52 Wild Plants You Can Eat

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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:

Blackberries

blackberry

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.

Dandelions

dandelion

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.

Asparagus

wild-asparagus

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.

Elderberries

elderberry

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.

Gooseberries

red gooseberry

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.

Mulberries

Stumped-Mulberry

Mulberry leaves have two types, one spade shape and a 5 fingered leaf. Both have pointed edges.

Pine

pine

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.

Kudzu

kudzu

Pretty much the entire plant is edible and is also known for medicinal values. 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.

Daylily

daylily

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.

Peacans

Pecanssjp02JPGCopy

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 peacans themselves are grown in green pods and when ripe the pods open and the seeds fall to the ground.

Hazelnuts

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Hazelnut trees are short and tend to be around 12-20 ft tall, the leaves are bright green and have pointed edges, the hazelnuts themselves grown in long strands of pods and generally ripen by September and October.

Walnuts

walnuts

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.

Acorns

acorns

Acorns can tend to be bitter, they are highly recognisable as well, they should be eaten cooked and a limited amount.

Hickory Nuts

hickory

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.

Clovers

Lucky Clover

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 are easy to spot, you can eat them raw but they taste better boiled.

Red Clovers

Red Clovers

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.

Chicory

Cichorium

You can find these in Europe, North America and Australia. The entire plant can be eaten along with its white flowers.

Coltsfoot

coltsfoot

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 & seasoning.

Creeping Charlie

creeping-charlie

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.

For more on this check out this website: http://csglobe.com/52-wild-plants-you-can-eat/