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Pennywort

Edible Edible Autumn Autumn Spring Spring Summer Summer

A lovely addition to any salad with its succulent, delicate flavour.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Pennywort, Navelwort, Wall Pennywort, Penny Pies
Scientific Name Umbilicus rupestris
Season Start Mar
Season End Oct
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Leaves

The leaves grow in rosettes and are round, usually with shallow scalloped edges, a ‘navel’ or depression in the middle and are quite fleshy and succulent.

Flowers

The flowers grow from and cover a tall, thick and upright  flower stem and can be yellow/green sometimes with a red or pink tinge.

The plant flowers in May and its small, green fruit ripen through the Summer.

Roots

Small, shallow and easily torn away from the rock when clumsily removing some leaves.

Habitat

Damp rock crevices, shady walls and I’ve even seen it growing from a tree stump.

Possible Confusion

With its fleshy, succulent leaves and stem growing into a ‘navel’ in the middle of the leaf and growing from rock crevices it is difficult to confuse Pennywort with any other plants.

Taste

Some say a bit like peas although we think it is pleasant but usually quite neutral although from different rocks and walls and times of year they can sometimes be very bitter.

Frequency

Fairly common.

Collecting

Care should be taken when removing the leaves as the whole plant can easily be detached from where it is growing and it should only be harvested when there is an abundance of the plant and only a couple of leaves taken from each rosette.

Medicinal Uses

Can be used to cool minor burns and grazes by removing the lower surface skin on a leaf and applying it to the wound.

Other Facts

From the stonecrop family, Crassulaceae, Navelwort and its scientific name, Umbilicus, refer to the ‘belly button’ in the middle of the leaf.
Pennywort refers to the leaves slight penny like shape.

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