Edible Wild Plants

Chicory

Chicory (Cichorium intybus) The edible Chicory is a woody plant growing up to meters (6 feet) tall. It is also known as blue sailors, succory, coffeeweed, and sometimes cornflower.  It has unlobed, pointed leaves clustered at the base of a tough, grooved, and more or less hairy stem and some…
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Edible Wild Plants

Chufa

Chufa (Cyperus esculentus) This very common plant has a triangular stem and grass-like leaves that are very tough and fibrous. It grows to a height of 20 to 60 centimeters (8 to 24 inches). The mature plant has a soft, distinctive fur-like bloom, with a cluster of flat oval seeds,…
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Edible Wild Plants

Coconut

Coconut (Cocos nucifera) The versatile Coconut palm tree (or cocoanut as it used to be spelled)  has a single, narrow, tall trunk with a cluster of very large leaves at the top. Each leaf may be over 6 meters (20 feet) long with over 100 pairs of leaflets.  Old leaves…
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Edible Wild Plants

Cranberry

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) The cranberry plant is a low, creeping shrub growing up to 7 feet long and 2-8 inches high.  This plant has slender, wiry stems that are not thickly wooded and have small, tiny evergreen leaves arranged alternately. Its stem creeps along the ground. Its flowers are dark…
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Edible Wild Plants

Crowberry

Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) The Crowberry plant is a creeping, matted, perennial evergreen shrub with short, light-green needlelike leaves. The leaves are deeply grooved beneath with the edges rolled under. The purplish crimson flowers are small and ordinary looking.  It has small, shiny, black berries that remain on the bush throughout…
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Edible Wild Plants

Cuipo tree

Cuipo tree (Cavanillesia platanifolia) The Cuipo (pronounced “kwee-po”) tree is a very dominant and easily detected tree because it extends high above the other trees – above the canopy. Its height ranges from 45 to 60 meters (149 to 198 feet) and the trunk appears to be “swollen” at the…
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Edible Wild Plants

Dandelion – the easy-to-identify (and find) edible plant

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) Many are surprised to find that the Dandelion plant is edible.  The Dandelion grows from unbranched taproots and produces more than 10 stems on each plant.  The stems, which are sparsely covered with short hairs, are slightly purplish and produce flowerheads that are typically taller than the…
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Edible Wild Plants

Date palm

Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) The date palm is a tall, unbranched tree with a crown of huge, compound leaves. It can grow singly or sometimes forming a clump with several stems from a single root system.  The leaves are long with spines.  Its fruit. called “dates”, is yellow when ripe.…
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Edible Wild Plants

Daylily

Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva) The Daylily plant has unspotted, tawny blossoms that open for 1 day only. It has long, swordlike, green basal leaves. Its root is a mass of swollen and elongated tubers.  Its flowers are orange-red with a pale central line.  The fruit is a three-valved capsule which splits…
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Edible Wild Plants

Elderberry

Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) Elderberry is a many-stemmed shrub with opposite-pair, compound leaves. Each pinnate has 5-9 leaflets.  It grows to a height of 6 meters (20 feet). Its flowers are fragrant, white, and borne in large flat-topped clusters up to 30 centimeters (12 inches) across. Each flower has five petals. …
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Edible Wild Plants

Fireweed

Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) The Fireweed plant (also known as Great Willow herb in Canada and Rosebay Willowherb in Britain) grows up to meters (6 feet) tall. The reddish stems are plain, erect, and smooth with scattered alternate leaves.  The leaf veins are circular and do not terminate on the edges…
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Edible Wild Plants

Fishtail palm

Fishtail palm (Caryota urens) Fishtail palms are large trees, at least 18 meters (60 feet) tall. The trees have a solitary trunk growing to about 1 foot wide.  Leaf scar rings can be found scattered along the gray trunk.  Their leaves are unlike those of any other palm; the leaflets…
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Edible Wild Plants

Flax plant – the many uses of the flax plant in the wild

Flax plant identification The flax plant is an excellent source of food, natural fibers, and oils. Flax grows to about 4-feet tall and 2-feet wide. Leaves are wider in the middle and shaped like a lance tip and grow alternating on the stalk. Leaves are typically bluish, pale green, 1…
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Edible Wild Plants

Foxtail grass

Foxtail grass (Setaria species) The weedy Foxtail grass is readily recognized by the narrow, cylindrical head of grain that grows on top of the stem.  Often the ripe grain head is so heavy the grass itself is pulled down.  Its grains are small, less than 6 millimeters (1/4 inch) long.…
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Edible Wild Plants

Goa bean

Goa bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) The edible Goa bean (also known as Winged Bean, Asparagus Pea, Four-angled Bean, or Winged Pea) is a climbing plant that may cover small shrubs and trees. It grows as a vine with climbing stems and leaves.  Its bean pods are 22 centimeters (9 inches) long,…
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Edible Wild Plants

Hackberry

Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) Hackberry (also known as Common Hackberry, Nettletree, Beaverwood, Northern Hackberry, and American Hackberry) trees have smooth, yellowish gray bark that often has corky warts or ridges (sometimes the bark may be silvery gray or light brown). The wood of the hackberry is yellowish.  The tree may reach…
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Edible Wild Plants

Horseradish tree

Horseradish  or Drumstick tree (Moringa pterygosperma) The edible Horseradish tree (also known as the moringa, benzolive tree, West Indian ben and drumstick tree) grows from to 14 meters (15 to 46 feet) tall and is rather slender with drooping branches. Its leaves have a fernlike appearance. Its flowers and long,…
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Edible Wild Plants

Iceland moss

Iceland moss (Cetraria islandica) The edible Iceland moss grows only a few inches high. Its color may be gray, white, pale chestnut, or even reddish.  It grows to a height of 3 to 4 inches with branches rolled into tubes which terminate in flattened lobes with fringed edges. Where to…
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Edible Wild Plants

Jujube

Common jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) The common jujube is either a deciduous tree growing to a height of 12 meters (40 feet) or a large shrub, depending upon where it grows and how much water is available for growth. Its branches are usually spiny with shiny-green, oval leaves with three veins…
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Edible Wild Plants

Juniper

Juniper (Juniperus species) Junipers, sometimes called cedars, are trees or shrubs that vary in size and shape from columnar trees to low spreading shrubs with long trailing branches. Many junipers having two types of leaves on the tree.  The trees may have very small, hard, needle-like leaves or scale-like leaves…
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Edible Wild Plants

Lotus

Lotus (Nelumbo species) The Lotus is an edible aquatic plant . There are two species of lotus: one has yellow flowers (known as American Lotus, Yellow Lotus, Water Chinquapin, or Volee) and the other pink flowers (known as Indian Lotus, Sacred Lotus, Bean of India, or simply Lotus). The flowers…
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Edible Wild Plants

Malanga

Malanga (Xanthosoma) Also known as Melanga, Otoy, Otoe, New Cocoyam, Tannia, Tannier, Yautia, Macabo, Taioba, Dasheen, Quequisque, or Singapore Taro, the Malanga is a popular cuisine in many countries around the world.  This plant has soft, arrow-shaped leaves up to 60 centimeters (24 inches) long. The large leaves sprout from…
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Edible Wild Plants

Mango

Mango (Mangifera indica) The Mango tree may reach 34-40 meters (115-130 feet) in height with a crown radius of 10 meters (33 feet). It has alternate, simple, shiny, dark green leaves. When the leaves are young they are orange-pink and change to dark, glossy red, then dark green as they…
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