Stellaria media – Chickweed

Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a common edible green that was brought here from Europe. Chickweed can be identified by its teardrop-shaped leaves that grow opposite each other. It has a single line of hairs growing along its stem and white flowers with five petals (appears to be 10 petals due to its deep clefts). Chickweed […]

Persicaria longiseta – Oriental Lady’s Thumb

Oriental Lady’s Thumb (Persicaria longiseta) is an edible, non-native plant from Asia. It can be identified by its alternate leaves and small pink flowers. All above ground parts of oriental lady’s thumb are edible raw or cooked. It has a peppery taste. Oriental lady’s thumb might be confused with lady’s thumb (Persicaria maculosa) which has […]

Hypericum perforatum – St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a non-native medicinal plant that usually flowers near the summer solstice. It can be found in sunny areas with dry, gravelly soil. St. John’s wort has five-petalled flowers with many stamens and narrow leaves which have tiny transparent dots. The flowers produce a red/purple substance when crushed called hypericin, […]

Filipendula ulmaria – Meadowsweet

Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) is a non-native edible and medicinal plant in the rose family that flowers in July. Meadowsweet can be identified by its reddish stem and creamy-white flowers with five petals. The flowers have a sweet, almondy scent. The flowers can be used to flavor mead or panna cotta. They can also be added […]

Comptonia peregrina – Sweet Fern

Sweet Fern (Comptonia peregrina) is a native shrub related to the bayberry plant. Sweet fern is not a true fern, as it produces seeds and flowers, unlike ferns which reproduce using spores.   Sweet fern leaves have a nice aroma, but are tough, so are best used to flavor liquids. The leaves should then be […]

Matricaria discoidea – Pineapple weed

Pineapple weed (Matricaria discoidea) is an edible and medicinal native plant that is similar to chamomile. It can be identified by its unique cone-shaped flower heads that lack ray flowers. Pineapple weed can be found along trails in sunny areas from May-September. It has a pineapple-like taste and aroma. Pineapple weed can be eaten raw […]

Cichorium intybus – Common Chicory

Common chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a non-native edible and medicinal plant that can be found in sunny areas. The entire plant is edible, although it can be bitter. It is beneficial to eat bitter herbs, as they assist with digestion, weight management, and blood sugar regulation. Chicory has also been used to boost immunity and […]

Prunella vulgaris – Self-heal

Self-heal/ “Heal-all” (Prunella vulgaris) is a native edible and medicinal plant in the mint family. Self-heal can be identified by its opposite leaves, square stem, and purple flowers that appear mid-late summer. It is found in woodland edges and meadows. All above ground parts can be used as an edible or medicinal. It has a […]

Allium vineale – Field Garlic

  Field Garlic (Allium vineale) is a non-native relative of chives that can be foraged in the colder months. Any leaves with a garlicky scent are edible. Field garlic leaves are thin and hollow. All parts of the plant are edible, including the leaves, bulb, and flowers. The bulb can be left in the ground […]

Erythronium americanum – Trout Lily

Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) is a native, edible ephemeral that blooms in April in Connecticut.   Trout lily has purple mottled leaves and a flower with 6 petals. The color of the flower varies depending on the species of trout lily. Trout lily leaves and flowers can be added raw to a salad. Only a […]

Veronica serpyllifolia – Thyme-leaved Speedwell

Thyme-leaved Speedwell (Veronica serpyllifolia) is an edible plant in the plantain family. It was introduced to North America from Europe. Thyme-leaved speedwell can be added raw to salads. The leaves, flowers, and stems are all edible. It has a flavor that is reminiscent of watercress. The plant has also been used medicinally to treat issues […]

Lactuca canadensis – Canada Wild Lettuce

Canada Wild Lettuce (Lactuca canadensis) is a native edible and medicinal plant in the Daisy family. Wild lettuces can be identified by the hairs on the bottom of the leaf’s central vein. In Lactuca canadensis, the hairs are less consistent than in other species of Wild Lettuce. The young leaves and stems are edible but […]

Caulophyllum thalictroides – Blue Cohosh

Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) is a native plant that was traditionally used to induce labor. Blue cohosh grows best in mixed hardwoods. It can be identified by its blueish green lobed leaves. Blue cohosh is a non-aggressive plant that is at risk for over-harvesting.   Thoroughly roasted seeds of the blue cohosh berry have been […]

Cicuta spp. – Water Hemlock

Water hemlock (Cicuta spp.) is the most toxic plant in North America. Water hemlock contains cicutoxin which acts on the central nervous system causing seizures and often death. All parts of the plant are toxic, although the roots contain the highest levels of cicutoxin. Treatment for water hemlock poisoning includes activated charcoal and anticonvulsant medications. […]

Monotropa uniflora – Ghost Pipe

The Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) is a native plant that lacks chlorophyll. Rather than using photosynthesis, ghost pipes get their nutrients from a fungus in the Russulaceae family, which is getting its nutrients from trees. Each ghost pipe plant blooms for only 1 week annually. It can be found blooming sometime between late June and […]

Albizia julibrissin – Mimosa Tree

The Mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin) is an invasive tree from Asia and the Middle East. The mimosa tree has fern-like leaves and silky pompom flowers in the summer. The flowers become flat paper brown seed pods in late summer. Young mimosa leaves can be eaten cooked or dried and used for tea. Blossoms can be […]

Maianthemum racemosum – False Solomon’s Seal

False Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum racemosum) is a native woodland plant with edible berries. False Solomon’s seal has a long, arching stem and berries that turn bright red in late summer. It is in the Asparagus family. Berries are edible, but bittersweet. Berries should be eaten in moderation as large quantities can have a laxative effect. […]

Maianthemum canadense – Canada Mayflower

Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense) is a native plant that can be found on forest floors. Canada mayflower has 1-3 shiny dark green leaves. The plant is less than 6 inches tall. In the fall, the plant has small red berries that have 1-2 seeds per berry. Fully ripe berries are edible raw or cooked. They […]

Monarda fistulosa – Wild Bergamot

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) is a native edible plant in the mint family. It can be found blooming in sunny areas in mid to late summer. Wild Bergamot has square stems with opposite, toothed leaves. The leaves produce an oregano-like aroma when crushed due to their thymol content. Wild Bergamot leaves, stems, and flowers are […]

Eutrochium spp. – Joe-Pye weed

Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium spp.) is a native plant that has been used medicinally for centuries. There are five different Joe-pye weed (Eutrochium) species present in North America. They often hybridize so can be difficult to differentiate. Joe-pye weeds have pink-purple flowers that are present summer-fall. The stem is tall, erect, and has leaves arranged around […]