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Plant of the day: hypochaeris radicata, cats ear


Hypochaeris radicata – also known as catsear, flatweed, cat’s-ear, hairy cat’s ear, or false dandelion – is a perennial, low-lying edible herb often found in lawns. The plant is native to Europe, but has also been introduced to the Americas, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, where it can be an invasive weed.

Suprisingly, the whole plant is edible. It can be eaten raw or cooked in salads or stir fries, although the flavour can be alittle bland.

As an herbal remedy, cat’s ear uses include treating kidney problems, urinary tract infections, gall bladder issues, constipation, rheumatism, and liver problems. Its root contains a natural cortisone which is used to treat allergies, rashes, and other itchy skin issues in both people and pets.

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