7 Plants You Can Eat If You’re Stranded in the Wild

Edible Plants

wilderness ( double recognition : Shutterstock ) On the off find that you find yourself stranded in the wilderness on your next camp stumble or raise, don ’ t panic — there are plenty of things to eat once you ’ ve run out of drag mix. From its flaxen deserts to its emerald woodlands, the continental United States is dotted with comestible plants. But grazers beware : Eating the wrong implant could leave you ill or flush kill you. [ Naughty By nature : The Most Disgusting and Deadly Flowers ]

so, what greenery can you eat, and which plants should you avoid ? hera are seven of the most common edible plants you can find in the U.S .


( image credit : Shutterstock ) Cattails ( Typha species ) are found throughout the U.S., and different parts of the plant are edible at specific times of the year, said Catrina Adams, the director of education at the Botanical Society of America. Cattails are recognizable by their dilute, sword-like stems and a singular, flowering and downy seed head. You can find them by and large in the shallow waters of marshes, ponds and along the edges of lakes. To get to the good stuff, you have to dig up the roots of the cattails and locate the small, pointed sprouts at the ends of the roots. These starchy parts are most comestible in the hang and winter, Adams told Live Science. There are besides cattail hearts ⎯ tender egg white shoots that can be eaten raw or cooked. The sample is alike to a cucumber, Adams noted, and these shoots are most tasty in early summer. once you get home, you can even make cattail casserole for your friends and family, and show off your new skills as a survivalist .


( image credit rating : Shutterstock ) Finding a four-leaf clover is always a sign of good fortune, but when you ’ re stranded without food in the wilderness, stumbling across these golden charms can be fortunate in more ways than one. Clovers ( Trifolium species ), identifiable by their medic leaves, can be found on lawns pretty much everywhere, Adams said. They ’ re comestible from root to blossom, and you can eat them raw, boiled and even sauteed. bolshevik clover has long been thought to improve blood-vessel health in menopausal women, according to a 1999 learn in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism .


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Dandelions ( Taraxacum species ) are often thought of as a weedy pain, but all parts of the common lawn flower can be eaten, from its chicken flower to its roots and leaves, Adams said. The dandelion can be eaten raw or cooked, although the leaves and roots are generally bitter when ingested raw, while the yellow flower is sweet, and can be used to make syrup or even dandelion wine. dandelion leaves or greens are sometimes flush added to salads, and their roots can be dried and roasted to create a coffee-like substitute .

Redwood sorrel

( persona credit : Shutterstock ) This perennial herb grows by and large in the redwood forests that extend from southwest british Columbia to the San Francisco Bay Area of California. The plant is particularly recognizable among the trees because of its noteworthy, translucent white flowers. According to Adams, all parts of this implant are edible sensitive or cooked, but caution is advised when ingesting the herb. Redwood dock ( Oxalis oregana ) is gently toxic, due to the presence of oxalic acid, which is besides found in spinach, Adams said. Although this plant should only be eaten in small quantities, it is one of the more normally consumed plants in the U.S. But ingesting besides oxalic acid can cause vomit or even kidney damage, Adams said .

Prickly pear cactus

( trope credit : Shutterstock ) Among the abandon sands of the southwest, the bristly pear cactus ( Opuntia species ) is easily identifiable by its rounded “ leaves, ” or pads, and brown needles. The cactus pads are edible all year attack, and are celebrated for the support and water stored in them, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. It is important to carefully undress and remove the spines from the outside of the cactus pad, or else you ’ re likely to end up with a taste of needles. These spines besides extend into the juicy pulp on the inside of the cactus, and certain experts recommend scorching the leaves with fire to wholly remove the spinal column. Along with the cactus pads, there is besides the fruit of the barbed pear, which is filled with seeds that taste like a combination of chinese gooseberry and watermelon. You can eat both the leaves and the seeds, and the best time to eat the barbed pear cactus is in the fall, according to the Southwest Parks and Monument Association .


( effigy credit : Shutterstock ) If you ’ re stranded on the beach or along the seashore, try some pickleweed ( Salicornia species ). This plant thrives in salt body of water and is bright green in the spring and summer. Its name comes from the pickle-like appearance of its stem segments and its salty taste, according to the Aquarium of the Pacific. Referred to as glasswort in Europe, pickleweed is occasionally used as a vegetable there, according to the Food Network. The plant is fleshy and leafless, and can be eaten bleak, the Aquarium of the Pacific says. ( It can besides be steamed — or, yes — pickled. )

Arrowleaf balsamroot

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This bright plant ( Balsamorhiza sagittata ) is park in the cold, dry areas of the West, including the Northwest region of the U.S. that ‘s democratic for camping and hiking. normally called the “ Oregon sunflower, ” arrowleaf balsamroot has arrow-shaped, trilateral, pointed leaves with beautiful jaundiced flowers. Regional Native Americans used all sections of this plant — the roots can be baked, steamed or feed raw, while the flower stems can besides be eat bleak, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The seeds of the flower are alimentary, and the roots can be dried and roasted as a coffee bean substitute. maroon campers, however, should be careful not to confuse arrowleaf balsamroot with the poisonous but jarringly similar Arnica montana flower, besides known as wolf ‘s bane. Ingesting the arnica flower is toxic to the liver. Both have chicken flowers, but Arnica ’ south leaves are not triangular or pointed as the leaves of an Arrowleaf flower are .

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