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An edible…spikemoss!

May 8, 2011

This evening the Chiang Mai University botanists and affiliated friends had a meeting. I had the pleasure of meeting the famous James Maxwell for the first time. He began his career as a Southeast Asian botanist during the Vietnam war back in 1969. Somehow, eight hours disappeared quickly while discussing anything related to biology, and I returned home at 04 in the morning, full of exciting impressions. We decided to meet again at noon later today to study the herbarium and the library, and all botanists were cordially invited to Dokmai Garden.

Thanks to the accumulated botanical knowledge I got a quick answer to my question about the plant below, which I bought at the Hang Dong market two days ago with our gentle guests Maura and Carlos from Amsterdam (actually, Carlos was born on Curacao):

The spikemoss Selaginella ostenfeldii belongs to the ancient plant division called  clubmosses (Lycophyta). During a short time span some locals here in northern Thailand collect the very young shoots which they boil and eat. A truly exotic treat!

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