Bunchberry, a Beautiful and Valuable Wild Edible

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis), or also known as creeping dogwood, is a perennial flowering subshrub species. This plant is native to East Asia, Russia, Northern USA, and Canada. Unlike its other relatives, bunchberry is a creeping plant that only grows to about 8” tall at most. In some parts of the world, this plant is considered […]

Giant Puffball Mushroom, a Soft and Tasty Delicacy

Giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea)

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in September 2019. Updated April 2022. Puffball is a name often given to mushroom species with a rounded shape. But, in this article, we’ll focus on one specific puffball, the giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea). As its name suggests, this wild edible mushroom can grow up to a […]

Wild Cucumber, Inedible Fruits but Great for Making Tea

Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)

Wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata) is an annual vine plant that belongs to the cucumber family (Cucurbitaceae). Wild cucumber is native to North America. It’s well known for its prickly fruits, hence its other name, prickly cucumber.  Also, did you know? There’s another plant that’s also called wild cucumber. The plant’s scientific name is Cucumis anguria. […]

Wild Cucumber, a Hairy and Prickly Gherkin Cucumber

Wild Cucumber Plant (Cucumis anguria)

Wild cucumber (Cucumis anguria), or more commonly known as West Indian gherkin, is a vine that belongs to the cucumber family (Cucurbitaceae). This plant is native to Africa but it has naturalized all throughout the globe, including in America. Even though it’s not a garden cucumber (Cucumis sativus), this plant’s small and roundish fruits look […]

Chickweed, a Delicious and Nutritious Weed

Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Whole Plant

Chickweed is a common winter annual plant that grows all over Asia,  Europe, and North America. The name chickweed itself actually doesn’t only apply to one particular plant. There are two species under the name this name, Stellaria media and Cerastium fontanum. The former is considered as the true chickweed while the latter is more […]

Wild Blackberries and Raspberries, a Diverse Group of Delicious Edibles

Black Raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)

Do you know what Rubus is? It is a diverse genus of flowering plants in the Rosaceae family. Most Rubus plants are easily recognizable from their rough and prickly wood stems, much like the common thorny stems of rose plants. These stems are usually tangled, forming a bush called brambles. The fruits from a Rubus […]

Dandelion, a Surprisingly Beneficial Wild Edible

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) Seeds

Who doesn’t know dandelions (Taraxacum officinale)? This lovely flower grows almost all around the world. You’ve likely blown fluffy dandelion balls at least once to make a wish during your childhood. Children love to blow on dandelion’s feathery light seeds into the wind, hoping that they would soar to the sky and make their wishes […]

Dead Nettle, an Overlooked yet Valuable Wild Edible

Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum)

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in June 2019. Updated April 2022. A common sight in late winter and early spring, dead nettle (Lamium purpureum) is a greatly underrated plant. Other names include red dead nettle, purple archangel, and purple dead nettle. The “dead” part of its name isn’t as ominous as it may […]

Black Chokeberry, a Native Super Food

Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) Fruits

Despite its funny name, black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) is a super healthy food that has been cultivated and consumed for thousands of years. It’s native to eastern North America, but due to its various uses, chokeberry bushes were later introduced to Europe as well. They’re easily recognized in the wild from their glossy dark green […]

Dryad’s Saddle, a Unique and Tasty Mushroom

Dryad’s saddle (Polyporus squamosus)

Walk around your local forest and you’ll probably spot some wild mushrooms growing on tree stumps. Take a closer look at these mushrooms, you might be lucky enough to find some edible ones. Dryad’s saddle (Polyporus squamosus) or pheasant back mushroom is one of these valuable wild edibles. In the wild, you can recognize these […]

Ramps, a Popular and Versatile Herb

Ramps (Allium tricoccum) Field

Ramps (Allium tricoccum) are a wild onion species native to North America. While this woodland edible’s bulbs resemble that of a scallion, it has beautiful broad green leaves. It’s one of the earliest wild edibles to emerge in the spring and it’s a wonderful food source all year round. This herb is well-known among foragers […]

Maitake, the Wonderful King of Mushrooms

Maitake (Grifola frondosa)

Maitake (Grifola frondosa) is a type of mushroom that’s native to China, Japan, and North America. To Westerners, maitake is often called hen of the woods and sheep’s head mushrooms. Despite being a native to North America as well, these mushrooms are more commonly found in Asian supermarkets throughout the US. The name Maitake itself […]

Black Medic, an Underrated and Useful Wild Edible

Black medic (Medicago lupulina) Flowers and Leaves

Black medic (Medicago lupulina) is often considered a weed and a mild nuisance in the garden. However, if you see this plant invading your garden, don’t immediately spray it with chemicals! Instead, you should actually be happy. This seemingly annoying weed is actually edible and rich in nutrients. It even has some wonderful medicinal qualities, […]

Wild Sarsaparilla, a Native Source of Energy and Health

Wild Sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

    Despite their similar name, wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis) is not related to the true sarsaparilla at all. Unlike true sarsaparilla which belongs to the Greenbrier family, wild sarsaparilla belongs to the Ginseng family. Wild sarsaparilla is a perennial flowering plant that comes from northern and eastern North America. This plant can easily be […]

White Clover, a Sweet and Nutritious Edible Weed

  Editor’s note: This article was originally published in May 2019. Updated April 2022. White clover (Trifolium repens) is a low-growing perennial plant that’s native to Europe and Central Asia. It’s one you’re likely very familiar with, as it has been naturalized all over the world as a common lawn plant. Its most distinguishable features […]

Stinging Nettle, an Interesting Herb with Many Virtues

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) Close Up

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is usually dismissed as a harmful weed due to its stinging hair. But in reality, this plant is actually one of the most beneficial and nutritious wild edibles out there. In some cultures, stinging nettle has even been used as a traditional medicine and food source since ancient times. This vitamin-rich […]

Red Clover, a Powerful Herb with Great Healing Powers

Red clover (Trifolium pratense)

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is a wild edible that has distinctly beautiful red round flowers. It’s a herbaceous perennial plant that’s native to Europe, western Asia, and northwestern Africa. But, due to its beauty as well as culinary and medicinal uses, this plant has been naturalized in almost every region of the world. As mentioned […]

Kudzu, an Invasive Weed with Hidden Virtues

Kudzu (Pueraria montana)

Kudzu (Pueraria Montana), also known as Japanese arrowroot, is a perennial blossoming vine that is native to large areas of Southeast Asia. This plant was originally brought over to the US from Japan in the 1800s to be cultivated as livestock feed. Farmers were encouraged to plant fields of Kudzu before its invasive nature was […]

Indian Cucumber, Tasty Edible Roots with Many Virtues

Indian Cucumber (Medeola virginiana) Plant with Berries

Much like may other plants in the Lily (Liliaceae), Indian cucumber (Medeola virginiana) is a good wild edible. Indian cucumber is a perennial plant that’s native to eastern North America. This plant got its name from the fact that it tastes and smells almost exactly like cucumber. Aside from its culinary uses, this plant also […]

Hops, an Essential Beer Ingredient with Health Benefits

Hops (Humulus lupulus)

Beer enthusiasts must be familiar with this plant. Hops (Humulus lupulus) is commonly used in the beer-brewing industry. The name “hops” itself can refer to the plant as well as the female flowers from that plant. These flowers are essential for flavoring, preserving, and stabilizing beer. Hops plant is a perennial twining vine that belongs […]