Rattlesnake Weed

Florida BetonyFlorida Betony (Stachys floridana) aka Rattlesnake weed.

Florida Betony, is one of the most common plants found in Florida lawns and landscape.  Sun and a moist lawn are magnets for Florida Betony and most information found on this plant is focused on how to kill it and stop it from spreading.  Of course my favorite way to deal with this weed is eat it.

Florida Betony Roots

Florida Betony is square-stemmed, with simple opposite leaves that grows about 18 inches tall.  Flowers occur in clusters of 3-6 and are small and purple.

The best roots are ready to eat in the spring when it starts to flower.

I start pulling carefully on the plant and use a small shovel to pull out the tubers attached to the roots.

Bean Soup with BetonyWash the roots thoroughly to get off all the soil.  The skin is very thin and does not need to be removed.

You can eat the roots raw and are great in a salad, I think they have a crispy taste similar to a mild radish.  I used these in a bean soup, cooked they are more like a potato and will work in any dish you would add potato.

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2 Responses to Rattlesnake Weed

  1. Irene Lester says:

    Isn’t Rattlesnake root (aka White Lettuce) Prenanthes alba ?

    • Brian says:

      Irene, Rattlesnake root or Rattlesnake weed are some local names I have heard for the Florida Betony (Stachys floridana). I think it the White Lettuce is more often called Rattlesnake root.
      I may need to change my title.

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