Generally, this plant is perceived as an annoying weed which is notoriously difficult to eradicate. Gerard (1633) noted that ground elder ‘is so fruitful in his increase that where it hath once taken roote, it will hardly be gotten out again, spoiling and getting every yeere more ground, to the annoying of better herbes’. However, it has enjoyed a limited use, mainly in N. Europe, as a pot-herb or salad ingredient, and has elicited praise from
It is impossible to describe the entirely original flavour of ground elder when cooked. Don’t be deterred by the horrible pungent smell when you pick the leaves which, if you have the plant growing as a weed in your garden, will be all too familiar. This smell entirely disappears in the cooking, and you are left with one of the most delicious wild vegetables.