Is anyone concerned about the oxylates that, I read, may accumulate in the leaves and become toxic?? Thanks

  28. Food Pictures Lettuce – Food Watch

    […] Foraging for Miner’s Lettuce, a World-Class Salad Green – Feb 23, 2011  · How to find, forage and eat miner’s lettuce, claytonia prefoliata, one of the few North American wild plants exported to Europe as a salad green. […]

  29. Katrina Jones

    I have Miner’s Lettuce seeds that I got from Baker Creek Seeds and I am looking for the best spots in my edible landscape to sow them. I’ve noticed that they love shade and seek out north and west aspects to grow. As for harvesting in the city, I look for yards where it is obvious there is no spraying (they have lots of “weeds”), then I talk to the people living there and make sure there is no spraying, then I ask them if I can harvest their weeds. I can get all the Miner’s Lettuce and Purslane (a close cousin that loves heat, drought, and poor soil) I want within walking distance of my house! Don’t be afraid to talk to people about harvesting their weeds. You would be amazed at the wonderful conversations you’ll have and the eyes you’ll open.

  30. Jon

    My Mothers Back yard is covered with a blanket of green Miner’s Lettuce she have it sprayed 5 years ago do you think the Lettuce is save to eat? they used roundup

  31. Frugal Living: Using Up Fish Scraps for Broth and Other Recipes | Prepper's Survival Homestead

    […] side of the grill while everything else is cooking.  Or, if I’m lucky, I might find some Miner’s Lettuce and make a […]

  32. Peter

    Have chewed on miner’s lettuce since a small boy and have always loved it. Just pulled one plant from the toe of my compost pile. It will be enough for a big salad for the two of us tonight, its leaves double or maybe even triple the size of all the rest growing on our 5 acres. If my compost pile has nothing else it must have plenty of nitrogen!

  33. Tama

    Never knew it existed. Saw it in a book of wild edible plants. Would love to have some seeds.

  34. Eddie

    Hi. I live in Surrey England. We have had this weed growing under a big tree in the garden for years.
    Didn’t know what it was until I took some to the RHS , for identification .
    I was told it is Claytonia Perfoliata, Miners Lrttuce. I was surprised to find out it was edible &
    How good it was for you. I have now eaten it & it’s good .
    Reading this blog has been really interesting

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