Korean wild edible/ Sannamul

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  eemoogee 4 years, 4 months ago.

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    I’ve been helping a Korean woman who was adopted to Norway as a child, but still remembers foraging with her gran and is trying to identify some of the plants so that she can grow them and relive her fond taste memories. This one has me stumped. This is what she wrote:

    “Was wondering if you could help me identify a plant from Korea. What I remember regarding this plant are:

    The foliage is small and in a rosette. Grows in porous / sandy soils. What is special about this plant is that it is the roots which are edible. The roots are long, even and shiny, and are yellowish white. No side “hairs” on the roots. (almost long like spaghetti but somewhat thicker). There are several long roots on a plant. Do not remember the Korean name unfortunately. The roots do not grow down into the soil, but sideways. It is easy to pull them up. If you find out what it’s called, be sure I’ll knit some fine socks for you!!”

    I hope someone here recognises the description!



    haha, using your friends words, i was able to find this article:


    The plant is probably called Cattails.

    White starchy roots, wild-edible, roots that grow sideways…sounds like it to me….

    All i typed in google was: “plant with white roots look like spaghetti”

    The internet is awesome :D



    Thanks, but I’m pretty sure it’s not cattails which I’m quite familiar with – they grow in water forming large stands and I don’t think the roots/rhizomes resemble spaghetti…



    Hi. I was touched by your talk and maybe you need new pair of socks.

    I think what she said is parsnip.

    Korean type of parsnip is called 방풍나물 bangpungnamul .

    Please say hello to her :D


    waimea jim

    I was just watching on Korean television (Rediscover Korea) about bangpungnamul (Carrot family) and wanted to find out about it, as they claimed it helped people recover and prevent strokes (Dongguibogam). The leaves of the plant looked like flat leaf Italian Parsley, and grew on the hillside in sandy soil, where the cold sea breeze would improve the taste and healing properties of the plant.

    The region they were visiting was Yeosu-Si, Odongo, Gongbungnu, Jungang-dong Yeosu-si, Honam, Geomundo, Geumodo, and made mention of Admiral Yi Sunsin, the inventor of the Turtle Ship.

    I hope this helps the person looking for the plant for the Korean lady.



    I’m going to guess that the plant she is talking about is shepards purse, known as Naengi 냉이 in Korean. Very fragrant springtime root plant.


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