Edible Wild Plants

Abal

Abal (Calligonum comosum) The abal is one of the few shrubby plants that exist in the shady deserts. This plant grows to about meters (4 feet), and its branches look like wisps from a broom. The stiff, green branches produce an abundance of flowers in March and April. Where to…
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Edible Wild Plants

Acacia

Acacia (Acacia farnesiana or Vachellia farnesiana) Acacia (also known as Needle Bush) is a spreading, usually short tree with spines and alternate compound leaves. Its individual leaflets are small. Its flowers are ball-shaped, bright yellow, and very fragrant. Its bark is a whitish-gray color. Its fruits are dark brown and…
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Edible Wild Plants

Agave

Agave or Aloe Vera (several hundred Agave species) These edible plants have large clusters of thick, fleshy leaves borne close to the ground and surrounding a central stalk. The plants flower only once, then die. They produce a massive flower stalk. Where to Find: Agaves prefer dry, open areas. They…
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Edible Wild Plants

Almond

Almond (Prunus amygdalus) The almond tree, which sometimes grows to meters (40 feet), looks like a peach tree. The fresh almond fruit resembles a gnarled, unripe peach and grows in clusters. The stone (the almond itself) is covered with a thick, dry, woolly skin. When flowering, they will have many…
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Edible Wild Plants

Amaranth

Amaranth (Amaranthus species) These plants, which grow 90 to 150 centimeters (35 to 60 inches) tall, are abundant weeds in many parts of the world. All amaranth have alternate simple leaves. They may have some red color present on the stems. They bear minute, greenish flowers in dense clusters at…
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Edible Wild Plants

Arctic Willow

Arctic Willow (Salix arctica) The arctic willow is a shrub that never exceeds more than 60 centimeters (24 inches) in height and grows in clumps that form dense mats on the #160; This low growing shrub has round, shiny green leaves with long silky, silvery #160; The plant’s catkins (slim,…
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Edible Wild Plants

Arrowroot

Arrowroot (Maranta and Sagittaria species) The arrowroot is an aquatic plant with arrow-shaped leaves and potatolike tubers in the #160; The Sagittaria species is sometimes referred to as Arrowhead, Katnisss, Swan Potato, Tule Potato, or Duck #160; The Maranta species is about two feet high with small white flowers and…
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Edible Wild Plants

Asparagus

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) The spring growth of this edible plant resembles a cluster of green fingers. The mature plant has fernlike, wispy foliage and red berries. Its flowers are small and greenish in color. Several species have sharp, thornlike #160; The plant grows from 39-59 inches tall with stout stems…
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Edible Wild Plants

Bael Fruit

Bael Fruit (Aegle marmelos) This is a tree that grows from to meters (8 to 15 feet) tall, with a dense spiny growth. The fruit is 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inches) in diameter, green, gray or yellowish, and full of #160; The Bael fruit has a smooth,…
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Edible Wild Plants

Bamboo – how to identify bamboo and use for food, weapons, tools, shelters, and more

There are several varieties of bamboo including Bambusa, Dendrocalamus, Phyllostachys. Edible bamboos are woody grasses that grow up to 15 meters (50 feet) tall. The leaves are grasslike and the stems are the familiar bamboos used in furniture and fishing poles. Where to Find: Look for bamboo in warm, moist regions…
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Edible Wild Plants

Baobab

Baobab (Adansonia digitata) The baobab, also known as the dead-rat tree, monkey-bread tree, or upside-down tree, tree may grow as high as 18 meters (60 feet) and may have a trunk 9 meters (30 feet) in diameter. The tree has short, stubby branches and a gray, thick bark. Its leaves…
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Edible Wild Plants

Batoko Plum

Batoko Plum (Flacourtia inermis) The Batoko Plum (also known as ramontchi, governor’s plum, or Indian plum) shrub or small tree has a spiny trunk and dark green, alternate, simple, oval leaves attached to drooping branches. The shrub can grow up to 25 feet #160; Its fruits are bright red and…
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Edible Wild Plants

Bearberry

Bearberry or Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) This plant is a common evergreen shrub with reddish, scaly bark and thick, leathery leaves 4 centimeters (1 1/2 inches) long and 1 centimeter (1/2 inch) wide. The leaves are shiny, small, and feel thick and #160; The underside of the leaf is lighter green…
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Edible Wild Plants

Beech

Beech (Fagus) Beech trees are large (9 to 24 meters ), symmetrical forest trees that have smooth, light-gray bark and dark green foliage. The leaves of the Beech tree are sparsely toothed and the fruit is small, sharply three-angled #160; The character of its bark, plus its clusters of prickly…
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Edible Wild Plants

Bignay

Bignay (Antidesma bunius) Bignay (also known as bugnay, bignai, and currant tree) is a shrub or small tree, 3 to 12 meters (10 to 40 feet) tall, with shiny, oval shaped, pointed, leathery leaves about 15 centimeters (6 inches) long and 2 inches #160; The leaves are attached to the…
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Edible Wild Plants

Blackberry, raspberry, or dewberry

Blackberry, raspberry, or dewberry (Rubus) Rubus includes several closely related species including Blackberry, raspberry, and #160; These plants have prickly stems (canes) that grow upward, arching back toward the ground. The stems are typically woody with prickles and often tipped with tiny #160; They have alternate, usually compound leaves. Their…
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Edible Wild Plants

Breadfruit

Breadfruit (Artocarpus incisa or Artocarpus altilis) The Breadfruit is a flowering tree with large, thick #160; This tree may grow up to 9 meters (30 feet) tall. It has dark green, deeply divided leaves that are 75 centimeters (29 inches) long and 30 centimeters (12 inches) wide. Its fruits are…
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Edible Wild Plants

Burdock

Burdock (Arctium lappa) This plant has wavy-edged, arrow-shaped leaves and flower heads in burrlike clusters. It grows up to 2 meters (7 feet) tall, with purple or pink flowers and a large, fleshy root. Where to FInd: Burdock is found worldwide in the north temperate zone. Look for it in…
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Edible Wild Plants

Burl Palm

Burl Palm (or Cabbage Palm) (Corypha elata or Corypha utan) This tree may reach 18 meters (60 feet) in height. It has large, fan-shaped leaves up to 3 meters (10 feet) long and split into about 100 narrow segments. It bears flowers in huge dusters at the top of the…
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Edible Wild Plants

Canna Lily

Canna Lily (Canna indica) Also known as saka siri, Indian shot, canna, bandera, chancle, coyol, or platanillo.  The canna lily is a coarse perennial herb, 90 centimeters (36 inches) to 3 meters (10 feet) tall. The plant grows from a large, thick, underground rootstock that is edible. Its large leaves…
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Edible Wild Plants

Carob Tree

Carob Tree (Ceratonia siliqua) This large tree has a spreading crown. Its leaves are compound and alternate. Its edible seedpods, also known as Saint John's bread, are up to 45 centimeters (18 inches) long and are filled with round, hard seeds and a thick pulp. Where to Find: This tree…
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Edible Wild Plants

Cashew Nut

Cashew Nut (Anacardium occidentale) The cashew is a spreading evergreen tree growing to a height of 12 meters (40 feet), with leaves up to 20 centimeters (8 inches) long and 10 centimeters (4 inches) wide. Its trunk is often irregularly shaped and its flowers are yellowish-pink. The leaves of the…
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Edible Wild Plants

Cattail – this edible plant is also an excellent source of weaving material, tinder, and insect repellent

Cattail (Typha latifolia) Cattails (also known as Bulrush, Common Bulrush, Broadleaf Cattail, Common Cattail, Great Reedmace, Cooper's reed,Cumbungi) are grass-like plants with strap-shaped leaves 1 to 5 centimeters (1/4 to 2 inches) wide and growing up to meters (6 feet) tall. They are very densely packed with stiff, strap-like, grayish-green…
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Edible Wild Plants

Chestnut

Chestnut (Castanea sativa) The edible European chestnut (also known as Sweet Chestnut or Marron) is usually a large tree, up to 18 meters (60 feet) in height with oblong, boldly toothed leaves.  The flowers are upright catkins (slim, cylindrical flower clusters) with male flowers in the upper part and female…
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