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

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

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

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

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

Oak trees – the many uses of oak in a survival situation (yes, it’s even edible)

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

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

Nettle – this prickly plant is edible (and nutritious) and its fibers can be used to weave string or twine

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

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

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

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

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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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fireweed – this edible plant also has medicinal uses

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

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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