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Do you know that there are wild plants that can be eaten? Wild plants that are safe to eat are also known as “edible wild plants.” If you are in the wild and you’re craving for food, edible wild plants will satisfy your hunger.
Here is the list of some wild plants that are safe to eat:
- Asparagus – Asparagus or Asparagus officinalis can be found mostly in Europe and other parts of North America, West Africa, and North Africa. Wild asparagus can be eaten which is a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, thiamine, and potassium. Wild asparagus can be eaten raw, and some people eat it by just boiling. You can easily distinguish wild asparagus from a grocery-store variety of asparagus is that it has a thinner stalk.
- Blackberries – Blackberries or Rubus fruticosus is one of the safest wild berries to eat. Many people are afraid of eating blackberries for they said that it is not safe to eat. They consider all wild berries are not edible, but they are wrong. Blackberries are edible and easy to recognize. Just like roses, blackberries have long thorns. The branches of this wild plant are red and have broad green leaves. Its white flower bloom during spring is making it easy to find. Blackberries are expected to ripe during August and September.
- Mulberries – Mulberries or Morus is an edible wild plant that is added in floor and beverages (ex: Cordials, tea, wines, tarts, and pies). Spade shape and 5 fingered leaf are the two types of Mulberry leaves.
- Daylily – Daylily or Hemerocallis is another type of wild plant that can be eaten. It is widespread all over the country, and that’s why it is not hard for you to find some daylily. The color of the flower of this wild plant is bright orange. The foliages of the plant mostly straight up and come from the ground. This kind of wild plant does not have any stems. The part of the plant that can be eaten is the flower buds. Take note that the buds are eaten before they open. Many people cook daylily just like how they cook vegetables.
- Hickory Nuts – Hickory Nuts, also are known as Carya, is a wild plant that ripens in months like September or October. The plant grows a tall as 50-60 feet, and the leaves grow very large. The leaves are green and have pointed edges.
- Walnuts – Walnuts or Juglans regia is the tallest nut tree in North America. The height of the tree ranges from 30-130 feet. It is one of the most recognizable nut trees which tends to grow in clusters. During fall, walnuts ripen Tand leaves grow for as many as 6-8 leaves. Edges of the leaves are smooth and green which is very similar to the pecan leaf structure.
- Pecans – Pecans or Carya illinoinensis is a wild plant that grows for about 20-39 feet and sometimes grows as tall as 100 feet when matures. This kind of wild plant is native in south-central North America and is a species of hickory. The leaves have smooth edges which are similar to walnuts. The leaves of this plant are also long and bright color green. Pecans are mostly grown by using its green pods and sometimes when ripe the pods open itself letting the seeds fall.
- Gooseberries – Gooseberries or Ribes uva-crispa flowers during spring and can be found in the woods of northern Missouri. The leaves are similar to a maple leaf and have round edges as well as bright green color. The branches of this wild plant have long thorns and grey. The berries ripen later in May and early in June. The red flowers hang down and very odd looking.
- Dandelions – Dandelions or Taraxacum officinale blooms its bright yellow buds during spring which makes it easy to recognize. The entire plant can be eaten raw which is a good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. To take away the bitter taste of the wild plant other people cook it. As the flower blooms in the spring, it lessens the bitterness of the plant.
- Kudzu – Kudzu or Pueraria lobata is an edible plant in which you can eat the entire part of the plant. The leaves can be eaten raw, but others steam and boiled it before they eat it. The plant is usually sprayed with herbicides in developed areas. If you have a headache and migraine, Kudzu wild plant helps treat it. Kudzu is also good for anti-inflammatory and has other medicinal properties.
- Hazelnuts – Hazelnuts or Corylus is also known as cobnut grow in a long strand of pods and are popular in having pointed edges in its leaves. The plant does not grow tall, and it is a short type of tree measuring 12-20 feet tall. Hazelnuts usually ripen during September and October.
- Red Clovers – Red clovers or Trifolium pratense can be eaten raw and fresh. The green leaves of the plants are used in making the salad.
- Chicory – Chicory or Cichorium intybus is native in North America, Austalia and parts of Europe. The colors of the flower Chicory can either be blue, white, or pink which can be eaten. Internal parasites are toxic to Chicory.
- Acorns – Acorns or Quercus is known for its bitter taste and most commonly called oak nuts. It cannot be eaten raw, and if you want to eat Acorn, you should cook it first. Too much eating of Acorn is not good. Thus, it is advisable to eat a limited amount of Acorn only.
- Creeping Charlie – Creeping Charlie or Glechoma hederacea is also known as ground-ivy and gill-over-the-ground. The leaves of Creeping Charlie is added in a salad because of its aromatic tang and flavor. Young leaves are cooked just like how spinach is being cooked then added to stews, omelet, and soups. This wild plant is also added in beverages like beer for it adds some flavor.
- Garlic Mustard – Garlic Mustard or Alliaria petiolata is known to be an edible plant for its leaves, roots, seeds, and even flowers that are safe to eat. During hot seasons or weather, the leaves of Garlic Mustard have a bitter taste. If you are also making salads, you can add garlic mustard flower. All you have to do is to chop and tossed the flowers. During spring and fall, you can collect the roots of the plant as long as there are no flower stalks present. The taste of garlic mustard roots is very spicy. You can also collect the seed and can be eaten during the fall.
- Hop Clover – Hop clover or Trifolium Campestre is part of the paleo diet as well as other types of clover. The edible parts of the plant include flowers, seeds, and leaves. Many people prefer to put the flowers of hop clover in teas. During autumn, the seeds are eaten and collected. Others roasted the seeds and turned into flour. Just like any other wild plants, the leaves of hop clover are added in salads and omelets.
- Chickweed – Chickweed or Stellaria media usually appears during May and July. The leaves of chickweed are a good source of vitamins as well as minerals.
- Cattail – Cattail or Typha latifolia is native in North America and England. In the freshwater wetlands, you can find the Typha genus of the plant. All types of the Cattail are edible that’s why it is a staple food of many Americans. The rootstock of the plant can be eaten raw or boiled. Usually, you can find the rootstock of Cattail underground.
- Coltsfoot – Coltsfoot or Tussilago farfara is known for its wonderful aromatic flavor, the flowers are added to salads. Young leaves are edible and have a bitter taste however have a better taste when boiled. The flower head is a good remedy for cough and sore throat by just adding some coltsfoot honey in your tea. Flowers are also used as a cooking and baking recipes.
- Herb Robert – Herb Robert or Geranium robertianum is known for its entire plant that can be eaten. Fresh leaves are rub on the skin which helps to repel mosquitoes. Your garden will be protected by herb robert for it repels rabbits and deers. If you are looking for the nutrient booster, then herb robert can help you with that. You can dry the leaves, flowers, and roots of this plant and make as a tea.
- Beach Lovage – Beach Lovage or Ligusticum scoticum hultenii has the best taste before the flowers appear. It is also known as Scotch lovage, wild celery, and sea lovage.
- Watercress – Watercress or Nasturtium officinale is also known as garden cress, rock cress, and pepper cress. This wild plant is cultivated in Northern Europe. The spicy tang of this plant is best to add in salads, soups, and sandwiches. Make sure that you will wash watercress carefully if you are going to consume it for it is collected in the wild. Some watercress can cause water-borne microscopic parasites if collected from untreated water.
- Lamb’s Quarters – Lamb’s Quarter or Chenopodium album is susceptible to leaf miners and is best before the flowers appear. The leaves of this wild plant are used raw in salads. It is also added to dishes like soups and cooked greens. Make sure that if you are going to harvest Lamb’s quarter, it should be carefully harvested. It is because there is a tendency that you will harvest infested Lamb’s quarter. This wild plant is eaten and harvested during summer. The common names of this plant are the following: Fat hen, Pigweed, Goosefoot, and Wild Spinach.
- Goosetongue – Goosetongue or Plantago macrocarpa is best consumed in spring and even in early summer. This wild plant is sometimes misidentified as Arrowgrass that’s why you must identify the difference between the two plants. The young plants of Goosetongue are used in salads and soups. This is also eaten raw and is also known as Seashore Plantain.
- Wild Garlic – Wild Garlic or Allium vineale is also known as Allium vineale, Crow garlic, and garlic grass. It is good for herbal treatment and can be commonly found in forest, pastures, and disturbed soil. The shoots of the plant are often thin and are cultivated spring onions. Wild garlic should be chopped and sliced first before adding to sandwiches and other main courses.
- Plantain – Plantain or Plantago thrives best in gardens and driveway edges. In harvesting plantain, you should pick the green rippled leaves. Do not harvest the tall flower stems.
- Joe Pye Weed – Joe Pye Weed or Eutrochium is an edible wild plant wherein the entire plant is used even the roots of the plant. During summer before the buds appear, the leaves and stems of Joe Pye Weed are harvested. You can also dry the leaves and store them for future use. In the autumn, the roots are being harvested. You can also make an herbal tea out of the Joe Pye Weed fresh flowers. The roots are being used to heal tonic constipation. If you have any wounds, you can make use also of the roots for making tea. The tea is made to wash the wounds and prevent infection.
- Fireweed – Fireweed or Chamerion angustifolium is a known wild plant having a very nutritious seed. It is very easy to harvest, and the seed is turned into flour best for baking uses. The seeds also enhance the flavor of salads and sandwiches. Just like Spinach, Fireweed can be eaten raw or cooked. You can also make tea out of Fireweed buy drying pigweed leaves.
- Pigweed – Pigweed or Amaranthus palmeri is easy to harvest and is very nutritious when it comes to Amaranth seeds. The seed is used to make flour good for baking and cooking purposes.
- Monkey Flower – Monkeyflower or Mimulus is a wild plant that is the best use before the flowers appear. It is best to consume this plant when there is no flower. The flowers can also be eaten and good to use as garnish.
- Shepherd’s Purse – Shepherd’s purse or Casella bursa-pastoris is popular because of its leaves which have a peppery taste. During the summer, the leaves can be eaten such as mature leaves. The plants’ young leaves can be added raw in salads and other kinds of dishes.
- Self-heal – Self-heal, or Prunella vulgaris is a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. It also contains additional minerals like flavonoids and rutin. As the name implies, this wild plant is good for healing treatments. It serves as a medicinal type of plant, in which you can apply it to your wounds to heal more faster. Other parts of the plant are being powdered and are added to beverages. This provides a great tasting flavor that customers love. The whole plant is being boiled and stored for future purposes. Self-heal wild plant is helpful also to use when you have sore throats and gum infections. It is proven effective by many researchers who have undergone a study for this kind of wild plant. It is also used to treat diarrhea and internal bleeding as a form of tea.
- Common Mallow – Common Mallow or Malva neglecta is a survival food during times of crop failure. It is similar to okra which produces a slimy texture and great to add in soups.
- Miner’s Lettuce – Miner’s Lettuce or Claytonia perfoliata have a mucilaginous texture, and it is best used in salad. If you are planning to eat the leaves of Miner’s Lettuce, I do suggest that you should choose the young leaves. It is because the matured leaves tend to be bitter especially in summer seasons. The leaves of this wild plant are small making it easy and convenient to harvest compared to other plants that have larger leaves.
- Wild Bee Balm – Wild Bee Balm or Monarda fistulosa is used for seasoning and in making tea. This is possible if you use the leaves of the plant. The taste of wild bee balm is similar to the flavor of oregano and mint. If you are looking for the fruit which will fit in your salad, well wild bee balm fruit will fit on your taste preference.
- Sweet Rocket – Sweet rocket or Hesperis matronalis have a white, pink, and lavender flowers which are sometimes misidentified as Phlox. The flowers good for salad although it tastes a little bit flavor.
- Field Pennycress – Field Pennycress or Thlaspi arvense is a wild plant that can be found in almost all parts of the world. The seeds of this plant can be eaten raw or boiled. It is not advisable to eat pennycress that grows by the side of the road for it can be infected by pest and air pollution coming from the vehicles. This wild plant sucks all minerals around it. This means that this plant can obtain even minerals that can be dangerous to the health of the human.
- Milk Thistle – Milk Thistle or Silybum marianum is very popular because of its medicinal properties. It helps treat liver damage and prevent disease-causing microorganisms. Just like any other wild plant, the leaves of this plant are used in making the salad.
- Prickly Pear Cactus – Prickly pear cactus or Opuntia is very nutritious and is native in North America. It can survive in hot areas like deserts. The fruit of this wild plant is a red and purplish pear. Take note that before you eat the fruit, you must remove first the small spines. If you are going to eat the stem, it is best to boil it before you consume it.
- Elderberries – Elderberries or Sambucus can be grown for as long as 10 feet. Usually, it has 7 main leaves in long and round stems. The flower of this wild plant is white and edible.
- Pine – Pine or Pinus is known for its medicinal uses and can be used as a staple food. It is a good source of Vitamin C and is native in America.
- Red Clovers – Red clovers or Trifoliumpratense is best used to make tea and is eaten fresh. The green leaves are tossed and add into a salad.
- Mallow – Mallow or Malvaceae is used like lettuce and other leafy vegetables. The smaller leaves of this wild plant are being tossed and added in fresh salads. While the larger leaves are like grape leaves used for stuffing. It is an edible plant that can be eaten raw.
- Common Mullein – Common Mullein or Verbascum Thapsus is a good source of Vitamin B2, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D. It is another source of hesperidin, choline, magnesium, para-aminobenzoic acid, and sulfur. It can be used to treat coughs and lung disorders.
- Yellow Rocket – Yellow Rocket or Barbarea is grown in damp places like waysides and stream banks. This wild plant flowers during May up until August. If treated and cared kindly, it can be used as an excellent type of vegetable.
- Wine Grape Vine – Wide Grape Vine or Ampelocissusacetosa is a popular wild plant that is added in “dolmades.” These dolmades are a nutritional Mediterranean dish.
- Purslane – Purslane or Portulacaoleracea is a popular weed in the United States, which is a good source of vitamins and minerals. It can be used in a survival situation in the wild. It is also considered as one of the most favorite food of Mahatma Gandhi.
- Wild Mustard – Wild Mustard or Brassica campestr is not hard to find for it is grown in many parts of the world. All parts of Wild Mustard are eaten raw or boiled.
- Sheep Sorrel – Sheep Sorrel or Rumexacetosella is a native wild plant that originated in Europe and Asia. It is also a known edible wild plant in North America. It grows as tall as 18 inches, and the stem is reddish.
- Wood Sorrel – Wood Sorrel or Oxalis is a rich variety of sorrel plant natives in South America. The roots of this plant are boiled and eaten having a starchy taste. The leaves and wood are also eaten known to cure other mouth diseases.
- Pineapple weed – Pineapple weed or Matricariadiscoidea is tasty finger food. The flowers are tossed in salad and made as flour. All you need to do is to dry the flowers of pineapple weed.
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