To be clear, the part I consumed wasn't poisonous. And the plant is not necessarily poisonous in a lethal sense. Many Alaska natives have used it for medicinal purposes for a long time. I ate devil’s club buds, which are edible for an extremely short timeframe in the spring. I read what I could in preparation, though it seems not many people have been brave enough to eat a plant whose spines give a nasty rash, or worse. (My main inspiration and guidance was this blog post by a well-known local cook.) My husband wasn’t too excited about eating this unfamiliar and unproven wild food, but I was determined to expand my skills of foraging for and eating Alaska’s bounty.
We had been out of town for a week, so we almost missed our opportunity since we hadn’t been able to check the progress of the buds around our house. We checked the other night and decided we couldn't wait another day; if we did the buds might start unfurling (quickly becoming the HUGE leaves they are in summer) and the spines would harden. So we donned gloves and carefully tromped through the woods.
Have you foraged for any wild, edible plants in your area?