Foraging for food could seem daunting, but you don’t have to be an expert to find wild edibles. Before heading out on a foraging trip, learn more about what edible plants you can gather. Remember that familiarizing yourself with digestible plants will prevent you from accidentally eating poisonous plants.
- Burdock – A handsome plant that has large, wavy leaves and purple flowers, this can be found in most woods and even on some walking paths if searched for properly. The flowers, fruits, and roots have been used for thousands of years by the ancients and are still used in Chinese medicine. Although they are edible, you should be careful when you find these plants, as they closely resemble the nightshade plant—which is highly toxic!
- Wood lily – Wood lilies are a part of the lily family, and their roots are actually edible. They’re quite tasty and are also said to be nutritious. Moreover, they are known to be useful for medicinal purposes. They can also sometimes be found growing wild, and they are often referred to as the “weed lily.”
- Bamboo – Bamboo (Bambusoideae) contains an edible gel called Arenga Cambodja. This gel, which appears to be whitish and sticky, is most commonly found in the stems of mature bamboo.
- Blueberries – Blueberries are one of the most popular wild edibles and have gained quite a reputation among the foraging crowd. It grows primarily in the northeastern United States and parts of Canada. It can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried.
- Prickly Pear Cactus – Prickly pear cacti are wild edibles that grow in the desert. They can be harvested when the pods are young and green. Keep in mind to steer clear of yellow and brown pads as they are inedible and get the color when they age.
- Red Clover – Red clover leaves are edible. It has a mild, pleasant flavor, and when you combine it with other wild foods, like wild onion, it becomes more delicious.
- Coneflower – Coneflower is a native perennial. The leaves, seeds, and flowers are palatable; they contain proteins, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
- Curly Dock – Again, this plant is also a perennial, which means it reseeds itself every year. It tastes somewhat like parsnip but is sweeter. It can be consumed raw or cooked. The edible parts are round, small, and oval.
- Dandelion – Dandelions are one of the world’s most well-known and beloved invasive weeds. They grow almost everywhere and are abundant in our lawns. But did you know they can also be a good source of food if you know how to gather them properly? Remember that dandelions are the leafy green part of the plant and are edible and nutritious.
- Lobster mushroom – Lobster mushrooms, technically known as boletus edulis, might just be one of the most delicious and nutritious wild edibles. They grow on deadwood and hardwood trees, most commonly oaks and birches live in cool, shady spots.
- Hazelnut – The hazelnut is an appetizing fruit and nut that falls in the same family as peaches and almonds. While most people are familiar with its nutty flavor, many may not be aware that it is also a great source of nutrients and antioxidants.
- Wild rose – Wild rose (Rosa canina) is a medicinal plant that grows throughout North America. The rose hips, typically picked in the fall, are used to make rose syrup, jelly, and wine. On the other hand, the leaves are used to treat various ailments. The flowers’ petals can be used in salads, teas, and syrups.
Some people love to hunt and gather, but some hate doing it. If you fall in the category of the former, then it is important that you know which plants can be safe to consume and which are not!