Edible Wild Plants

Wild grape vine

Wild grape vine (Vitis species) The wild grapevine climbs with the aid of “tendrils” on stems that are hairy when young but grow into hairless vines. Its bark is #160; The tendrils that are used for support grow opposite the #160; Most grapevines produce deeply lobed leaves, alternately arranged, broad…
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Edible Wild Plants

Wild fig – how to identify figs and prepare for food

Wild fig (Ficus species) Collectively known as “fig trees” or “figs”, there are nearly 1,000 species of Ficus ranging from woody trees to shrubs and vines.  Most are of the “strangler” variety, with aerial root systems, and hence easy to identify.  The sticky seeds are spread by birds to other…
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Edible Wild Plants

Water lettuce

Water lettuce (Ceratopteris species) Water Lettuce, also known as Water Fern or Watersprite, is an aquatic or subaquatic fern buoyed via internal air pockets in its #160; The soft, pale green to brown (color depends upon how much light it receives) leaves of water lettuce are much like lettuce and…
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Edible Wild Plants

Tropical almond

Tropical almond (Terminalia catappa) The Tropical Almond tree, also known as Indian Almond, Seas Almond Tree, and False Kamani, grows up to 35 meters (115 feet) tall. The tree has a smooth or grooved trunk and a symmetrical crown with horizontal branches and broad, glossy dark green leaves that are…
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Edible Wild Plants

Tree fern

Tree fern (Various genera) Tree ferns are tall trees with long, slender trunks that often have a very rough, bark-like covering. The fronds unfold and are large and multiple-pinnate (feather like).  Large, lacy leaves uncoil from the top of the #160; The leaves may be covered in scales with spore…
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Edible Wild Plants

Ti

Ti (Cordyline terminalis or Cordyline fruticosa) The ti plant (also known as Cabbage Palm, Good Luck Plant, and Palm Lily) is a woody, palm-like plant that has unbranched stems with strap-like leaves often clustered at the tip of the stem. The leaves vary in color and may be glossy green,…
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Edible Wild Plants

Tamarind

Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) The tamarind (also known as Tamon) is a medium to large, densely branched tree. It grows up to 25 meters (75 feet) tall. The crown of the tree has a vase-shaped outline of dense #160; Its has pinnate leaves (divided like a feather) that are bright green…
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Edible Wild Plants

Sweetsop

Sweetsop (Annona squamosa) This tree is small, seldom more than 6 meters (18 feet) tall, with many irregularly spreading, light brown branches growing off a short trunk. The branches have visible leaf scars with twigs that become brown with small, oval, rounded, light brown spots on the stem or branch…
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Edible Wild Plants

Strawberry

Strawberry (Fragaria species) Strawberry is a small, low growing plant with a three-leaved growth pattern with coarsely serrated edges growing on short, scaly #160; The terminal tooth on the leaf will be smaller than the other serrated #160;  It has small, white flowers, typically with 5-6 petals, growing solitary on…
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Edible Wild Plants

Sterculia

Sterculia (Sterculia foetida) Sterculias, also known as jangli badam, bastard poon trees, hazel sterculia, and wild almond tree, are tall, straight trees, rising in some instances to 30 meters (90 feet). Branches are arranged in a circular or spiral pattern and spread #160; Their leaves are crowded at the end…
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Edible Wild Plants

Prickly pear cactus – Surprise! All parts of this plant are edible!

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

Pokeweed – the edible plant that also makes an excellent poison (good for dye and maybe even arthritis too)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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