Edible Wild Plants

Hackberry – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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 – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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 grains are edible with a bit of preparation

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 – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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 – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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

Duchesnea or Indian strawberry – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Duchesnea or Indian strawberry (Potentilla indica or Duchesnea indica) The edible duchesnea (also known as mock stawberry, Indian strawberry, or false strawberry) is a small plant that has runners and three-parted leaves. It is similar to a strawberry except it has yellow flowers (a strawberry has white or slightly pink…
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Edible Wild Plants

Daylily – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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

Date palm – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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

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

Cuipo tree – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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

Crowberry – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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

Cranberry – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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

Jujube – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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

Coconut – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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 – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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

Chicory – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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

Chestnut – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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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Surviving the Environment

Cereus Cactus – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Cereus (Cereus species) These cacti are tall and narrow with angled stems and numerous spines. Where to Find: They may be found in true deserts and other dry, open, sunny areas throughout the Caribbean region, Central America, and the western United States. Edible Parts: The fruits are edible, but some…
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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

Cashew Nut – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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

Carob Tree – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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

Canna Lily – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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

Burl Palm – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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

Burdock – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

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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