Edible Wild Plants: 19 Wild Plants You Can Eat to Survive in the Wild

There are many wild plants that can be eaten to survive in the wilderness with little supplies. But you need to know what plants have a bitter taste and those which cause diarrhea, because if you eat the wrong plant, you could die from it within hours.

The “list of edible plants with pictures pdf” is a list of 19 wild plants that you can eat to survive in the wild. The list includes information about each plant, and also has pictures so that you know what it looks like.

Vintage men surrounded by plants in forest.

So you’ve got yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere. You finished the last nub of your Clif Bar two days ago and are now starving. You need to keep your strength up since civilization is still many days distant. The lush vegetation all around you is becoming more appealing. But what should I eat? Some plants will keep you alive by providing critical vitamins and minerals, while others may cause you to get extremely sick or even die.

Which, of course, necessitates accurate identification.

A primer on 19 popular edible wild plants may be found here. Examine them and memorize the names of the plants. If you want to learn more about edible wild plants, we recommend the SAS Survival Handbook and the U.S. Army Survival Manual (Army Survival Manual).

We’ll be producing articles on edible wild roots, berries, and mushrooms in the following months. So keep an eye out.

Plants to stay away from

It’s preferable to be safe than sorry if you can’t precisely identify a plant and aren’t sure whether it’s harmful. If a plant displays the following characteristics, stay away from it.

  • Sap that is milky or discolored
  • Thorns, spines, or tiny hairs
  • Inside pods are beans, bulbs, or seeds.
  • Tastes bitter or soapy
  • Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley-like leaf are all good options.
  • The woody sections and leaves have a “almond” fragrance.
  • Pink, purple, or black spurs on grain heads
  • Growth pattern with three leaves

Many dangerous plants will have one or more of the traits listed above. Remember that some of the plants we recommend below have some of these characteristics yet are still edible. When you’re not sure what you’re dealing with, use the traits given as a guideline. If you have a day or two to spare and want to be absolutely certain that an unknown plant is edible, you may always do the Universal Edibility Test.

Amaranth is a kind of amaranth that is (Amaranthus retroflexus and other species)

Amaranth plants potrait.

Amaranth is an edible weed that is native to the Americas but may be found on other continents. All parts of the plant are edible, however some of the leaves have spines that should be avoided. While not dangerous, amaranth leaves contain oxalic acid and, if cultivated in a nitrate-rich soil, may contain high levels of nitrates. It’s best to boil the leaves to get rid of the oxalic acid and nitrates. After you’ve boiled the plant, don’t drink the water. If the worst comes to the worst, you can eat the plant raw.

Asparagus is a kind of asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)

Asparagus plants potrait.

Most of Europe, as well as sections of North Africa, West Asia, and North America, have wild populations of the vegetable that makes your urine smell strange. The stem of wild asparagus is substantially thinner than that of store-bought asparagus. Vitamin C, thiamine, potassium, and vitamin B6 are all abundant in this fruit. Eat it fresh or cook it in the same way you would asparagus at home.

Burdock is a kind of plant that grows in the (Arctium lappa)

Burdock arctium plants potrait.

Plant with enormous leaves and purple thistle-like flower heads that grows in a medium to large size. The plant is native to the temperate regions of the Eastern Hemisphere, but it has also become naturalized in portions of the Western Hemisphere. Burdock is a popular vegetable in Japan. The leaves and peeled stalks of the plant may be eaten raw or cooked. Because the leaves have a harsh flavor, it is advised that you boil them twice before eating them. The plant’s root may also be peeled, cooked, and consumed.


Cattails are a kind of cattail that (Typha)

Cattail plants portrait.

The typha genus of plants, often known as cattails or punks in North America and bullrush and reedmace in England, is typically found at the boundaries of freshwater marshes. Many Native American tribes ate cattails as part of their diet. The majority of a cattail’s leaves are edible. The plant’s rootstock, or rhizomes, may be cooked or eaten raw. In most cases, the rootstock is located underground. Ensure that any muck is washed away. Near the bottom of the stem, where the plant is mostly white, is the nicest section of the stem. Boil the stem or eat it raw. Cook the leaves in the same way you would spinach. When the plant is young and the female flower spike looks like a corn dog, it may be broken off and eaten like corn on the cob. It has a flavor that is similar to maize.

Clovers are a kind of plant that grows in (Trifolium)

Clovers plants portrait.

Clovers are really edible, so you’re in luck. They may be found almost everywhere there is an open grassy area. Their unique trefoil leaflets make them easy to identify. Clovers may be eaten raw, but they taste better when cooked.

Chicory is a kind of chicory that is (Cichorium intybus)

Chicory plants portrait.

Chicory may be found throughout Europe, North America, and Australia. Small blue, lavender, and white blooms bloom on a bushy shrub. The whole plant is edible. Pick the tender young leaves and consume them raw or cook them. After boiling, the roots of chicory become appetizing. You may also eat the blooms as a fast snack by popping them in your mouth.

Chickweed is a kind of chickweed that grows (Stellaria media)

Chickweed plants portrait.

This plant may be found in temperate and cold climates. The leaves are thick and the plant produces little white blooms often. Between May and July, they generally arrive. The leaves may be eaten fresh or cooked. They include a lot of vitamins and minerals.

Dock Curled (Rumex crispus)

Curled dock plants portrait.

Curled dock may be found in Europe, North America, South America, and Australia. A tall, brilliant red stalk that may reach three feet in height distinguishes it. The stalk may be eaten raw or cooked. Simply remove the outer layers first. To eliminate the leaves’ naturally bitter flavor, boil them with numerous changes of water for several minutes.

Dandelion is a kind of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelion plants portrait.

Sure, it’s an unpleasant weed on your nicely maintained lawn, but this small plant may save your life when you’re out in the wild. Roots, leaves, and flowers are all edible parts of the plant. Consume the leaves when they are still young; older leaves have a harsh flavor. If you want to consume the mature leaves, boil them first to get rid of the bitterness. Before eating, boil the roots as well. You may make a tea out of the water you used to boil the roots, and use the blossom as a garnish for your dandelion salad.

Pennycress in the Field (Thalspi vulgaris)

Field Pennycress plants portrait.

Field pennycress is a weed that may be found all over the globe. Early spring to late winter is its growth season. Field pennycress seeds and leaves may be eaten fresh or cooked. The one caution with field pennycress is that if it’s growing in polluted soil, you shouldn’t consume it. Pennycress is a mineral hyperaccumulator, which means it absorbs all minerals in its environment. If you see pennycress growing by the side of the road or at a Superfund site, don’t consume it.


Fireweed is a kind of weed that grows (Epilobium angustifolium)

Fireweed plants portrait.

This lovely plant is mostly found in the Northern Hemisphere. The purple bloom and the distinctive vein structure of the leaves distinguish fireweed; the veins are circular rather than ending on the margins of the leaves. Fireweed was consumed by many Native American tribes. It’s preferable to eat it while the leaves are still delicate. The leaves of mature fireweed plants are stiff and bitter. You may consume the plant’s stem as well. The seeds and blossoms have a spicy flavor. Vitamins A and C are abundant in fireweed.

Seaweed, Green (Ulva lactuca)

Green Seaweed plants portrait.

If you ever find yourself stranded on a remote island, look for green seaweed along the shore. This substance may be found in waters all around the globe. If fresh water is available, rinse the green seaweed and let it dry after removing it from the water. It may be eaten raw or added to a soup. Alternatively, if you’re feeling very daring, catch a fish with your own spear and use the seaweed to construct sushi rolls without the rice.

Kelp is a kind of seaweed (Alaria esculenta)

Kelp plants portrait.

Another kind of seaweed is kelp. It’s available in almost every country. It may be eaten raw or added to a soup. Kelp is high in folate, vitamin K, and lignans, all of which are beneficial to your health.

Plantain is a kind of plant that grows in the (Plantago)

Plantain plants portrait.

The plantain plant (not to be confused with the banana-like plantain) has been used by humans for millennia as a meal and herbal medicine for a wide variety of ailments. Plantains grow in moist environments like marshes and bogs, although they may also be found in alpine locations. The leaves are round, ribbed, and short-stemmed, and they hug the ground. The leaves may become up to 6 inches long and 4 inches broad. When the leaves are young, they are the tastiest to eat. As with other plants, the leaves get bitter as they age. Vitamin A and calcium are abundant in plantain. It also contains a little amount of vitamin C.

Cactus prickly pear (Opuntia)

Prickly pear Cactus plants portrait.

The prickly pear cactus, which can be found in the deserts of North America, is a delicious and nutritious plant that may help you survive the next time you’re stuck in the desert. The prickly pear cactus’ fruit resembles a red or reddish pear. As a result, the name. Remove the little spines on the outer skin of the plant before eating it, otherwise you’ll feel like you’re swallowing a porcupine. The juvenile stem of the prickly pear cactus may also be eaten. Before consuming the stems, it’s better to boil them.

Purslane is a kind of purslane that grows (Portulaca oleracea)

Purslane plants portrait.

Purslane, despite its reputation as an annoying plant in the United States, may give essential vitamins and minerals in a wilderness survival emergency. Purslane was really one of Ghandi’s favorite dishes. It’s a tiny shrub with thick, silky leaves that have a tangy, sour flavor. Purslane blooms from the start of summer until the beginning of autumn. Purslane may be eaten raw or cooked. If you want to get rid of the sour flavor, boil the leaves first.


Sheep Sorrel is a kind of sorrel that grows on sheep (Rumex acetosella)

Sheep sorrel plants portrait.

Sheep sorrel is a European and Asian native that has become established in North America. In fields, meadows, and forests, it’s a common weed. It thrives on very acidic soil. Sheep sorrel has a long, crimson stem that may grow up to 18 inches tall. Sheep sorrel is high in oxalates and should not be consumed in big amounts. The leaves may be eaten uncooked. They have a tangy, almost lemony taste to them.

Mustard (white) (Synapsis alba)

White Mustard plants portrait.

White mustard grows wild in various places across the globe. Between February and March, it blooms. Seeds, flowers, and leaves are all edible elements of the plant.

Sorrel de bois (Oxalis)

Wood sorrel plants portrait.

Wood sorrel may be found all over the globe, with South America having the most species variety. For millennia, humans have utilized wood sorrel for food and medicinal. Wood sorrel was chewed by the Kiowa Indians to quench their thirst, while the Cherokee ate it to heal mouth ulcers. The leaves contain a lot of vitamin C. Boiling the roots of wood sorrel is one option. They’re starchy and have a potato-like flavor.



The “wild edible plants in virginia” is a list of 19 wild plants that you can eat to survive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What plants in the wild can you eat?

A: The most common plants that can be eaten in the wild are berries and mushrooms. Other examples include cattails, corn stalks, grasses, sweet potatoes and watercress.

What is edible in the woods?

A: You should avoid eating anything that you do not recognize as edible. Some common plants and berries found in the woods are ramps, huckleberries, wild blueberries, mushrooms, dandelions and a host of other things.

How many wild plants are edible?

A: There is no answer to that question.

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