3 Common Edible Plants

June 21, 2014, by Ken Jorgustin

3-common-edible-plants

One of the most common edible plants, the dandelion, can be eaten in its entirety. There are many edible plants, and many of them are commonly found. You simply need to be able to identify them.

The following edible plants are easily identifiable and are common in many regions.


 
Caution: Be aware whether or not pesticides have been used.

 
 

DANDELIONS FOR DINNER

edible-dandelions

The entire plant is edible- roots, leaves, and flower.

Eat the leaves while they’re still young; mature leaves taste bitter.

If you do decide to eat the mature leaves, boil them first to remove their bitter taste.

Boil the roots before eating as well.

 
 

EDIBLE CATTAILS

edible-cattails

The young cob-like tips of the plant are edible as is the white bottom of the stalk, spurs off the main roots and spaghetti like rootlets off the main roots.

Cattails are usually found near the edges of freshwater wetlands and were a staple in the diet of many Native American tribes.

The mature cattail is unique and easy to identify. Cattail are oval at the base, not flat. They are also very mild tasting and without much aroma – therefore if you think you’ve got a cattail and it tastes very strong or aromatic, then you may have the wrong plant.

The flower heads in spring can be husked like corn and boiled. The brown-orange heads can be eaten raw or dried into flour in the summer. In the fall, the horn-shaped corms (the sproutings of next years’ plants) can be eaten raw or roasted.

You can boil or eat raw the rootstock, or rhizomes, of the plant. The rootstock is usually found underground. Make sure to wash it off.

The best part of the stem is near the bottom where the plant is mainly white. Either boil or eat the stem raw.

Boil the leaves like you would spinach.

The corn dog-looking female flower spike can be broken off and eaten like corn on the cob in the early summer when the plant is first developing. It actually has a corn-like taste to it.

 
 

YOU CAN EAT CLOVERS

edible-clovers

Lucky you, the leaves, flowers, seeds, and roots of clovers are all edible, and they’re found just about everywhere there’s an open grassy area.

Clover is one of the most famous of weeds, commonly sharing space with grass in lawns.

You can eat clovers raw, but they taste better boiled.

The young leaves, taken before the plant flowers, can be eaten raw in salads. As the plant matures, cooking the leaves is recommended. The dried leaves are said to add a slightly vanilla-like flavor to baked goods.

The roots should be eaten cooked.

The flowers are used raw in salads as well as sauteed, stir-fried, or fried as fritters. They are also popular for making teas and wines.

The flowers and seeds can be dried and ground into a flour.

 
The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants