Published in 1971 and long out of print, The Edible Wild is an excellent field guide for anyone interested in wild consumables. Included in the book are over fifty wild plants, trees and shrubs found growing in North America that provide edible food. Of course, the plants identified are only a small percentage of the thousands of plants suitable for human consumption that grow in the wild, but the plants selected are the ones used most often by Native Americans and early settlers in the United States and Canada.

One of the most interesting points this book makes is that a vast majority of wild plants are edible, and because of their longer growing time, most wild plants contain many, many times the vitamin content of everyday fruits and veggies we get from the local supermarket. For example, the dandelion has twenty-five times more vitamin A than tomato juice.

With each plant an illustration is given, as well as a thorough description of its physical characteristics, where it can be found, how it should be collected, and how it can be prepared and eaten “in the bush,” aka: when you find yourself in the middle of nowhere with no food. Accompanying the information on each plant and the most common ways of enjoying it are anywhere from three to seven recipes that incorporate the wild plant in question.

Below is a list of plants presented in The Edible Wild. At each link you will find complete information on that specific plant, as well as links to recipes related to it:

Edible Shoots and Leaves

Edible Roots

  • Arrowhead
  • Jerusalem Artichocke
  • Wild Onion
  • Yellow Waterlily

Edible Fruits

  • Chokecherry
  • Elderberry
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Wild Rose

Wild Beverages

  • Black Birch
  • Hemlock
  • Stag Sumac

Sugar and Tobacco Substitutes

  • Bearberry
  • Sugar Maple
  • Sugar Pine

Wild Seasonings

  • Coltsfoot
  • Wild Leek

Note: this is a pet project of mine. Each plant listed will be linked when the corresponding WU is completed.

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