Hobbies‎ > ‎Wilderness Survival‎ > ‎

Edible Wild Plants

Warning: Before you consume any plants, make sure that you positively identify it, and understand its nutritional characteristics.  There are several plants that if consumed are toxic and will kill you.  Its possible that you may have unknown allergies to some plants.  The authors of the videos are responsible for their own content, and the information is provided for educational purposes only.  Use any information from this site at your own risk.

In the wilderness there are several types of plants that you can eat to stay a live if you get lost.  There are also several other plants that and berries that you shouldn't eat.  The problem is learning the difference to what is edible and what is poisonous.  Video below are some suggestions for editable plants that you might find alive, but the availability of these plants depend on the area where you're located and season.

Below is a list of some common editable plants:
  • Cattails
  • Stinging Nettles
  • Pine (pines, firs, spruces, hemlock trees)
  • Berries (vaccinium genus, rubus genus)
  • Grasses
  • Nuts (oak and hazel)
  • Seaweeds & Cacti (coastal areas, sagebrush steppe areas)
  • Bamboo & Palm (most important for elsewhere in the world)

Beside plants small animals, rodents and insects are great sources of protein:

  • Water Critters (e.g. shellfish, crawfish, bullfrog legs)
  • Land Critters (e.g. crickets, grubs, rodents, snakes)

Cattail or Typha plants grow along lake margins and in marshes, Cattails have a wide variety of parts that are edible to humans. The rhizomes are a pleasant, nutritious and energy-rich food source, generally harvested from late Autumn to early Spring. These are starchy, but also fibrous, so the starch must be scraped or sucked from the tough fibers. In addition to the rhizomes, cattails have little-known, underground, lateral stems that are quite tasty. In late spring, the bases of the leaves, while they are young and tender, can be eaten raw or cooked. As the flower spike is developing in early summer, it can be broken off and eaten like corn on the cob. In mid-summer, once the male flowers are mature, the pollen can be collected and used as a flour supplement or thickener. The boiled rootstock have been used for increasing urination, or used mashing, to make a jelly-like paste for sores, boils, wounds, burns, scabs, and inflammations.

Stinging Nettle - Urtica Dioica
Stinging Nettle has a flavor similar to spinach when cooked, and is rich in vitamins A, C, D, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium. Young plants were harvested by Native Americans and used as a cooked plant in spring when other food plants were scarce.

Common Blackberry - Rubus Fruticosus
The astringent blackberry root is sometimes used in herbal medicine as a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery. Blackberries are notable for their high nutritional contents of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid - a B vitamin, and the essential mineral, manganese.

Pine Needles
Pine Needles are full of vitamin C and can also be used to make a tea.