52 Wild Plants You Can Eat

Waking Times

In addition to using the list below as a resource, consider the importance of properly educating yourself before consuming wild plants. Below are some resources to consider:

Stalking the Wild Asparagus and Stalking The Healthful Herbs by Euell Gibbons

Edible Wild Plants by John Kallas Ph.D.

Wild Cards: Edible Wild Foods and The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide by Linda Runyon

We all know which vegetables and fruits are safe to eat, but what about other wild edibles? Here are a few common North American goodies that are safe to eat if you find yourself stuck in the wild:

1. Blackberries – Rubus fruticosus

Many wild berries are not safe to eat, it’s best to stay away from them. But wild blackberries are 100% safe to eat and easy to recognize. They have red branches that have long thorns similar to a rose, the green leaves are wide and jagged. They are best to find in the spring when their white flowers bloom, they are clustered all around the bush and their flowers have 5 points. The berries ripen around August to September.

2. Dandelions – Taraxacum officinale

The easiest to recognize if the dandelion, in the spring they show their bright yellow buds. You can eat the entire thing raw or cook them to take away the bitterness, usually in the spring they are less bitter. They are packed with Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and beta carotene.

3. Asparagus – Asparagus officinalis


The vegetable that makes your pee smell funny grows in the wild in most of Europe and parts of North Africa, West Asia, and North America. Wild asparagus has a much thinner stalk than the grocery-store variety. It’s a great source of source of vitamin C, thiamine, potassium and vitamin B6. Eat it raw or boil it like you would your asparagus at home.

4. Elderberries – Sambucus

An elderberry shrub can grow easily grow about 10 feet and yield tons of food, their leaf structure is usually 7 main leaves on a long stretched out stem, the leaves are long and round and the leaves themselves have jagged edges. These are easiest to identify in the spring as they blossom white clustered flowers that resembles an umbrella. Mark the spot and harvest the berries when they’re ripe around September.

Elderberries are known for their flu and cold healing properties, you can make jelly from them and are very sweet and delicious. Yet, be aware that elderberries can be toxic if not properly prepared.

5. Gooseberries – Ribes uva-crispa

These are also common in the woods in northern Missouri, the branches are grey and have long red thorns, and the leaves are bright green and have 5 points. They have rounded edges and look similar to the shape of a maple leaf. The flowers in the spring are very odd looking, they are bright red and hang down, the berries ripen around late May early June.

6. Mulberries – Morus

Mulberry leaves have two types, one spade shape and a 5 fingered leaf. Both have pointed edges. The ripe fruit is edible and is widely used in pies, tarts, wines, cordials and tea.

7. Pine – Pinus

There are over a hundred different species of pine. Not only can the food be used as a supply of nourishment but, also can be used for medicinal purposes. Simmer a bowl of water and add some pine needles to make tea. Native americans used to ground up pine to cure skurvy, its rich in vitamin C.

8. Kudzu – Pueraria lobata

Pretty much the entire plant is edible and is also known for medicinal values, such as being an anti-inflammatory and helping in treating headaches and migraines. In developed areas, these plants are often sprayed with herbicides. We were blessed to find this great patch of Kudzu surrounded by Blackberries. The leaves can be eaten raw, steam or boiled. The root can be eaten as well.

9. Daylily – Hemerocallis

You can find this plant in many parts of the country, they have bright orange flowers and foliage that comes straight up from the ground, no stem. You can eat the flower buds before they open, just cook it like a vegetable.

10. Pecans – Carya illinoinensis

The trees mature around 20-30 ft, some can grow up to 100 ft tall. The leaves are bright green and long, smooth edges and the pecans themselves are grown in green pods and when ripe the pods open and the seeds fall to the ground. The pecan is a species of hickory, native to south-central North America. Pecans, if grown commercially have some of the highest nutrients per acre of any crop.

11. Hazelnuts – Corylus

Hazelnut trees are short and tend to be around 12-20 ft tall, the leaves are bright green and have pointed edges, and the hazelnuts themselves grow in long strands of pods and generally ripen by September and October. They are also known as cobnut or filberts.

12. Walnuts – Juglans regia

Walnut trees are the most recognisable and the tallest nut tree in North America, they can range from 30-130 feet tall. The leaf structure is very similar to the peacan, the leaves are spear like and grow on a long stem 6-8 leaves on both sides. The leaves edges are smooth and green. The walnuts tend to grow in clusters and ripen in the fall.

13. Acorns – Quercus

Acorns, also known as oak nuts, can tend to be bitter, they are highly recognisable. They should be eaten cooked and a limited amount.

14. Hickory Nuts – Carya

Hickory nut trees can grow about 50-60 ft tall, their green leaves are spear like and can grow very large, they have pointed edges. The hickory nut is round and ten to ripen in September or October.

15. Clovers – Trifolium repens


Clovers are everywhere if you’re lucky *pun*, and edible! If you find grass you will most likely see this sprouting everywhere, their distinctive trifoil leafs and white flowers are easy to spot, you can eat them raw but they taste better boiled. 

16. Red Clovers – Trifolium pratense

Blossoms can be eaten fresh or steeped in hot water for tea. And you can toss both the green leaves and blossoms into a salad.

17. Chicory – Cichorium intybus


You can find these in Europe, North America and Australia. The entire plant can be eaten along with it bright blue flowers, which can also be white or pink. Chicory is well known for its toxicity to internal parasites.

18. Coltsfoot – Tussilago farfara

Edible parts: Flowers and young leaves can be eaten. Flowers can be eaten raw and mixed into a salad adding a wonderful aromatic flavor. Use the flower head and place them into a glass jar adding raw honey and storing it for a few weeks for its strength; this makes a great home remedy to help calm a cough, or just add some of this coltsfoot honey into your tea. You may dry the flower heads and use them as tea or in cooking/baking recipes. Young leaves are bitter but better after boiled them and then in salads, stews, or just add lemon, extra virgin olive oil and seasoning.

Although coltsfoot is well documented as a natural cough and sore throat remedy, it may be best to avoid prolonged use of the plant or to ensure the supplement you buy is certified and labeled as hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid free (PA-free). Hepatotoxic PAs might be carcinogenic and mutagenic and may also increase blood pressure. Certain studies have shown that Coltsfoot tea causes liver problems in infants and pregnant women.

19. Creeping Charlie – Glechoma hederacea

Edible parts: Young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves have a mild bitter flavor with a aromatic tang great for salads or jucing. You can cook these young leaves like spinach, or add to soups, stews, and omelet. Tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. This wild edible has been known to be added to beer in much the same way as hops, for flavor and clarity. This plant is also known as ground-ivy, gill-over-the-ground, alehoof, tunhoof, catsfoot, field balm, and run-away-robin.

20. Cattail – Typha latifolia 

Known as cattails or punks in North America and bullrush and reedmace in England, the typha genus of plants is usually found near the edges of freshwater wetlands. Cattails were a staple in the diet of many Native American tribes. Most of a cattail is edible. You can boil or eat raw the rootstock, or rhizomes, of the plant. The rootstock is usually found underground. Make sure to wash off all the mud. The best part of the stem is near the bottom where the plant is mainly white. Either boil or eat the stem raw. Boil the leaves like you would spinach. The corn dog-looking female flower spike can be broken off and eaten like corn on the cob in the early summer when the plant is first developing. It actually has a corn-like taste to it.

21. Garlic Mustard – Alliaria petiolata

Edible parts: Flowers, leaves, roots and seeds. Leaves can be eaten in any season, when the weather gets hot, the leaves will have a taste bitter. Flowers can be chopped and tossed into salads. The roots can be collected in early spring and again in late fall, when no flower stalks are present. Garlic mustard roots taste very spicy somewhat like horseradish…. yummy! In the fall the seed can be collected and eaten.

22. Chickweed – Stellaria media

These usually appear May and July, you can eat the leaves raw or boiled, they’re high in vitamins and minerals!

23. Hop Clover – Trifolium campestre

WIKI _ Hop Clover

Edible parts: The flowers, leaves and seeds are edible. All clover types are known to be part of the paleo diet of the First Nations people. Flowers can be put into teas. Seeds (in autumn) can be collected and eaten as is or roasted and can be ground into flour as well. Leaves can be tossed into salads, omelets, juicing, sandwiches, etc.

24. Herb Robert – Geranium Robertianum

WIKI-HerbRobert-Christer Johansson

Edible parts: The entire plant. Fresh leaves can be used in salads or to make tea. The flower, leaves and root can be dried and stored using it later as a tea or herbs as a nutrient booster. Rubbing fresh leaves on the skin is known to repel mosquitoes, and the entire plant repels rabbits and deer which would compliment and protect your garden. For more info about Herb Robert see HerbsAreSpecial.com.

25. Beach Lovage – Ligusticum scoticum hultenii

Use the leaves raw in salads or salsas, or cooked in soups, with rice, or in mixed cooked greens. Beach lovage can have a strong flavor and is best used as a seasoning, like parsley, rather than eaten on its own.  Beach lovage tastes best before flowers appear, and is also called Scotch lovage, sea lovage, wild celery, and petrushki.

26. Plantain – Plantago

Is another one of those plants that seems to thrive right on the edge of gardens and driveways, but it’s also edible. Pick the green, rippled leaves and leave the tall flower stems. Blanch the leaves and sauté with some butter and garlic just as you would with kale or any other tough green.

27. Wild Garlic – Allium vineale

WIKI-wild garlic-russavia

Wild Garlic (Allium vineale, crow garlic or garlic grass) is an herbal treat often found lurking in fields, pastures, forests and disturbed soil. It resembles cultivated garlic or spring onions, but the shoots are often very thin. Use it in sandwiches, salads, pesto or chopped on main courses like scallions.

28. Watercress – Nasturtium officinale

Cresses (Garden cress, water cress, rock cress, pepper cress) are leafy greens with bright white flowers that resemble the shape of a cross long and are cultivated in much of Northern Europe. They have a spicy tang and are great in salads, sandwiches, and soups. Since this is an aquatic plant, it should be washed carefully prior to consumption if it is collected from the wild. If the plant is collected from untreated water it may carry water-born microscopic parasites, such as the protozoan Giardia.

29. Lamb’s Quarters – Chenopodium album


Use the leaves raw in salads, or cooked in soups, in mixed cooked greens, or in any dish that calls for cooking greens. Lamb’s Quarters are susceptible to leaf miners; be careful to harvest plants that are not infested. Although Lamb’s Quarters are best before the flowers appear, if the fresh young tips are continuously harvested, lamb’s quarters can be eaten all summer. Lamb’s Quarters is also called Pigweed, Fat Hen, Goosefoot, and Wild Spinach. Note that some of our readers consider this plant to be a bit of pest.

30. Goosetongue – Plantago macrocarpa

Use the young leaves raw in salads, or cooked in soups, in mixed cooked greens, or in any dish that calls for cooking greens.  Goosetongue is best in spring and early summer, before the flowers appear.  Goosetongue can be confused with poisonous Arrowgrass, so careful identification is essential. Goosetongue is also called Seashore Plantain.

31. Joe Pye Weed – Eutrochium

Edible parts: The entire plant can be used including the root. The leaves and stems can be harvested in the summer before the flower buds open and can be dried and stored for later use. The roots are harvested in the autumn. Fresh flowers can be used to make an herbal tea.

Joe Pye weed is named after a legendary Indian healer who used a decoction of the plant to cure typhus fever in colonial America. Native tribes used gravel root as a healing tonic included relieving constipation, washing wounds with a strong tea made from the root to prevent infection.

Similar to coltsfoot, Joe Pye weed contains livertoxic PAs which might be carcinogenic.

32. Pigweed – Amaranthus palmeri

Edible parts: The whole plant – leaves, roots, stem, seeds. The Amarath seed is small and very nutritious and easy to harvest, the seed grain is used to make flour for baking uses. Roasting the seeds can enhance the flavor, also you can sprout the raw seeds using them in salads, and in sandwiches, etc. Young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach, sautéed, etc. Fresh or dried pigweed leaves can be used to make tea.

33. Fireweed – Chamerion angustifolium

This pretty little plant is found primarily in the Northern Hemisphere. You can identify fireweed by its purple flower and the unique structure of the leaves’ veins; the veins are circular rather than terminating on the edges of the leaves. Several Native American tribes included fireweed in their diet. It’s best eaten young when the leaves are tender. Mature fireweed plants have tough and bitter tasting leaves. You can eat the stalk of the plant as well. The flowers and seeds have a peppery taste. Fireweed is a great source of vitamins A and C.

34. Monkey Flower – Mimulus

Use the leaves raw in salads, or cooked in soups, mixed cooked greens, or any dish that calls for cooking greens.  Monkey flower is best before the flowers appear, although the flowers are also edible and are good in salads or as a garnish.

35. Self-heal – Prunella vulgaris

Edible parts: the young leaves and stems can be eaten raw in salads; the whole plant can be boiled and eaten as a potherb; and the aerial parts of the plant can be powdered and brewed in a cold infusion to make a tasty beverage. The plant contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as flavonoids and rutin. Medicinally, the whole plant is poulticed onto wounds to promote healing. A mouthwash made from an infusion of the whole plant can be used to treat sore throats, thrush and gum infections. Internally, a tea can be used to treat diarrhea and internal bleeding.

36. Shepherd’s Purse – Capsella bursa-pastoris

Use the young leaves raw in salads, or cooked in soups, in mixed cooked greens or in any dish that calls for cooking greens.  Although the leaves may be eaten throughout the summer, the mature leaves have a peppery taste that does not appeal to all palates.

37. Common Mallow – Malva neglecta

Edible parts:All parts of the mallow plant are edible — the leaves, the stems, the flowers, the seeds, and the roots (it’s from the roots that cousin Althaea gives the sap that was used for marshmallows). Because it’s a weed that grows plentifully in neglected areas, mallows have been used throughout history as a survival food during times of crop failure or war. Mallows are high in mucilage, a sticky substance that gives them a slightly slimy texture, similar to okra, great in soups. Mallow has a nice pleasant nutty flavor. One of the most popular uses of mallows is as a salad green.

38. Miner’s Lettuce – Claytonia perfoliata

Parts: Flowers, Leaves, Root. Leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. A fairly bland flavor with a mucilaginous texture, it is quite nice in a salad. The young leaves are best, older leaves can turn bitter especially in the summer and if the plant is growing in a hot dry position. Although individual leaves are fairly small, they are produced in abundance and are easily picked. Stalks and flowers can be eaten raw. A nice addition to the salad bowl. Bulb also can be eaten raw. Although very small and labor-intensive to harvest, the boiled and peeled root has the flavor of chestnuts. Another report says that the plant has a fibrous root system so this report seems to be erroneous.

39. Field Pennycress – Thlaspi arvense

WIKI-FieldPennycress-H. Zell

Field Pennycress is a weed found in most parts of the world. Its growing season is early spring to late winter. You can eat the seeds and leaves of field pennycress raw or boiled. The only caveat with field pennycress is not to eat it if it’s growing in contaminated soil. Pennycress is a hyperaccumulator of minerals, meaning it sucks up any and all minerals around it. General rule is don’t eat pennycress if it’s growing by the side of the road or is near a Superfund site.

40. Sweet Rocket – Hesperis matronalis

This plant is often mistaken for Phlox. Phlox has five petals, Dame’s Rocket has just four. The flowers, which resemble phlox, are deep lavender, and sometimes pink to white. The plant is part of the mustard family, which also includes radishes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and, mustard. The plant and flowers are edible, but fairly bitter. The flowers are attractive added to green salads. The young leaves can also be added to your salad greens (for culinary purposes, the leaves should be picked before the plant flowers). The seed can also be sprouted and added to salads. NOTE: It is not the same variety as the herb commonly called Rocket, which is used as a green in salads.

41. Wild Bee Balm – Monarda fistulosa

Edible parts: Leaves boiled for tea, used for seasoning, chewed raw or dried; flowers edible. Wild bee balm tastes like oregano and mint. The taste of bee balm is reminiscent of citrus with soft mingling of lemon and orange. The red flowers have a minty flavor. Any place you use oregano, you can use bee balm blossoms. The leaves and flower petals can also be used in both fruit and regular salads. The leaves taste like the main ingredient in Earl Gray Tea and can be used as a substitute.

42. Mallow – Malvaceae

WIKI-mallow-Forest & Kim Starr

Mallow is a soft tasty leaf good in fresh salads. Use it like lettuce and other leafy greens. You may find the smaller younger leaves a tad more tender. Toss in salads, or cook as you would other tender greens like spinach. The larger leave can be used for stuffing, like grape leaves. The seed pods are also edible while green and soft before they harden, later turning woody and brown. I hear they can be cooked like a vegetable. I’ve harvested and eaten them raw, and want to try steaming, pickling, fermenting, and preparing like ocra.

43. Pineapple Weed – Matricaria discoidea

WIKI-pineappleweed-H. Zell

Edible parts: Pineapple weed flowers and leaves are a tasty finger food while hiking or toss in salads. Flowers can also be dried out and crushed so that it can be used as flour. As with chamomile, pineapple weed is very good as a tea. Native Americans used a leaf infusion (medicine prepared by steeping flower or leaves in a liquid without boiling) for stomach gas pains and as a laxative.

44. Milk Thistle – Silybum marianum


Milk thistle is most commonly sought for its medicial properties of preventing and repairing liver damage. But most parts of the plants are also edible and tasty. Until recently, it was commonly cultivated in Eurpoean vegetable gardens. Leaves can be de-spined for use as salad greens or sautéed like collard greens; water-soaked stems prepared like asparugus; roots boiled or baked; flower pods used like artichoke heads.

45. Prickly Pear Cactus – Opuntia


Found in the deserts of North America, the prickly pear cactus is a very tasty and nutritional plant that can help you survive the next time you’re stranded in the desert. The fruit of the prickly pear cactus looks like a red or purplish pear. Hence the name. Before eating the plant, carefully remove the small spines on the outer skin or else it will feel like you’re swallowing a porcupine. You can also eat the young stem of the prickly pear cactus. It’s best to boil the stems before eating.

46. Common Mullein – Verbascum thapsus

Edible parts: Leaves and flowers. The flowers are fragrant and taste sweet, the leaves are not fragrant and taste slightly bitter. This plant is best known for a good cup of tea and can be consumed as a regular beverage. Containing vitamins B2, B5, B12, and D, choline, hesperidin, para amino benzoic acid, magnesium, and sulfur, but mullein tea is primarily valued as an effective treatment for coughs and lung disorders.

47. Wild Grape Vine – Ampelocissus acetosa

Edible parts: Grapes and leaves. The ripe grape can be eaten but tastes better after the first frost. Juicing the grapes or making wine is most common. The leaves are also edible. A nutritional mediterranean dish called “dolmades”, made from grape leaves are stuffed with rice, meat and spices. The leaves can be blanched and frozen for use throughout the winter months.

48. Yellow Rocket – Barbarea

It tends to grow in damp places such as hedges, stream banks and waysides and comes into flower from May to August. Yellow Rocket was cultivated in England as an early salad vegetable. It makes a wonderful salad green when young and the greens are also an excellent vegetable if treated kindly. Lightly steam or gently sweat in butter until just wilted. The unopened inflorescences can also be picked and steamed like broccoli.

49. Purslane – Portulaca oleracea 

While considered an obnoxious weed in the United States, purslane can provide much needed vitamins and minerals in a wilderness survival situation. Ghandi actually numbered purslane among his favorite foods. It’s a small plant with smooth fat leaves that have a refreshingly sour taste. Purslane grows from the beginning of summer to the start of fall. You can eat purslane raw or boiled. If you’d like to remove the sour taste, boil the leaves before eating.

50. Sheep Sorrel – Rumex acetosella

Sheep sorrel is native to Europe and Asia but has been naturalized in North America. It’s a common weed in fields, grasslands, and woodlands. It flourishes in highly acidic soil. Sheep sorrel has a tall, reddish stem and can reach heights of 18 inches. Sheep sorrel contains oxalates and shouldn’t be eaten in large quantities. You can eat the leaves raw. They have a nice tart, almost lemony flavor.

51. Wild Mustard – Brassica campestris

Wild mustard is found in the wild in many parts of the world. It blooms between February and March. You can eat all parts of the plant- seeds, flowers, and leaves.

52. Wood Sorrel – Oxalis

You’ll find wood sorrel in all parts of the world; species diversity is particularly rich in South America. Humans have used wood sorrel for food and medicine for millennia. The Kiowa Indians chewed on wood sorrel to alleviate thirst, and the Cherokee ate the plant to cure mouth sores. The leaves are a great source of vitamin C. The roots of the wood sorrel can be boiled. They’re starchy and taste a bit like a potato.

Editor’s Note: This list is originally from Suntactics, however, Waking Times has added important addendums to this information and has corrected some errors. If you have any additional insight to share, please do so in the comments section below, and we can assemble another version of this article once more input is taken.

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  • George Shope

    Please post a picture of ANY bug EATING a Death Cap or ANY other VERIFIABLE poisonous Mushroom or STFU!

    Your mouth is NOT proof of ANYTHING. Pics, or it did NOT happen!

    I have lived by the RULE of “NEVER eat a Mushroom that is NOT being EATEN by Bugs or Turtles” and it has yet to fail me but Bugs running around ON poisonous mushrooms is NOT the same as them EATING the Mushroom.

    I want to see a picture of a Death Cap or similar, that is LOADED with Bugs INSIDE the Mushroom and they are EATING IT. You won’t be able to produce such picture, unless you Photoshop the pic!

    “Look to NATURE for the Truth, [NOT man’s MOUTH].” – Albert Einstein

    “If you want your children to be intelligent, READ them Fairy Tales, [for them to use as primers to out the CORRUPTION/STUPIDITY in MAN].” – Albert Einstein

    “Nothing interferes with my learning [of the truth] more than my formal [government led] education.” – Albert Einstein

    Ribbit 🙂

  • George Shope

    I can’t believe you have so many awesome edible plants listed but Pokeweed is missing? I realize that many/most people believe that Pokeweed is not wise to eat, especially modern-day Doctors, who are truly clueless, but I’d personally recommend peeps to listen to the Indigenous Native Americans over any modern-day Doctor, cause Pokeweed is very edible and awesome for you, if you are muscularly-active for 2-to-4 hours after eating it, due to the Oxalic Acid content, but it’s bad for you if you are not muscularly-active after eating it, which is TRUE for ALL high Oxalic Acid foods, to include Spinach, and you don’t have to blanch Pokeweed like most peeps think. Pokeweed is actually awesome raw in a salad or lightly sautéed, like Spinach, or toss it in soups. Just pick the younger leaves, with very little-to-no purple in the stem, and the stem is also just as edible as the leaves, but not the stalk and not the berries. Plus, it’s said that just coming into contact with the plant will raise your white blood cell count, which, for some reason, modern-day Doctors believe is BAD for you, but modern-day Doctors also say high Oxalic Acid foods need to be avoided because they cause Kidney Stones but it’s not the Oxalic Acid rich foods that are to blame for Kidney Stones, it’s certain MEATS eaten with Oxalic Acid rich foods that are to blame for Kidney Stones, so instead of reducing your intake of Oxalic Acid rich foods, do not eat those meats when eating Oxalic Acid rich foods, but also do not eat high Oxalic Acid foods if you do not plan on being muscularly-active for a few hours afterwards. But Doctors are also the ones that talked the U.S. Congress into banning Sassafras in the early 60’s, claiming that it was all kinds of BAD for you, when everything that they said was bad for you, it’s actually the exact opposite, which takes me to my next point.

    How could you possibly leave Sassafras off the list? The dried and powderized leaves are ABSOLUTELY awesome as a thickening agent in stews, creoles, soups, and the likes, like corn starch but WITHOUT the starch, which makes it awesome to use as a thickening agent with starchy food dishes, like rice creole dishes, since you do NOT want to mix starches in the SAME meal, you only want to eat ONE starch per/meal, which most peeps aren’t aware of, given how many of them eat mashed potatoes covered with corn starch gravy (where are the Doctors on that one?), and especially corn starch turkey giblet gravy, that’s commonly used for Thanksgiving, which ‘that’ meal is not supposed to have ANY other additional starchy foods, besides corn itself, and it’s because of the corn starch giblet gravy that most everyone uses for the bread-based Dressing that makes it a no-no to add any other starchy foods to that meal, which is the reason for having Dressing with the Turkey to begin with, instead of Potatoes; and the tea made from the Sassafras root is absolutely awesome as a NATURAL anti-depressant, but the Doctors don’t want you knowing that, since they can’t make any money-off it, like they can with Pharmaceuticals. But Sassafras Tea, made from steeping the root, has a mild natural form of Ecstasy in it and it DOES brighten your spirits quite NICELY, which is what makes it such an awesome Natural anti-depressant.

    “Thankies!” for the TRULY AWESOME Article! I can’t wait to eat the things on the list that I’ve never eaten before. 😀

    Ribbit 🙂

    Ps: I realize wild mushrooms don’t belong on the list but as an added note, the way to tell if a wild mushroom is edible or not is with a SIMPLE rule-of-thumb: if the bugs/animals are eating it, you can eat it too, just don’t wash-off the bugs, eat them too. The ‘mushroom bugs’ are the MOST nutritional part of wild mushrooms and there are a few wild mushrooms I’ve never seen bugs eating but they are edible but when there are no bugs eating the mushroom, unless you know for an ABSOLUTE FACT it is edible, DON’T eat it. Do NOT take that CHANCE! Plus, the edible varieties, that have a poisonous look-alike, bugs will NOT be eating the poisonous look-alike, so anytime you bump into one of those varieties or any wild mushrooms, make sure the bugs are eating it and not just running-around on it. 😉

    • Hung Chau

      Hello George Shope, I really like your advice here. I don’t know why there were quite a lot Pokeweed in my backyard. I didn’t know if we can eat that until you talked about it here.
      Also, I really love to learn the wild foods that we can eat. Do you mind if I can learn more from what you know that we can eat? Anyway, I appreciate what you recommended here.

      my email: lekienquocchau@gmail.com

  • Egregore

    Cool. I just don’t wanna be the star in “Into the Wild Part 2”.

  • 63R01d

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>Not all pine is safe!! This article is dangerous! You can poison someone with this information!!

  • Nicole

    Another one you forgot is wild Rose Hip. Pretty bitter but very nutritional and super high in Vitamin C and A. Oh, and you can dig and cook the bulbs of Spring Beauty flowers. They’re small and taste kinda like potatoes. Not bad.

  • JUDY


  • Kelly

    I think that some of these posts of herbs need more information. There are many species of pine that can cause gastrointestinal illness and one that actually kill you.
    I paraphrased your wording: “Go grab some pine needles and make some tea.”

    I wonder the extent that people believe this information and many other lightly-informational articles to be absolute and follow all the suggestions given with no research or education.

    Please do more research or take down this article and re-write all the herbs with warnings and proper information.
    Botanical.com is a great source for herbal information. They don’t provide chemical interactions between plants but there is a lot more information.

    I noticed there are precautions on some plants. Thank you for those.
    Plants are a very important medicine and must be treated with great respect.
    Learn what you can, but be unwaveringly careful.

  • Lupe

    this info is useful but some have the wrong pictures.

  • Anonymous

    No indian herbs shrebs plants which r important medicinals?

  • angel

    okay, i think that if you have a problem with the article, you should probably just find another website. or as many of you suggest, go do the research yourself. though i do appreciate that I’ve been made aware of the errors, it’s going off of the deep end to scorn whoever made the article.

    • Rachel Beckett

      Not really. You should pull it down if it may contain errors that might lead people to get sick.

  • I can’t believe you forgot these two:

    Horehound, which can be eaten raw (wash first if possible) and gets rid of coughs and sore throats (what do you think Ricola uses for their cough drops and lozenges?). If it can grow in dry west Texas it can grow anywhere.

    Hyssop, another great herb for colds, best for use in teas. Again, if it can grow wild in far west Texas it can grow anywhere.

    As for Lambquarter, great in cooked greens and for salad…problem is once it grows in your garden it starts to take over if you know what I mean.

    Glad you mentioned mullein, another cold fighter.

  • Scott Z

    No one has mentioned Spanish Moss yet. This is surprising to me.

    Spanish Moss is neither Spanish nor is it a moss. It is actually an air plant. Spanish Moss grows extensively on trees and fences throughout warm and humid regions of North America, especially in the Southeastern United States.

    Spanish Moss is edible in its entirety. It is also useful as stuffing, as Henry Ford noticed when he used it for padding the seats of his very early Model T Fords. You might want to microwave or boil it to kill any bugs which might have claimed your bundle of Spanish Moss before you found it.

    Here is the catch. Spanish Moss won’t kill you, but it has zilch nutritional value. It has no protein, vitamins, minerals, nor anything else you would want in your healthy diet. There might be some fiber in there for all I know. It is useful for filling a hole in ones stomach temporarily, but that’s about it.

  • JOHN

    When growing up in Northern Minnesota,in summer and spring we regularly harvested and ate lambs quarters,dandelion, stinging nettles,cowslip(proper name ?),purslane,and would have tried cat tails if I had known of its edibility.(How’s that for a new word?) lots of stuff out there, but you have to know your plants !!

  • Frank Marshall

    The subject matter of this article is useful and thus has value. It must be said, however, that the article ITSELF is ILLITERATELY WRITTEN in so many, many ways.

    The author has no understanding of punctuation, poor spelling skills, and awful syntax. It is SHOCKING that high schools (and even the low-ranking universities) are even ALLOWING such illiterates to graduate.

    These people are just passed through the system without learning to use the English language properly. Naturally, the author’s extremely shaky command of English composition makes his claimed expertise in the subject matter at hand open to great doubt.

  • fmrl

    An elderberry plant can produce tons of food!? I sincerely doubt that. At most it can produce a few punds.

  • Joe W Cullen

    The plant you call fireweed is misnamed. There is a plant in CO that occurs at higher altitude and a plant called fireweed that grows in Kansas and the prairie states. These two plants are not the same and not the same as the plant you call fireweed.
    The plants you designated as edible are mostly salad plants. You cannot survive on salads.
    Never rely on blog articles about plants. Always check to see if your state has an official listing of plants that occur in your state. Many of these lists also contain references to what part of the state the plants occur in.
    Most of these plants DO NOT occur in the area where I live. Those that do produce fruit are stripped by the deer and other omnivores. Deer can reach up to 7/8 feet high on their hind legs to get wild grapes, mulberries, walnuts and persimmon.
    Many of the plants you recommend only produce for a matter of days. Leaf structure gets tough to eat the longer it is in the sunlight.
    Always check the identification of plants recommended on the internet. Look them up in SPN (scientific plant names). This is the bible of plant names.
    In our area everybody calls one particular tree here the Chinese Elm. Why? Because all there ancestors called it that. But they are wrong. The tree is really the Siberian Elm. Name changed by the people who were selling them to the pioneers and their subsequent generations because they wanted an exotic Asian name.
    Who am I? What do I know with a BS in Botany and a MS in plant ecology. Extensively trained in taxonomy.
    Do not rely on these article to be correct.
    Start a library on plant identification. Learn how to use a taxonomic key and get the taxonomic keys that cover your area. Get a good handlens and learn to make a homemade plant press. Collect and study.
    Nothing worth doing is easy.

    • leetrav

      Very sound advice. Common names can ‘fool’ the best of em’. Foraging is fantastic but safety is paramount. Thanks for the advice…

  • Stephanie

    Worst article I have ever read. Filled with mass amounts of errors! Your readers have corrected for you in the comments, please re-write the article. This is how people poison themselves, crappy articles and a blind faith in the internet.

    • SuperLuminal Elf

      “Stephanie”: you have specific evident to back up the claims you make here in your rant?

  • am

    The information is great and useful. Please make some corrections; the photos for the following plants should be replaced for the right ones: cloves (here is the hemlock), Herb Robert (two plants on the photo, none of them right), lamb’s quarters (a wrong plant again), the same about wild garlic.

    • Lupe


  • Anonymous

    The information is great and useful. Please make some corrections; the photos for the following plants should be replaced for the right ones: cloves (here is the hemlock), Herb Robert (two plants on the photo, none of them right), lamb’s quarters (a wrong plant again), the same about wild garlic.

  • Kellie

    Lot’s of mistakes in the article as several people have mentioned in the comments. I appreciate all the clarifications ya’all made in the comments.

    One should ALWAYS check a GOOD plant ID book before consuming wild plants. And one should ALWAYS be aware of any possible allergies. Don’t just go out and eat a bunch of wild plants in your yard.

    Look around, see what is around the plants also. For example, in my area, I would NOT eat pigweed since this is a huge farming area and tons of pesticides are used each year and pigweed is one of their favorite targets. The pigweed around here has been contaminated by all the GMO’s. In fact, I won’t eat ANYTHING from any of the ditches around here due to the chemicals they use in farming. And that is sad because they have a few nice patches of cattails.

  • In addition to what Henriette said, I don’t think “wild asparagus” is thinner than cultivated asparagus unless, potentially, you are talking about Asparagus africanus? The Asparagus officinalis picture in this post, which is MY photograph and I’m racking my brain here but I don’t recall giving permission for its use (!?), simply shows thin stems because they were at the end of their season and I was foraging anything left I could get my hands on.

    • Cindi

      Actually, for educational purposes, photos can be used without permission.

      I believe that everyone should get themselves good identification books for their area! Several of what is on here does not grow in Iowa.

      Remember, more than one book to do identification! Better safe than dead!

  • A great big Nope! on coltsfoot (Tussilago). It contains livertoxic pyrrolizidines.

    Also, the chicory leaf pic can be any dandy at all. Add a pic of the flower, or better, the flowering plant.

    The clovers looks to me to be an Oxalis (not a Trifolium).

    The “herb robert” pic is a mix of Stachys and Centaurium … not a Geranium robertianum in sight. (Also, I’d love to hear from anybody who’s actually eaten herb robert. That herb _stinks_.)

    The garlic grass pic is of chives.

    You need to mention giardia (and similar waterborne diseases) whenever you talk wild watercress.

    The “lamb’s quarters” pic is a yellow dock (or similar).

    Joe Pye weed contains livertoxic PAs. (I remember the aboveground parts being quite bitter as well, but I’m not quite sure on that part.)

    Mullein edible? Tell me more! I’ve never even thought about eating it. Both the leaf and the flower are SO HAIRY that they’ll itch all the way down, and they’re really not very tasty.

    Oh yes, and don’t do just common names, whenever you talk wild edibles. Botanical binominals are a MUST.

    • Thank you for writing this response so I don’t have to. That would’ve kept me up at night.

      • Fred Bove

        amen to that. There is a woman in Australia named Isabelle Shippard who has done a considerable amount of research on Geranium robertianum aka “Herb Robert” CHeck out her web site “herbs are special”, I see that plant every day in my garden, so it riles me when I see factual errors in articles like this.

  • Anonymous

    Elderberries can be toxic if not properly prepared ( COOKED)

    • Ndamcollins

      Elderberry stems contain cyanide! A lost outdoorsman in Idaho several years ago survived by eating elderberries, but was hospitalized to treat the cyanide poisoning. The berries are fine, if often bitter.

  • c.wright.thru.u.

    thank you for this wisdom.

  • Anonymous

    Coltsfoot warning!!! Contains extremely potent mutagenic (damages DNA) alkaloids. There are documented cases of Coltsfoot tea causing severe liver problems in an infant, and in another case, an infant developed liver disease and died because the mother drank tea containing coltsfoot during her pregnancy. Please do not eat anything just because a website says it’s ok. Do some research first and make sure.

  • Nick

    Awesome!! Thanks for this great article!

  • Sev

    Awesome. Book marked.

  • Arlene Menzel

    Great stuff…thanks good to know if I am ever in the woods or camping…

  • Susan Hitchcock

    Great piece but that picture is not lamb’s quarters, it’s curly dock gone to seed. Lamb’s quarters is green and leafy and often called “wild spinach.”

  • Douglas Westerman

    Pecans, when grown comercially have some of the highest nutrients per acre of any crop. Berries are highly nutritious. There are not enough calories and protein in most of these things, however. Still, good information.

    • Anonymous

      Pecans are high in calories and protein they have 750 calories per cup and 10grams of protein.

  • hp

    Articles like this are a public service of the highest order.

    “Stalking the Wild Asparagus” is one of the greatest books of all time.

    Written by one of the greatest Americans of all time.

    Euell Gibbons.

  • thank you, very useful knowledge.

  • Got a problem with the lambs quarters. In England they’re known as ‘dock leaves’ and they’re a pest. Edible but i’d rather be eating something else.
    The yellow flowering plant behind is the problem. Over here it’s called ‘Ragwort’ and it is highly toxic. You can absorb it through your skin and it leads to kidney failure. Horses seem to like it. One of England’s most dangerous plants.

    Wear gloves and pull it out. Forward and back, left and right to release the roots and then pull. Burning is the only way to rid yourself of the problem.

    Just letting you know…

    • Anonymous

      How r u identifying that plant??

      • kyl

        its easy i look at a book to see the answer
        you can eat daisy petals raw and even put them in garnish salads

      • kyl

        By their leaves and colour modifying the size, flowers and patterns, and where they grow within the bondary

    • stacy

      Im glad i saw this! I thought the yellow plant WAS the plant i was supposed to be looking at.

    • penawan

      You get poisoned by ragwort only from ingesting the plant, not from touching, although you may be allergic to the plant and a rash may result. Ragowrt is a useful plant for 150 species of insects, including bees and butterflies. For more, go here: http://www.ragwort.org.uk/

    • Lilith

      Lambs quarters of ‘fat hen’ isn’t dock, its an entirely different plant.

      • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Another informative article; very useful. Keep up the good work, WT. Thanks much…

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