Yesterday was the wild walk on the Scarp, and I don’t have any photos yet, so maybe more on that when I get some. Right now I want to talk about an issue that arose on the walk. I identified a plant as KOMOSA, but one of the people on the walk said it was LEBIODA, so I decided to get to the bottom of it. It turns out, that these are two names for the same plant, though the “official name” is Komosa biała (Chenopodium album). Not to be confused with Lebiodka, or Wild Oregano, which is a completely different plant!
In English the plant also has many names: Fat Hen, Lamb’s Quarters, Goosefoot. To complicate matters further, Lamb’s Quarter’s in North America is a different, though similar, species to this Euro-Asian one. The Polish authority on all of this, as on all wild plants in Poland, is Lukasz Luczaj. (http://www.astromagia.pl/zdrowie-i-uroda/zielnik/881-lebioda-chwast-dla-godnych).
This plant is very common. I’ve seen it everywhere — in the pots on my balcony, in my gardens, in the yards, in the parks, even in the school greenhouse where I buy seedlings. The young leaves have a very distinctive taste, a bit like a particular and common male emission. Sometimes the leaves look like Christmas Trees; others look like arrows. Perhaps these are different Komosas.
This is one of the healthiest weeds there is. High in Vitamin C, A, even protein. That’s why it has the names it does. It fattens you up, whether you are a hen, a lamb, or a human. In Poland, however, to be found eating it, is to some a sure sign of poverty. To me, it’s a sure sign of resourcefulness!