I took all these photos in the Spring/Summer of 2014, while living in Oregon. Over the years I've enjoyed studying wild edible plants. We adapted a rule for our family about trying new things out in the wild: you must correctly identify it without a doubt in 3 different sources before you taste!
There are a lot of plants that are somewhat edible, but not that great tasting or you have to boil them in several changes of water. The plants shown here you can just munch on right from the ground and are some of the easiest to identify.
|English Lawn Daisies|
|A mallow plant|
As the plant matures, they make a hard round "cheese." They call them that because they look like a doll house size circle of green cheese. Anyhow, they are good picked, fried in butter, and sprinkled on salad or for a little snack.
The original campfire marshmallow was made from the roots of the Marsh Mallow plant, according to the "Edible Wild Plants" Peterson Field Guides. It has a little recipe in there on how to make them. Peterson Field Guides are such handy tools.
|Another mallow plant growing inside the lawn.|
|A Narrow-leaved Plantain|
|A young Plantain|
|More Wild Lettuce|
|My cute littlest boy having fun with a sticky plant...|
|Better known as Bedstraw or Cleavers|
|More wood violets|
All species of violets are edible including the leaves and the flowers and are high in Vit.C.
|Look closely for the feathery looking leaves of the Yarrow Plant...|
|Yarrow Up-Close with a sprig of Clover|
Yarrow is medicinal too. See it's fuzzy, lacy like leaves? It is an easy one to spot as well. Try making some yarrow tea, it is supposed to be good for arthritis. You can also make a tea from fir or spruce needles which is very high in Vit. C.
Well, I'm all out of pictures for now, I didn't even get to include my favorites: Peppercress, Purslane, Lambs Quarters, as well as Sour Grass. Did I mention wild onions, garlic, chives and clover? How about Pineapple Weed? These are all easy to identify and tasty too. I hope I've inspired you to learn some wild edible backyard plants.
You might be wondering why Oregon pictures of edible weeds and wild plants, it's just because it's what I have on hand. The Spring before we left Oregon, I got to share my edible weed knowledge with a group of church ladies. A friend and I took them on a walk to teach them how to spot edible weeds and the names of each. It was so much fun. We made some flash cards with photos and hung them near patches of various weeds.
I'll be adding Alaskan pictures this spring and summer. There are a few archived on the blog here: Alaskan Wild Edible Weed Photos We have some of the same edible weeds all the way up here in Alaska.
One last word of caution... when you're just starting out, eat just a little taste, in case you might have an allergy. Also, look up oxalic acid and take precautions with plants in the spinach family and clovers.
There's a heap of great websites out there for identification. Try the library and don't forget to use the agricultural section. Farmer's must learn to identify all sorts of weeds at different stages of growth.
Once you have a good collection of books, go on a wild edible weed hunt right in your own backyard!
I purchased a stack of "Edible Wild Food Cards" from Rainbow Resource one year and those have proved valuable for hiking and camping when I don't want to cart around books.