Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Sea beet

1.  I go out and gather sea beet; you just boil it up.  It varies a lot and it’s a bit late now, but in about May it’s good [Faversham, Kent, May 2014].

0352.  I make use of several plants that grow around here. Each spring I gather wild spinach (sea beet) and cook, more tasty than [the] shop one. It grows along sea edges, cliffs, etc. [Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, January 2013].

3. According to my mother, Mrs Anne Wilks (b.1918), of Whitstable, Kent:
We ate the wild spinach, but then we grew it in our garden as it was cleaner there. It is very hardy and self-sows all the time.
(But her children hated it as it was stringy and tough, and made a bad feel on our teeth like rhubarb) [Upminster, Essex, March 2011].

4. Sea beet leaves boiled made an excellent vegetable in spring [St Martin, Guernsey, April 2002].

5. Sea beet is still collected when young by some people for use as spinach [St Saviour, Jersey, May 1993].

Images:  main, Whitstable, Kent, February 2014; inset, Bosham, West Sussex, April 2015 .