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70 Wild Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat

Foraging for wild plants can be a fun and rewarding way to connect with nature and discover new flavors and ingredients. While most people are familiar with common wild edibles like berries and mushrooms, there are many other wild plants that are both nutritious and delicious. 

In fact, there are hundreds of wild plants that you probably didn’t know you could eat! Some of these plants are not native to the region, but have been introduced and are now either invasive or naturalized and growing wild. It’s important to be sure you have correctly identified the plant and that it has not been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals before consuming it. With a bit of knowledge and some caution, foraging for wild edibles can be a fun and sustainable way to expand your culinary horizons. Below are 70 of my favorite wild plants that I have known and eaten. 

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1.  Amaranth

2. Asparagus

3. Autumn Olive

4. Bittercress

5. Blueberry

6. Blue Vervain

7. Broadleaf Plantain

8. Bull Thistle

9. Burdock

10. Cattail

11. Chickweed

12. Chicory

13. Cleavers

14. Coltsfoot

15. Common Mallow

16. Common Sorrel

17. Coneflower

18. Creeping Charlie

19. Crimson Clover

20. Curly Dock

21. Daisy Fleabane

22. Dandelion

 23. Elderberry

24. Evening Primrose

25. Fiddlehead Ferns

26. Field Pennycress

27. Fireweed

28. Forget Me Not

29. Garlic Mustard

30. Groundnut

31. Harebell

32. Henbit

33. Herb Robert

34. Highbush Cranberry

35. Huckleberry

36. Japanese Knotweed

37. Knapweed

38. Kudzu

39. Lady’s Thumb

40. Lambs Quarters

41. Milkweed

42. New England Aster

43. Peppergrass

44. Pineapple Weed

45. Pickerelweed

46. Purple Dead Nettle

47. Purslane

48. Queen Anne’s Lace

49. Roses

50. Rampsons (Wild Leek)

51. Sheep’s Sorrel

52. Shepard’s Purse


53. Staghorn Sumac

54. Stinging Nettle

55. Teasel

56. Toothwort

57. Trout Lily

58. Watercress

59. White Clover

60. Wild Grape

61. Wild Bee Balm

62. Wild Blackberry

63. Wild Black Cherry

64. Wild Lettuce

65. Wild Onion

66. Wild Raspberry

67. Wild Strawberry 

68. Wild Violets

69. Yarrow

70. Yellow Salsify

1. Amaranth

(Amaranthus retroflexus): Amaranth is an annual plant that can grow up to 8 feet tall, with large, colorful leaves. It can be found in fields, meadows, and along roadsides throughout Connecticut. Every part of the plant can be eaten, but the young leaves and growing tips on older plants are the tastiest and most tender. The seeds are nutritious, edible, and are not difficult to harvest.

2. Asparagus

(Asparagus officinalis) Wild asparagus is commonly found in fields, meadows, and along the edges of woodlands. Look for tall, fern-like plants with feathery foliage and a red berry-like fruit in the fall. In the spring, the plant will produce edible shoots that emerge from the ground and grow into tall stalks. These shoots are what you will want to harvest. 

3. Autumn Olive

Related Content:

Autumn Olive Berries: An Amazing Superfood

(Elaeagnus umbellata) Autumn olive is a deciduous shrub that is native to Asia. It was introduced to North America as an ornamental plant, and has since become an invasive species in many parts of the continent. The plant can grow up to 20 feet tall, and has silvery-green leaves with small, fragrant, yellow flowers in the spring. The plant’s most distinctive feature, however, is its bright red, edible berries that ripen in the fall. The berries are rich in lycopene, antioxidants, and vitamin C, and can be used in a variety of culinary applications. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and are often used to make jams, jellies, and fruit leather.

4. Bittercress

(Cardamine hirsuta) Hairy bittercress leafs out in a basal rosette, and like other members of the mustard family (Brassicaceae), its tender greens are edible. Don’t be fooled by the common name—its flavor is mild and peppery, not bitter.

5. Blueberry

Related Content:

How To Identify, Harvest, and Pick Wild Blueberries: The Ultimate Guide

(Vaccinium angustifolium) Native to New England forests, blueberry bushes grow very well in our region and are known for their sweet, juicy taste and as a great source of antioxidants. Although they are smaller than cultivated blueberries, wild blueberries grow in profusion and can be found in many parts of the United States. 

The berries are very small and have a more intense flavor than cultivated blueberries. They have a short growing season that lasts from July through August, depending on the climate where they grow. The fruit is ready when it turns from green to blue or purple-blue. 

Wild blueberries are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are also low in calories and contain no cholesterol or saturated fat. Wild blueberries are one of the richest sources of dietary fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels and aids digestion. They are also rich in phytochemicals that may prevent cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.

6. Blue Vervain

Related Content:

 Blue Vervain: The Hidden Aspects Of A Magical Medicinal Herb

(Verbena hastata) Blue vervain (Verbena hastata), also called simpler’s joy and enchanter’s plant, is an herb native to North America and is closely related to vervain (V. officinalis).  It can grow up to 5 feet in height and produces small blue flowers. In the wild it is most often found in disturbed areas, moist prairies and meadows, around springs and stream banks, and in low, open woodlands.

The seeds of the Blue Vervain are the primary edible portions of the plant. The seeds are typically dried or roasted and ground into a flour substitute. Due to the bitter taste, the seeds are often soaked in cold water to make the taste more pleasant.

This post first appeared on The Outdoor Apothecary, please read the originial post: here

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70 Wild Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat


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