11 Plants that are Edible & Nutritious for Survival

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In this article, I will cover 11 common edible wild plants that are healthy.

You are starving in the middle of a hike, and you forgot to pack a snack. Luckily, you know what plants to eat.

Edible wild plants are all around us, from cracks on the city sidewalk to a mountain forest. There are plenty of plants out there, waiting to be harvested and eaten. It doesn’t matter if you are stranded on an island or are hungry during a hike. You will know exactly what to eat safely.

The wild plants I will be covering are not only edible but are nutritious as well. You will get to experience various new flavors, and picking wild food in itself is fun. Without further ado, let’s jump into 11 common and edible wild plants that are also healthy.

1. Dandelion Flowers

dandelion flower edible wild plant

Dandelion flowers, also known as Taraxacum. These are located all around North America and Europe. These are edible raw and can be eaten without any precautions. 

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Dandelion flowers are a great source of vitamin A, C, K, E, and some vitamin B. Along with small amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. To add on, they also contain antioxidants, fight inflammation, aids blood sugar control, reduces Cholesterols, lowers blood pressure, promote liver health, aids weight loss, supports healthy digestion, treats constipation, boosts immunity, promote skin health, and supports bones.

So, what part of it is edible? The whole flower is edible, from the leaves to the roots(wash off the dirt) are completely safe for consumption. Dandelion flowers are usually yellow. However, there is a common orange mutation that is also completely edible.

2. Chickweed

chickweed edible wild plant

Chickweed, also known as Stellaria Media, is a wild plant located through North America, Europe, and Asia. This “weed” is actually also edible all the way through.

Chickweeds are a great source for vitamins A, D, B complex, and C. To add on, they also have calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, sodium, copper, iron, and some silica. This is commonly used in tea and salads and as a “cooling” herbal remedy.

Chickweeds have fine hairs on only one side of their stem and are usually white.

3. Ramps

ramp edible wild plant

Ramps, also known as Allium tricoccum, is a wild plant located in North America(Eastern US and Eastern Canada.)

Ramps are a great source of vitamin A, and C. Ramps also contain Selenium and Chromium.  To add on, they also promote brain function, synthesizes fatty acids and cholesterols, reduces the risk of certain cancers, repair tissues, skin, bones, teeth, and blood vessels, and promote strong eyesight.

Ramps are grown in patches and tastes like onion and garlic. Every part is edible as well and can be eaten raw.

4. Cattail

cattail edible wild plant

Cattail, also known as Typha, is a wild plant located among the northern hemisphere(north part of the world.)

Cattails contain a variety of helpful minerals such as vitamin K, Magnesium, fibers, Iron, Vitamin B6, Calcium, and Sodium. Cattails help to prevent Anemia, provides skincare, helps to control diabetes, controls hypertension, and reduces the risk of Atherosclerosis. Along with helping the brain function, healthy bones, and teeth, and prevents blood clots.

Cattails are usually next to bodies of water and may sometimes have yellow pollen that appears in midsummer. However, it normally looks like it has a brown, cigar-shaped head. The stem and rootstock are edible raw, while the leaves are edible cooked.

5. Kelp

Kelp is a wild plant located at most beach shore worldwide.

Kelp is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, Sodium, Calcium, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, a tiny amount of fat, and Iron. This plant can help with general health( general health meaning stronger bones and teeth, provides skincare, repairs tissues, promotes certain organs health)

Kelp is a brownish plant that comes from the ocean. The whole plant can be eaten.

6. Wood Sorrel

wood sorrel edible wild plant

Wood Sorrel, also known as Oxalis, is a wild plant located around the world, especially in the US.

Wood Sorrel is a plant that tastes like lemons and is full of nutrition. These are full of oxalic acid(hence the genus name *Oxalis*) and have high amounts of vitamin A and C. This herb can help with general health and also helps with fever reduction and reducing inflammation.

7. Elderberry

elderberry edible wild plant

Elderberry, also known as Sambucus, is located in many subtropical regions of the world.

The fruit is a little bitter. Elderberry provides vitamin C, fibers, phenolic acids, and anthocyanins. These plants provide cold, and flu relief reduces sinus infection symptoms, lowers blood sugar, promote urination and bowel moments, acts as a natural laxative, provides skincare, helps prevent cancer, and may improve heart health. 

Only the berry itself is edible, completely raw.

8. Peppergrass

peppergrass edible wild plant

Peppergrass, also known as Lepidium, is a wild plant located worldwide and is usually located in grass.

Peppergrass is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium. This plant can help with general health.

This plant tastes like pepper, with a tangy spice. This plant is identified by its raceme(flower cluster) that grows between 10-15 cm long. The whole plant is edible.

9. Sunflower

sunflower edible wild plant

Sunflowers, also known as Helianthus, is a wild plant located mostly in North and South America.

Sunflowers contain protein, carbs, fibers, vitamin E and B6, Niacin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, and Selenium. This plant can help with general health, along with reducing the chances of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and inflammation.

These plants can grow up to 2 meters, and when eating the seed, it is much smaller than sold commercially. The whole plant is edible.

10. Tea Plant

tea plant edible wild plant

Tea plants, also known as Camellia sinensis and is the wild plant located in most subtropical regions.

Tea plants taste bitter and astringent, and the leaves and flowers are edible. This plant will help with general health.

These plants are usually white.

11. Sweet Gale

sweet gale edible wild plant

Sweet Gale, also known as Myrica Gale, is located mostly throughout North America and Europe.

Sweet Gale is used for general health and can even be used as an insect repellent and a treatment for acne.

Sweet Gale has a bitter taste, and the fruit and leaves are edible raw.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned about one plant that is edible. Do not consume any of these plants if you are pregnant or planning to be pregnant, because many of these are listed as an abortifacient, and also don’t consume dirty food, wash your food. It is also possible to be allergic to some of these foods. Although extremely rare, it can happen.

You can find out how edible plant precautions and if a plant is right for you here(for more research): https://pfaf.org/user/Default.aspx.

If you enjoyed this, perhaps you would enjoy 20 Trees All Survivalists Needs to Know and Why, where I cover all the trees you need to know to provide for all your basic needs.

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8 thoughts on “11 Plants that are Edible & Nutritious for Survival”

  1. I love foraging! We do it locally for food and seeds for our garden.

    I think more information is needed before anyone should try eating plants in the wild. The article is a good place to get ideas but please make sure you are certain about what you are putting in your mouth.

    Plants can be tricky and some toxic ones look very similar to the yummy ones.

    Reply
    • That is very true. You make great points and that is why I will be making an article on look-alikes in the future.

      Reply

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