Scientific name(s): Crepis japonica and Youngia japonica
What: young leaves and shoots, roots
How: raw or cooked, roots roasted for coffee
Where: disturbed areas
Nutritional Value: minerals and antioxidants
Other uses: After flower stalks have appeared mashed leaves can be used to soothe insect bites/stings.
Japanese hawkweed is a close relative of dandelions and contain all the same beneficial nutrients. Unfortunately its flowers are too small to be used like dandelions flowers. Like many crepis species, its leaves become very bitter once the flower stalks appear. Boiling in a change or two of water will help remove some of the bitterness, but the end result still isn't very appetizing.
Closeup of flowers.
Young Japanese Hawkweed plant.
Flowering Japanese Hawkweed.