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Canadian chapola. An herb that tastes like green chilies

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I bet you’ve seen it often without knowing it’s edible: it is The Canadian know-it-all. It is also easily seen in the city and follows the man everywhere, which is an exception Green pepper taste If you learn to recognize it, it is like being Pepper throughout the year.

In this article we learn to identify and cook The Canadian know-it-all In an all-vegetable recipe.

Canadian Chapola Names

The three most common and most interesting species of Canadian chapola in Italy, all three are used in the same way: Erigeron canadensis, Erigeron sumatrensis And Erigeron bonariensis. common name, ErigeronFrom Greek éri, soon and géron, old, perhaps quick flowering and fruiting, or Greek érion, hair, wool, and Latin gerĕre, due to its bottom, to carry.

specific name, canadensisOn the other hand, it refers to one of the territories of origin: Canada or North America in general. The genus sumatrensis refers to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, south of the Malay Peninsula. The genus name Ponariensis, on the other hand, may come from the Modern Latin Ponaria, meaning Buenos Aires, originally from the vicinity of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

It has many dialect names throughout Italy, divided here by region:

  • Emilia Romagna: Save your life
  • Lombardy: Callistria, famine
  • Veneto: Scova Mata, Scova Salvatega, Chorcastrella, Scopador Salvategae
  • Piedmont: mouth of feez, bull pana, p’ nas de volp
  • Liguria: cua de lù, demistrelli, nina
  • Tuscany: Ibia, Chapola

To avoid making mistakes, always refer to the scientific name, which is more specific and international than the popular ones. Remember that plants always have a name and a surname (genus of the genus, in this case Erigeron, and species, in this case the 3 we are interested in: canadensis, sumatrensis and bonariensis). If you know of other categories of Canadian chapola, please report them by leaving a comment below the article.

Canadian chapola in ancient times

Not yet known in Europe 1655Imported from North America, transplanted to the Botanical Garden of Blois in France, it spread across Europe and became naturalized in Italy. Eighteenth century.

How to recognize a Canadian chapola

It is easy to recognize the Canadian chapola: her characteristic Hair leavesTo identify it beyond any doubt, I advise you to rub the leaf well and smell its unmistakable scent. Green pepper. If the smell reminds you of green chilies, you’ve found it. Remember to always take pictures and take notes to submit to an expert botanist who can help confirm the plant’s identity, giving you more confidence the first few times.

Canadian chapola, hairy-leaved wild herb (Conyza canadensis or Erigeron canadensis)

Characteristics of the Canadian chapola

All three mentioned species, canadensis, sumatrensis and bonariensis They are in all parts of Italy. I am Very common in uncultivated, in anthropized areas, roadsides, modified soil, cultivated land, up to approximately 1200 meters above sea level. The following description applies Erigeron canadensisBut then we will briefly look at the differences between the three different species.

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Erigeron canadensis

It is an annual or biennial herbaceous plant, hairy, glabrous tap root, it goes straight down to 1 meter and 50 cm high. Stem cylindric, erect, simple or branched in inflorescence, which rises immediately after the appearance of a basal rosette of oval leaves, long and distinctly petioled, entire or with few pointed teeth. The cauline leaves, i.e. those along the stem, are lanceolate and velvety, with short hairs and sparse eyelets on the margin and petiole which become smaller and smaller and disappear as they ascend further up the stem. Asteraceae, or Composite, is one of the botanical families with the most species The Canadian know-it-allBut more artichokeThe In the heartThe ChamomileThe Jerusalem artichokeChicory, lettuce and so on, what may seem like a single flower is actually one PeepsThat is the general inflorescence of this family, that is the collection of flowers, precisely, hence the name compound family.

saeppola canadensis, flowering

saeppola canadensis, flowering. Erigeron canadensis L. Photo:

Canadian chapola flower

A flower head is formed by florets placed centrally, tubular, and peripherally, ligulate. there The Canadian know-it-all Produces more than 200 flowers per peduncle. Small cylindrical flower heads form a 3.4 mm large terminal, i.e. cluster of flower heads, dense and branched.

Differences between species

I will try to summarize the differences between the three different species of Erigeron and try to identify the species correctly. there sumatrensis species It is the tallest of the 3 species mentioned, reaching a height of two meters, distinguishing itself from the others. Broad leaves, with distinct lateral ridges. Of the three, it is the only species with ligulate peripheral flowers canadensis.

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Property of Canadian Chapola

there The Canadian know-it-all is rich Essential oilssuch as citronellol and limonene. This herb contains flavonoids, phytosterols, resins and tannins. Its characteristics Anti-inflammatory and balsamic The respiratory tract is responsible for the presence of essential oils that give herbal teas and decoctions their characteristic aroma and bitter taste. It is an excellent diuretic herb for rheumatism, rheumatism and gout, as it allows the body to get rid of nitrogenous waste through excessive urination, while it is excellent for external use, always in decoction, to soothe minor ulcers. Irritation of mucous membranes and skin of mouth and throat. Native Americans used many preparations based on dried Canadian chapola leaves for sore throats and diarrhea, just a few of the myriad uses. The Canadian know-it-all By those people.

Canadian chapola leaves

Nerves of chapola, spontaneous grass

How Canadian Chapola is Grown

The plant grows well in one place Slightly neutral or alkaline soil, well-drained, in a sunny position it tolerates different climates. Seeds have a germination capacity of 5, 10 degrees to 30 degrees, with a maximum germination capacity of about 15 degrees. Since the seeds are very small and do not need to go deep, it should be sown on the surface. For cultivation, since it is a species Rapid growth and development, there are no major precautions and tricks to keep in mind. In fact it is a spontaneous herb that spreads everywhere and in every situation. You can literally grow anywhere.

Using Canadian chapola in cooking

All three species mentioned so far Edible and are used in the same way. If you must use it in the kitchen, pick it when it is still young and not in full bloom More smooth and digestibleEven when it is flowering you can continue to collect the leaves that are found along the stem.

In herbal medicine, the useful parts of the plant are the flowering tops, including the stem and leaves, so you can collect it during flowering. The whole plant is covered with hairs, and when raw it is unpleasant and inviting, I always advise cooking it, blanching it if you use it. In soups Or saute the leaves in a pan with a clove of garlic and saute the leaves well and fry them.

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there The Canadian know-it-all characterized by an intensity Green frigitello pepper flavor, jalapeño, sometimes even spicy. When a chef who wanted to use it once asked me how to make an oil that tasted like green chilies, I advised him to blanch it and put it in ice water to fix the beautiful green color and remove the bitter taste. Very strong, and then infuse the oil for several days, keeping everything in the refrigerator, the result is the same Unusual highly aromatic green pepper oil, but without pepper! Personally, I cook it with pulses like chickpeas and beans, which add a peppery flavor to soups even in winter. If you want to dry it, collect newly sprouted leaves and inflorescences, which have not yet produced fruits and seeds, dry them quickly, so that they do not stick together and do not turn black, in the shade and ventilation. Keep in a place or dryer, away from light and moisture, but remember that it loses its properties when dry. You can use it as an excellent anti-inflammatory, diuretic and balsamic herbal tea.

Canadian chapola leaf chips recipe

Canadian chapola leaf chips. Recipe and photo by Emanuel Cavaiolo

Canadian chapola leaf chips recipe

required things

  • Canadian chapola leaves
  • waterfall
  • Peanut flour
  • Sunflower oil for frying


  1. Prepare the chickpea flour and water, loose, not too sticky, to a smooth consistency, I recommend putting the chickpea flour in the bowl first and slowly adding the water a little at a time so that no lumps form. Always changing
  2. Dip the leaves one by one in the batter, let them drip, and dip them in the hot oil
  3. When the chips are golden brown, remove them from the oil
  4. Place the chips on absorbent paper to allow the oil to drain
  5. Enjoy chips with your favorite salsa

They are freshly grilled, don’t wait too long, crush them right away and maybe have a nice wild aperitif with friends!

Emmanuel Cavayolo (wild goat)

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