Edible Wild Plants

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

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 horizontally.  Their leaves are crowded at the end…
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Edible Wild Plants

Spatterdock or yellow water lily – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.

Spatterdock or yellow water lily (Nuphar species) The Spatterdock plant (also known as Water Lily and Pond Lily) is an aquatic plant with leaves up to 60 centimeters (24 inches) long with a triangular notch at the base. The shape of the glossy green leaves, which float on the water’s…
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Edible Wild Plants

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

Sorghum (Sorghum species) There are many different kinds of sorghum, all of which bear grains in heads at the top of the plants. The grains are brown, white, red, or black. Sorghum is the main food crop in many parts of the world. Sorghum has many names including Durra, Egyptian…
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Edible Wild Plants

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

Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella) Sheep Sorrel, also known as red sorrel, sour weed, and field sorrel, is a perennial weed that grows on an upright stem that is slender and reddish in color.  These plants are seldom more than 30 centimeters (12 inches) tall. They have alternate, arrow shaped leaves…
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Edible Wild Plants

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

Sea orach (Atriplex halimus) The sea orach (also known as Shrubby Orache, Saltbush)  is a sparingly branched herbaceous plant with small, gray-colored leaves up to centimeters (1 inch) long. It is an evergreen shrub growing 6-9 feet tall.  Sea orach resembles lamb's quarter, a common weed in most gardens in…
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Edible Wild Plants

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

Screw pine or Screwpine (Pandanus species) The screw pine is a strange plant on stilts, or prop roots, that support the plant above ground so that it appears suspended in midair. These plants are either shrubby or treelike, 3 to 9 meters (9 to 27 feet) tall, with a broad…
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Edible Wild Plants

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

Saxaul (Haloxylon ammodendron) The saxaul plant is found either as a small tree or as a large shrub with heavy, coarse wood and spongy, water-soaked bark. The branches of the young trees are vivid green (new growth) and hanging and turn brown, gray, or white as the tree matures.  The…
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Edible Wild Plants

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

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

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

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 bark.  It has smooth, opposite, simple, dark green (red while growing),…
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Edible Wild Plants

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

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 color.  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

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

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 year.  Reindeer Moss has many branches with each branch dividing into 3-4 additional…
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Edible Wild Plants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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