Common name: Forsythia Botanical name: Forsythia sp. Family: Oleaceae (Olive) Worldwide distribution: Mostly native to eastern Asia, except Forsythia europaea, native to the Balkans in southeastern Europe. Local distribution: Commonly planted in British and Irish gardens. Habitat: Parks and gardens. Foraging season: Bloom in early spring. A very welcome sight after a hard winter, forsythias … Read more


Common name: Cleavers, goosegrass, sticky Willy, stick-a-back, catch weed, coachweed, scratch tongue, Lady’s bedstraw. Botanical name: Galium aparine Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee) Worldwide distribution: Native to a wide region of Europe and north and western Asia. Naturalised in many countries around the world. Local distribution: Common in the UK and Ireland. Habitat: Hedgerows, roadsides, woodland and … Read more

Ground ivy

Common name: Ground ivy, creeping Charlie, catsfoot, field balm, tunhoof, alehoof Botanical name: Glechoma hederacea Family: Lamiaceae (Mint) Worldwide distribution: Native to Europe and south-western Asia. Invasive species in North America. Local distribution: Common and widespread throughout Britain and Ireland. Habitat: Woodland, hedgerow, parks and gardens. Foraging season: Leaves in spring. Ground ivy is an … Read more

Spring elf canapes


The saying goes ‘you eat with your eyes’ and this is very true of the bright Scarlet Elf Cup. This stunning little fungus is the perfect ingredient to surprise your guests and create simple, yet mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres full of colour contrast. They can make the perfect gourmet woodland snack because the ‘basket shape’ allows … Read more

Scarlet elf cup


Common name: Scarlet elf cup, Scarlet elfcup, moss cup Botanical name: Sarcoscypha coccinea Family: Sarcoscyphaceae (Cup fungi) Worldwide distribution: Widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere. Local distribution: Common and widespread in Britain and Ireland. Habitat: Dead wood near streams and deciduous woodland. Foraging season: Early winter to early spring. These little gems appear in the … Read more

Jelly ear fungus

Common name: Jelly ear, Jew’s ear, wood ear Botanical name: Auricularia auricula-judae Family: Auriculariaceae (Jelly fungi) Worldwide distribution: Temperate regions worldwide. Local distribution: Common and widespread in Britain (particularly in the South) and Ireland. Habitat: Dead elder branches. Occasionally, you may also find them growing on sycamore, beech, ash or spindle. Foraging season: All year … Read more