Nature's garden and eatable wild plants


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
When I first saw this forum I got quite interested but since I have no land, the seeds did not go down. Then I recalled that some wild plants are eatable. I looked on the net and also I found a book by Jonathan Hilton, in Danish "Det vilde køkken" that is "The Wild Kitchen" it was published in England in 2007, but I can not find the book in English for whatever reason. However there are several books about this subject if one looks around.

I have made a list of the latin names, of mainly European plant, from the book with exception of the really obvious ones, like raspberries, and mushrooms which are so tricky to identify and about which so many books can be found. Some of the plants in the list have undesirable effects for pregnant women, or in large amounts or for particular diseases, so one has to use judgement and check up with references available in ones own locality. I have added a * in front of those names.

From the list I have tried so far only two: dandelion and sting nettle and one from another list, clover, and they were all right, so I feel like going ahead and explore. I know some plants can be eaten raw, but I think it is safer to cook them a bit. Many of the plants are listed as being best when they are young, especially leaves, so spring is more abundant with good opportunities.

*Fagus sylvatica
*Juniperus communis
*Lathyrus montanus
*Myrica gale
*Tonacetum vulgare (syn. Chrysanthemum vulgare)
Aegopodium podagraria
Alliaria petiolata
Allium ursinum
Anthriscus sylvestris
Armoracia rusticana
Artemesia vulguras
Aspargus officinalis
Barbarea vulgaris
Beta vulgaris ssp maritima
Borago officinalis
Brassica nigra
Calluna vulgaris
Castanea sativa
Centranthus ruber
Chenopodium album
Chenopodium bonus-henricus
Chondrus crispus
Cichorium intybus
Crambe maritima
Crataegus monogyna
Filipendula ulmaria
Foeniculum vulgare
Fragaria vesca
Humulus lupulus
Malva sylvestris
Myrrhis odorata
Origanum vulgare
Paperver rhoeas
Phragmites australis
Polygonum bistorta
Porphyra umbilicalis
Primula veris
Prunus avium
Prunus domestica
Prunus spinosa
Rorippa nasturtium-aquticum
Rosa canina
Rumex acetosa
Salicornia europaea
Smyrnium olusatrum
Stellaria media
Taraxacum officinalie
Thymus drucei
Tilia x europaea
Typha latifolia
Urtica dioica

On the Wikipedia one can find descriptions of the plants.

Stevie Argyl

Jedi Master
Young dandelion leaves are very nice, not as bitter as older ones.
Chickweed is edible and very nutricious
you can made tea from horsetail, full of silicon - just dont take to much of it and take it 30 mins after food as it blocks Vit B absorbtion. I ocassionaly have it in a smoothie.

nettles I love, raw in banana smoothies- freeze a chopped banana, add it to nettles and almonds and water in a blender to make a smoothie.

Leave of Lime tree very nice. relaxing tea made with flowers.

Campanula poscharskyana edible leaves

Mallow plants have edible flowers.

Nastertiums, not wild but great in salads and grow like weeds, leave flowers and seeds edible.

some cratageus are edible and sweet (hawthorns) - esp Crataegus schraderiana. Look up the plants for a future database on web.


The Living Force
The leaves from the common violet make a great salad base. They grow abundantly where I live and I use them often.

The unopened flower bud from the day lily tastes wonderful - almost corn-like. These can be mixed into salads or just nibbled on alone.

There's another "weed" where I live that has clover-like leaves and little yellow flowers. The leaves taste tangy, almost like vinegar. The locals here call it "wild sauerkraut". I don't know the official name of the plant though.

I've made dandelion wine out of opened dandelion flowers. I use wild honey as the sugar base and then let that all ferment for a few days and then strain out the flowers and let it sit in a air-locked container. After a few months it makes a wine-like alcoholic beverage with some zest (tastes almost like lemonade!) I don't drink this often, but it is nice on special occasions.


The Force is Strong With This One
I pick purslane(Portulaca oleracea) from my garden, as well as common mallow leaves which are good in soups, red clover blossom s make a great natural tea sweetener. Plantain is also a good spinach type green. Tiger lily blossoms are also tasty i just served sweet and sour pork inside lily blossoms last week. tasty

watch out when trying to identify some of the things especially like Aegopodium podagraria and Anthriscus sylvestris as it has some pretty nasty toxic cousins that look very similar. Also Symphytum officinale is an odd entry to this list from my research it should not be used internally because of cancer causing agents found recently in it. There are a lot of carrot family relatives that will not make you feel happy like a carrot will.

You can also look burdock especially around now. first year plants have nice tender roots right now very nutritious. You can always find a bite to eat if you know what you're looking for.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks banjoechef, I have for safety removed the plant you questioned which was marked as *Symphytum officinale.


Padawan Learner
In my opinion, based on this thread's specific details on edible plants, that a certain degree of knowledge of the plants (edible AND inedible) would be well advised before consuming some of these species simply on the basis that one can identify them.

It bears remembering that many plants that are "edible" also have medicinal effects/uses (as does pretty much everything we eat, good or bad).
Of particular importance: which part of the plant is edible...root...leaves...seeds?
Some plants have an edible leaf but deadly poisonous berries, it's kinda helpful to know these things too.


The Force is Strong With This One
I agree with Amelopsis for sure. You have to make sure you know for a fact what you are looking for, sometimes it can be a difference between pointy and more pointy, which means the difference between eating and being poisoned. I have found Peterson Field Guides to be quite useful.
The guides are well organized and show plants that look similar in the same sections. They describe the plants well and give warnings about possible allergies and/or poison.
A friend of mine who has lived for a few years foraging on the west coast has told me they are very practical as well.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hi thorbiorn,

Excellent thopic.

I'm living on Mediterranean's coastal region and much say, eatable wild plants are part of every day menu. Most of them are easy to prepare and much delicious than domesticated species:

Here are some plants easy to find and easy to cook:

1. Tamus communis or Black Bryony. picture on:
Is best prepared cooked on steam with sprouts of Asparagus officieales subspecies wild asparagus, when cold add a bit of olive oil and sea salt (non ionized) and a bit of pepper if not allergic to it, absolutely lovely with buckwheat bread
2. Punica malus or Punica granatum, wild fruit of pomegranate are not so sweet as domesticated pomegranate actually the arils (seed casings) are much more acidic but that is because of high dosage of pure vitamine C, well if you are doing detox and on diet this is the fruit for you (except if having problem with slow digestion, than better to spit out seeds of the fruit - had the same problem)
3. Wild Juniper Bush Buds, are excellent and easy to conserve, one jar fill with capers, all you need is to dilute 1/4 litre of water with 4 spoons of sea salt, ad more water if needed, PS: use bottled water and pasterise jar before conservation.
4. Allium canadense, wild garlic is much more aromatic than domesticated sort and you can use whole plant of wild garlic not only for salads but even for aromatization of soups or steamed vegetables.
5. Wild Artichoke, my favourite, take young wild artichoke vegetables when still green on the top of the (remove top or spikes and wash it nicely) steam it together with green peas, leave to cool down and add olive oil and sea salt, yummy:)
6. Pinus pinea, Pine nuts, super to ad to the salad and to eat with other nuts, great to add it to buckwheat bread to spice up aroma.
7. Crithmum maritmum or matar on Croatian picture on: great to ad to salad or conservate in salt water, but since growing whole year and having new sprouts, the best to use it fresh.
8. Pimpinella anisum or anís, his nice bulbus Onion could be steamed or added with other wild vegetables for nice soup, as well you could wrap it in aluminum foil ad a bit of olive oil, cherry tomatoes and organic chicken meat and like that bake it for 60 minutes on 220 *C (if in owen with ventilator, on 180*C if baked in owen w/O ventilator), actually if baked in aluminum foil it will be more steamed than baked.
9.All kind of Rubus procerus, wild common blackberry (be careful with thorns, lot of them when picking these delicious fruits)
10. Sorbus domestica - Service Tree, or sometimes True Service Tree with beautiful and delicious fruits, great natural laxative (always eat it when over-ripen and semi dried
11. Urtica dioica L. - Urticaceae, Stinging Nettle, great for the soup and mixture with other wild vegetables best steamed with wild garlic and wild cabage - Brassica oleracea or wild mustard.
12. Armoracia rusticana (Horse radish), great for salads
13. Beta vulgaris (Sea Beet) great steamed with Brassica oleracea and wild garlic and a bit of olive oil.
14. Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) nice spice for chicken soups and steamed chicken
15. The Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) great spice for fresh fish and lobsters (leave it only up to 30 seconds in the pot or it will start to be a bitter)
16. Arbutus unedo, Strawberry tree, Apple of Cain, or Cane Apple, with delicious fruits during winter months, pic on:
17. Myrtle - Myrtus communis with edible berries and flowers, flowers are sweet and full of propolis, pic on:
18. Opuntia ficus indica with edible figs and edible cactus pads.

There are lot of others wild vegetables & fruits native to Mediterranean and Adriatic coastlines especially edible plants growing close to the sea or in the sea but I have a bit problem to find their Latin or English names, sorry for that, will continue to search....,...

Healthy eating and living, Bon Appétit :)
Top Bottom