Prairie Tea

Prairie Tea (Croton monanthogynus)

Each day this year, I am eating something from the wilds of Texas. It may be small and symbolic or it might be a whole meal, but it will always be something I find, something tasty and something wild. Usually, it will be from my own average urban yard – I haven’t transplanted any wild edibles into it but I have let several places go wild. Dining (er, at least nibbling) options in my own yard include wild onions, Turk’s Cap, wood sorrel, dandelions, dayflowers, hackberries, chile pequins, acorns, and prairie tea.

Ah-ha, it is prairie tea season! When you’re out hiking these days, you might catch a whiff of something very aromatic, almost sage-y, as your legs brush against plants along a trail. Most likely, you are smelling prairie tea. The leaves of this plant are edible and can be used as spices, in teas or as a basil substitute in your pesto. But always be sure to properly identify this spurge family plant as some plants in this family are toxic. Also, be sure you are not allergic to or irritated by this plant before harvesting a load for your next meal!

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