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Cat’s Ear- Hypochoeris Radicata

Cat's Ear- Hypochoeris Radicata

Caution: Safe to eat

Edible: Leaves, young stems, buds and flowers

Flavour: Cat’s ears are slightly bitter, like a cross between dandelion and spinach.

Description: Cat’s ears have dark green, toothy leaves that resemble dandelions. Leaves are fuzzy and grow in a basal rosette near the ground. The main stem is slender and shoots up to the sky (up to two feet). Cat’s ear stems produce white, milky sap. Flowers are compound, yellow, and dandelion-like.

Flowers: Yellow difference between the Dandelion and Cats Ear is that the cats flower has a small upwards cone in the middle. The dandelion is all frizzy. 

Features: wedge-shaped leaves usually with a few large teeth towards the apex (ones at ends of branches often lack teeth) and on a stalk; plants male or female; flowerheads in panicles, male florets cream to pale yellow, female florets white; receptacle (where seeds attach) without scales.

Edible Uses: Leaves, buds, flowers, and seeds can be eaten raw. You can also steam, sauté, boil, and marinate all parts of this plant.

Medical Uses: are beneficial for liver, kidneys, gallbladder, pancreas and spleen.

Nutritional Highlight: Rich in Vitamins A, B and C, copper, phosphorus, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium. 

Helpful Tips:  Cat’s ears are extremely nutritious and beneficial for many different health reasons. They are most acclaimed as organ cleansers. Their bitter taste stimulates bile production, aids digestion, and cleans pretty much every organ inside the body.

ID Trick: Dandelion look-alike with extremely fuzzy leaves. Cat’s ears and dandelion flowers look similar, which can make them hard to distinguish. Dandelion flowers generally have exponentially more petals than cat’s ears. Cat’s ears also produce several flowers per stem, whereas dandelions never grow more than one blossom per shoot.

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