What Is Crowsfoot?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: No Name Given
Posted on: January 08, 2005

I have had several older friends to tell me they use to gather crow’sfoot and eat it as greens. I have many books on herbs and the like, but can not find any herb by that name. Have you heard of it? Is that a common name given to any herb that you’ve ran across. There are so many common names given to various plants, that could be why I cannot find it in my research.

Common names are notoriously unreliable identifiers of plants because the same name can be applied to more than one plant. In this case, "crowfoot" or "crowsfoot" has been applied to completely different plants. The buttercups are known as "crowsfoot" or "crowfoot" because of the deeply lobed leaves that resemble a crow’s foot. The botanical name is Ranunculus spp. And as well a wild geranium, Geranium maculatum, is called "crowfoot" also for the same reason that the leaves have a suggestive shape.

While both of these plants are medicinal, neither is considered edible. In fact, the buttercups (Ranunculus spp.) are considered poisonous and the fresh parts of the plants are skin irritants. The plant your friends gather must be a different plant altogether, but I have no idea what it would be. If you can provide an image of the plant showing the leaves and (preferably) the flowers I may be able to help further.

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