Edible Wild Plants

Manioc

Manioc (Manihot utilissima) Manioc, also called Cassava, Yuca, Mandioca, and Kamoting Kaoy, is a perennial woody shrubby plant, 1 to 3 meters (3 to 9 feet) tall, with jointed stems and deep green, fingerlike leaves. It has long, fleshy, tapered rootstocks encased in a detachable rind which is rough and…
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Edible Wild Plants

Marsh marigold

Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) The Marsh Marigold (also known as Kingcup, Mayflower, May Blobs, Mollyblobs, Pollyblobs, Horse Bob, Water Blobs, Water Bubbles, Gollins, and Cowslip) plant has rounded, dark green leaves arising from a short stem. The plant grows to about 80 centimeters (31 inches) tall.  Its leaves are rounded…
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Edible Wild Plants

Miner’s Lettuce or Indian Lettuce

Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata) All Claytonia species are somewhat fleshy plants only a few centimeters tall, with showy flowers about centimeters (1 inch) across.  Known as Miner’s Lettuce, Winter Purslane, or Indian Lettuce, is usually bright green (but sometimes purplish or brownish green), long and narrow.  Miner’s Lettuce has a…
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Edible Wild Plants

Mulberry

Mulberry (Morus species) The Mulberry tree has alternate, simple, often lobed leaves with rough surfaces.  The tree rarely grows over 33-49 feet tall.  The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, often lobed, and serrated on the edges, and typically rough on top.   The flowers are held on short, green nondescript catkins.…
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Edible Wild Plants

Nettle

Nettle (Urtica and Laportea species) Nettle plants can grow several feet high and sometimes grow as shrubs. The leaves and stalks are arranged across opposite sides of the stem.  The leaves are elliptic, ovate, or circular.  The leaf blades typically have 3-5 veins (rarely up to seven) and are serrated…
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Edible Wild Plants

Nipa palm

Nipa palm (Nipa fruticans) The Nipa palm has a short, mainly underground, horizontal trunk (from above ground it appears to have no trunk at all) and very large, erect leaves up to 9 meters (30 feet) tall. The leaves are divided into leaflets. A flowering head forms on a short…
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Edible Wild Plants

Oak

Oak (Quercus species) Oak trees have alternate leaves and edible acorn fruits. The leaves of the Oak may have serrated edges or may have smooth edges.  The flowers are catkins produced in the Spring season.  The fruit is a nut called an acorn.  It is held in a cup-like structure…
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Edible Wild Plants

Orach (Saltbush)

Orach (Atriplex species) The edible Orach plant (also known as Saltbush, Garden Orache, Red Orache, Mountain Spinach, or French Spinach)  is vine-like in growth and can grow erect to 1-2 meters (3-6 feet) in height.  It has arrowhead-shaped, somewhat oblong, alternate leaves up to 5 centimeters (2 inches) long. The…
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Edible Wild Plants

Palmetto palm

Palmetto palm (Sabal palmetto) The palmetto palm (also known as cabbage palm, palmetto, cabbage palmetto, palmetto palm, blue palmetto, Carolina palmetto, common palmetto, swamp cabbage and sabal palm) is a tall, unbranched tree with persistent rounded fan leaf bases on most of the trunk. The Palmetto Palm may grow up…
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Edible Wild Plants

Papaya or pawpaw

Papaya or pawpaw (Carica papaya) The papaya is a large, tree-like plant growing 5 to 10 meters (16 to 33 feet) tall, with a soft, hollow trunk. When cut, the entire plant exudes a milky juice. The trunk is rough and scarred (where leaves and fruit were borne).  Its large…
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Edible Wild Plants

Persimmon

Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana and other species) The common persimmon trees (also known as American Persimmon, Eastern Persimmon, Simmon, Possumwood, and Sugar Plum) is a small tree (30-60 feet) with a short, skinny trunk and a round shaped top.  Its bark is dark brown or dark gray and divided into plates…
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Edible Wild Plants

Pincushion cactus

Pincushion cactus (Mammilaria species) The Pincushion Cactus, also known as Nipple Cactus or Fishhook Cactus, are round, short, globe shaped to barrel-shaped, and without leaves. Sharp spines cover the entire plant. The roots are fibrous or fleshy.  They may grow to over 3 feet but most grow to about 6-8…
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Edible Wild Plants

Pine trees – pine provides a bounty of uses in survival situations

Pine (Pinus species) Pine trees are easily recognized by their needle-like leaves grouped in bundles. Each bundle may contain one to five needles, the number varying among species. They are a resinous tree growing up to 250 feet tall. The tree's odor and sticky sap provide a simple way to…
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Edible Wild Plants

Plantain, broad and narrow leaf – many uses including food and medicine

Plantain, broad and narrow leaf (Plantago species) Plantains come in two types – broad leaf and narrow leaf.  The broad leaf plantain has leaves over centimeters (1 inch) across with parallel veins that are spread wider at the broad part of the leaf.  The plantain leaves grow in a cluster…
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Edible Wild Plants

Pokeweed

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) The Pokeweed plan, also known as Virginia Poke, American Nightshade, Cancer Jalap, Coakum Garget, Inkberry, Pigeon Berry, Pokerood, Pokeberry, Redweed, Scoke, and Red Ink Plant, may grow as high as 3 meters (9 feet). It has a large white taproot and green or pinkish red (as it…
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Edible Wild Plants

Preparing acorns to be a nutritious source of food

Acorns as source of food Many people are not aware that acorns are edible.  Acorns are high in protein, fiber, carbohydrates, fats, calcium, and other minerals and with tannins removed, they offer a sweetish taste making them an excellent option for use in stews and breads. The best tasting acorns come…
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Edible Wild Plants

Prickly pear cactus

Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia species) The Prickly Pear (or Paddle) cactus has flat, padlike stems that are green. The Prickly Pear has two kinds of spines – hard, fixed spines and small, hairlike prickles that easily penetrate the skin and detach from the plant.  The plants grow in dense, tangled…
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Edible Wild Plants

Purslane

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) The Purslane plant, also known as Verdolaga, Pigweed, Little Hogweed, and Pusley, is one of the most healthy “weeds” you can eat.  It grows and spreads close to the ground forming a dense mat and is seldom more than a few centimeters tall. Its smooth reddish stems…
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Edible Wild Plants

Reed

Reed (Phragmites australis) The Reed is a large, tall, coarse perennial (comes back year after year) grass that grows to meters (12 feet) tall and has long gray-green leaves about 4 centimeters (1 1/2 inch) wide and 1-2 feet long. It has large clusters of dark purple or brown flower…
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Edible Wild Plants

Reindeer moss

Reindeer moss/lichen (Cladonia rangiferina) Reindeer moss (also known as Reindeer Lichen or Caribou Moss) is a light-colored, low-growing plant only a few centimeters tall. It grows very slowly at a rate of only a few millimeters per #160; Reindeer Moss has many branches with each branch dividing into 3-4 additional…
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Edible Wild Plants

Rock tripe

Rock tripe (Umbilicaria species) The Rock Tripe plant is a lichen that forms large patches with curling edges. The top of the plant is usually black. The underside is lighter in #160; It typically grows on rocks. Where to Find: Look on rocks and boulders for this plant. It is…
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Edible Wild Plants

Rose apple

Rose apple (Eugenia jambos, Syzygium jambos) The Rose Apple tree (also known as Malabar Plum, Plum Rose, Water Apple) grows 3 to 9 meters (9 to 27 feet) high. It is typically a low-branching shrub with smooth dark brown #160; It has smooth, opposite, simple, dark green (red while growing),…
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Edible Wild Plants

Sago palm – where to find and which parts are edible

Sago palm (Metroxylon sagu) Sago palms are low, multi-stemmed trees, rarely over 9 meters (27 feet) tall, with a stout, spiny trunk.  It has typical palm-like leaves clustered at the tip. Each stem supports around 20 leaves spread in a fan-like manner. Each leaf is composed of 150-180 leaflets.  The stem…
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Edible Wild Plants

Sassafras

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) The Sassafras tree grows to about 10 feet tall with a crown of many slender #160; The Sassafras’ bark is thick, dark reddish brown, with deep ruts or #160; New stems are bright yellowish green and turn reddish brown as they #160; This shrub or small tree…
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