Edible Wild Plants A - J
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Seasons Found - Sp = Spring S = Summer A = Autumn W = Winter

Sp - 1.Alfilaria, Filaree, Storksbill
(Erodium Cicutarium) -
Habitat: common edible European imported weed that likes disturbed sites such as fields, pastures and roadsides.
Identification: annual/biennial
Leaves: low, spreading
Flowers: rank smelling, pink, 5-petaled, 1/3 inch to 1/2 inch wide; inflorescence with 2 to 8 stalked flowers in a long-stalked, rounded, umbel-like cluster.
Poisonous Look-Alikes: similar to POISON HEMLOCK. Pick only hairy stemmed leaves to avoid confusion.

Sp,S,A - 2.Alpine Bistort, Alpine Smartweed (Polygonum Viviparum) -
Habitat: arctic regions, alpine and subalpine slopes, rocky soil
Identification: perennial
Leaves: lance-shaped, tapering at the base, long stalked, up to 4 inches long, 1 inch wide.
Flowers: tiny pink and white, lacking petals, lower flowers produce reddish/purple bulbils. Fruits are 1 to.2 inch long reddish brown nutlets
Poisonous Look-Alikes: no species of Polygonum is known to be poisonous

Sp,S,A - 3.American Bistort, Western Bistort (Polygonum Bistortoides) -
Habitat: found in wet areas, along streams and in subalpine meadows
Identification: perennial
Leaves: alternate, 4 to 10 inches long, .8 to 2 inches wide, lower leaves uniformly wide, upper leaves smaller and lance shaped. Thick, horizontal root stock, stems erect and slender
Flowers: narrow, dense flowering spike, is simple, erect, smooth, and bears few leaves
Poisonous Look-Alikes: no species of Polygonum is known to be poisonous

Sp,S - 4.American Brooklime (Veronica Americana) -
Habitat: common along stream banks, swamps, springs, often near watercress
Identification: perennial
Leaves: lance-shaped to broadest near base, up to 3 inches long, 1.5 inches wide
Flowers: four pale violet to lilac petals per flower only 1/4 to 1/3 inches wide
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

A,Sp,S,W - 5.Arrowhead, Duck Potato, Wapato (Sagittaria Latifolia) -
Habitat: widespread around lakes,ponds,slow streams,swamps and tidal waters
Identification: aquatic perennial
Leaves: typically grows 1 to 4 feet tall with arrowhead-shaped leaves 4 to 12 inches long and 2 to 6 inches wide
Flowers: 1 inch wide, three-petaled white flowers in whorls of three
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S - 6.Black Mustard (Brassica Nigra) -
Habitat: disturbed areas are preferred - weedy meadows, thickets, fallow fields and vacant lots
Identification: annual
Leaves: grows up to 8 feet tall, alternate leaves are up to 10 inches long and 3 inches across, becoming smaller as they ascend the stems
Flowers: each yellow flower is up to 1/3 inches across, consisting of 4 yellow petals, 4 sepals, several stamens, and a pistil.
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S - 7.Bull Briar,Greenbrier (Smilax Bona-nox) -
Habitat: thickets, dry woods, roadsides and fields
Identification: perrenial
Leaves: alternate, simple, 3 rounded lobes to cordate, 2 to 5 inches long, parallel veined, entire or with small sharp teeth on the margins
Flowers: small, green, yellow or brown, inconspicuous, in clusters arising from the axils of the leaves
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S,A - 8.California Bay Laurel, Oregon Myrtle (Umbellularia Californica) -
Habitat: Oregon Myrtle demonstrates broad ecologic versatility
Identification: evergreen tree or shrub, depending on environment
Leaves: flowering tree up to 100 feet tall, with alternate leaves - simple, lance shaped and 3 to 5 inches long
Flowers: 1/2 inch wide, grow in flat topped flowering clusters of 4 to 9 yellow flowers
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S - 9.Canada Violet (Viola Canadensis) -
Habitat: mixed deciduous woodlands and bluffs, rocky to rich soil
Identification: perennial
Leaves: dark green, heart-shaped leaves, 2 to 4 inches long
Flowers: white flowers with yellow centers and purple-tinging on the back of the upper petals
Poisonous Look-Alikes: collect violet leaves only when flowers are in bloom to ensure that they aren't confused with toxic plants with similar looking leaves

Sp,S - 10.Carrion Flower (Smilax Herbacea) -
Habitat: disturbed sites: farmlands, woodlands, fields, roadsides
Identification: Perrenial
Leaves: Alternate leaves up to 5 inches long and 2½ inches across occur at intervals along each stem
Flowers: yellowish-green flowers in densely clustered, rounded heads
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S,A,W - 11.Cattail (Typha Latifolia) -
Habitat: shallow water of lakes,ditches, ponds, bays, and marshes
Identification: perennial
Leaves: 12 to16 narrow, upright, broad, sword-like, mostly basal, green leaves. The leaves are up to 1 inch wide and up to 7 feet long.
Flowers: each flower stalk is topped by two sets of minute flowers, densely packed into a cylindrical inflorescence. Yellowish male (staminate) flowers are located at the top of the inflorescence and greenish female (pistillate) flowers are located underneath.
Poisonous Look-Alikes: stalks and roots of the Wild Iris. Harvest Cattails where old stalks are abundant.

Sp,S,A,W - 12.Chickweed (Stellaria Media) -
Habitat: yards, gardens, landscaped areas, fields, orchards, vineyards, grasslands, managed forests, roadsides, and other disturbed places
Identification: annual up to 12 inches tall
Leaves: broadly egg shaped, pointy tip, and are mostly hairless or have hairy margins at the base
Flowers: flowers have what appear to be 10 petals, but are really five deeply–cut white petals. Flowers are produced in open clusters at the end of the stem
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

A,Sp,S,W - 13.Chufa, Yellow Nut Grass, Nutsedge (Cyperus Esculentus) -
Habitat: disturbed areas - ditches, margins of ponds and streams, continually damp soil
Identification: perennial
Leaves: although its leaves superficially resemble grass leaves, they lack collars, ligules, and auricles. Up to 3 feet tall(as is the stem), light green leaves, a pointed tip, 4 to 9 mm wide
Flowers: spikelets are straw-colored to gold-brown with many flowers
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S - 14.Cleavers,Goosegrass,Stickywilly, Bedstraw (Galium Aparine) -
Habitat: widespread in moist soil, rich woodlands, near streams, lakes and fields
Identification: annual
Leaves: the bristles cause the stems, leaves, and fruits to cleave to clothes and the fur of animals. Simple linear leaves, up to 3 inches long, 6 mm wide in whorls of 8
Flowers: clusters of 1 to 3 (usually 2) 4 mm long, white flowers on stalks rising from whorled leaf axils
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S - 15.Common Milkweed (Asclepias Syriaca) -
Habitat: fields, roadsides, meadows, open woods, waste areas
Identification: perennial
Leaves: thick, opposite, broad-oblong, reddish-veined, light green leaves, to 5 inches wide, up to 12 inches long, downy underside
Flowers: domed, slightly drooping clusters of fragrant, 5 parted, pinkish-purple to greenish-white, 1/2 inch wide, up to 3 inch long
Poisonous Look-Alikes: Caution! This species, Asclepias Syriaca, is toxic only in large quantities. Ingesting other species, however, causes symptoms including vomiting, stupor, weakness; need careful identification.

Sp - 16.Corn Lily, Clinton's Lily,Bluebead Lily (Clintonia Borealis) -
Habitat: deep thickets, higher elevations, cool, moist sites and woodlands
Identification: perennial
Leaves: often found in great colonies of medium green, glossy basal leaves
Flowers: the 8 to15 inch leafless stem is topped by a cluster of nodding, pale yellow-green flowers
Poisonous Look-Alikes: be positive of Corn Lily's young growth identification as some similar species are poisonous

Sp,S,A,W - 17.Creeping Snowberry
(Gaultheria Hispidula) -
Habitat: bogs and wetland forests in the northern United States and Canada
Identification: evergreen
Leaves: leaves are round and only 5 to 10 millimeters long. The stems and under-surface of the leaves are covered with brown bristles.
Flowers: white, four-parted, on short backward-curving stalks from the leaf axils
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S,A - 18.Day Lily (Hemerocallis Fulva) -
Habitat: old homesites, roadsides and ditches
Identification: perennial
Leaves: long, linear, strap-like, bright-green, 1 to 3 feet long and curve toward the ground
Flowers: large, showy, orange, usually with striping; occur in clusters of 5 to 9 at the tip of the stalk
Poisonous Look-Alikes: leaves slightly resemble those of the Iris(Yellow Flag, Blue Flag), but Iris leaves are upright and darker

A,W,Sp - 19.Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) -
Habitat: found in a very wide variety of habitats, but tends to thrive best in disturbed sites
Identification: perennial
Leaves: the leaves are clustered in a rosette at the base of the plant. Leaves vary in length up to 14 inches long and up to 2 1/2 inches wide.
Flowers: Flowering stalks are 6 to 24 inches in tall, topped with a head that contains 100 to 300 ray flowers and looks like a characteristic puffball. Each ray flower has a strap-shaped yellow petal with five notches at the tip.
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S,A,W - 20.Eastern Camas, Wild Hyacinth (Camassia Scilloides) -
Habitat: moist open fields and woodlands
Identification: perennial
Leaves: grass-like leaves in a tight, basal clump surround an up to 2 foot tall blossom stalk
Flowers: 5 to 7 inch spikes with lavender to blue flowers in an elongated, loose-flowered cluster. The sweet-scented flowers have six, petal-like segments and protruding, yellow stamens
Poisonous Look-Alikes: Death Camas, narrow-leaved plants with green, white or bronze flowers, one or more in narrow spikes.

Sp - 21.Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis) -
Habitat: native to moist woods, moist slopes, rocky hillsides/ridges, wooded ravines, and stream valleys
Identification: needled evergreen tree
Leaves: short dark green needles, to 2 inches inches long with two white bands beneath are arranged in two opposite rows. Needles are attached to twigs by slender stalks.
Flowers: small, pendant, short-stalked, seed-bearing cones are up to 1 inch long, are tan-brown(male) or green(female).
Poisonous Look-Alikes: American Yew has longer needles and bright red, fleshy pulp surrounding seeds

Sp - 22.Field Cress, Cow Cress,Field Peppergrass (Lepidium Campestre) -
Habitat: dry fields, roadsides and waste places. Sometimes a smaller version occurs in dry gravelly areas
Identification: annual/biennial
Leaves: 3 inches long, 12 mm wide, stem leaves numerous, elongated, arrowhead-shaped, minutely toothed, unstalked. Margins wavy. All leaves are covered with short hairs.
Flowers: small, 4-petaled, white or greenish-white
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp - 23.Field Penny Cress, Stinkweed
(Thlaspi Arvense) -
Habitat: vacant lots and disturbed areas
Identification: annual
Leaves: alternate, without hairs, round to oval, with a distinct white midvein and wavy margin, up to 2 inches long and 4 to 23 mm wide. Stem leaves are lanceolate, without stems, large toothed margins, up to 2 inches long, and 5 to 15 mm wide with ear-like lobes at the base.
Flowers: 4 petals forming a cross, generally white or yellow to purple
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S - 24.Fireweed, Rosebay Willowherb
(Chamerion or Epilobium Angustifolium)
Habitat: inhabits a wide range of site and soil conditions, especially freshly burned sites
Identification: perennial
Leaves: many, crowded, alternate, lance-like, stalkless
Flowers: many, on elongated spikes with 4 pink to purple(rarely white) petals
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S - 25.Garlic Mustard (Alliaria Officinalis) -
Habitat: shady, disturbed areas, forest paths, flood plains
Identification: biennial
Leaves: traingular to heart shaped, long stalked, up to 4 inches long
Flowers: small white clusters, up to 3/4 inch flowers have four petals in the shape of a cross
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S,A - 26.Glasswort, Red Swampfire, Pickleweed (Salicornia Rubra/Europaea) -
Habitat: coastal sands, mudflats and salt marshes, often near the low tide mark
Identification: annual
Leaves: scalelike, opposite, tiny leaves
Flowers: minute, numerous flowers grow on erect or slightly spreading, succulent stems
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S,A,W - 27.Great Bulrush,Softstem Bulrush,Tule
(Schoenoplectus Tabernaemontani) -
Habitat: marshes, along lake and stream shores, and in wet meadows.
Identification: perrenial
Leaves: flat, grass-like, 1 to 3 sheaths at the stem base
Flowers: 8 mm long spikelet, consisting of a compact head of perfect, brownish florets
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S - 28.Greenbrier, Catbriar (Smilax Rotundifolia) -
Habitat: streamsides, thickets, woodlands, roadsides, woodland clearings
Identification: perennial
Leaves: alternate, deciduous to nearly evergreen, nearly circular with pointed tip, up to 5 inches long
Flowers: several-flowered, flat topped clusters of green or yellow
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S,A - 29.Green Pigweed,Green Amaranth (Amaranthus Hybridus) -
Habitat: highly disturbed areas, cropland, farm lots, vegetable gardens, gravelly areas, weedy meadows along railroads, and waste areas
Identification: annual
Leaves: alternate, long stalked, broadest near middle
Flowers: individual spikes have a bristly appearance, petal-less flowers are densly crowded
Poisonous Look-Alikes: Pigweed concentrates nitrates. Eat in moderation if harvesting from nitrate-fertilized area.

Sp,S,A,W - 30.Hard-Stem Bulrush (Schoenoplectus/Scirpus Acutus) -
Habitat: marshes and shorelines
Identification: perrenial
Leaves: Located at stem base; clasping sheath with no or small leaf blades
Flowers: flower spikelets clustered at the stem tips, tiny, lacking petals.
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none because of distintive fruiting pattern

Sp - 31.Henbit, Dead Nettle (Lamium Amplexicaule) -
Habitat: lawns, fields and disturbed sites
Identification: annual
Leaves: opposite, broadly egg shaped with bluntly toothed margins and prominent veins on the underside
Flowers: whorls of 12 - 18 mm, reddish purple funnels with darker coloring in spots on lower petals
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S,A - 32.Indian Fig, Prickly Pear,Devil's Tongue (Opuntia Humifusa) -
Habitat: sandy, rocky bluffs and dunes, sandy grasslands
Identification: perrenial
Leaves: a single paddle shaped stem partially emerges from the ground, from which 1 to 2 additional sessile pads may develop from its upper margin. Pads are up to 7 inches long
Flowers: one or more 3 inch, yellow flowers can develop along the upper curved margin of each pad
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp,S,A - 33.James Chickweed,Tuber Sandwort (Pseudostellaria Jamesiana) -
Habitat: moist, shaded areas, along streams, among shrubs(especially Aspen), on open, rocky slopes
Identification: perrenial
Leaves: opposite, lance-shaped to 6 inches long
Flowers: several to many 10 mm flowers in bunches at stem tips and in leaf axils. Flowers have 5 deeply notched, white petals, which are roughly triangular
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Sp - 34.Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum Cuspidatum)
Habitat: disturbed soils, ditches, along roadsides, railway tracks, along streams
Identification: perrenial
Leaves: alternate, leathery, up to 6 inches long, broad near the base, coming to a point
Flowers: greenish-white or cream 1-2 mm flowers in branched clusters
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

A,W,Sp - 35.Jerusalem Artichoke
(Helianthus Tuberosus) -
Habitat: moist thickets, border of streams, ponds, woods, prairie wet spots, waste ground, roadsides
Identification: perrenial
Leaves: opposite on the lower part of the stem, and alternate near the top of the stem with a rough upper surface. Leaves are 4 to 10 inches long and nearly heart-shaped with a broad oval base and pointed tip.
Flowers: it is nearly impossible to distinguish Jerusalem Artichoke from annual bright-yellow sunflowers based on above-ground growth. However, Jerusalem Artichoke can be easily distinguished from annual sunflowers by its below-ground growth that includes fleshy tubers resembling thin, knotty potatoes.
Poisonous Look-Alikes: none

Credit for Content:
Michigan Natural Features Inventory
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
United States Deparement of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service
Edible Wild Plants - A North American Field Guide To Over 100 Natural Foods
Missouri Botanical Garden
Western New Mexico University Department of Natural Sciences
Kew Royal Botanical Gardens
Fed. Forest Service Data Base
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Plant Conservation Alliance
State of Washington - Department of Ecology
University of Wisconsin - Extension - Cooperative Extension
University of Minnesota - Center for Alternative Plant and Animal Products
Minnesota Extension Service
Ohio Perrenial and Biennial Weed Guide
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Brandeis University
Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences - Extension
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Fact Sheet
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources
Missouri Botanicl Garden
Virginia Tech - Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior
Fairfax County Public Schools
Kentucky State University
University of Arizona - Pima County Cooperative Extension
University of Wisconsin - Green Bay - Herbarium
University of Florida Extension

Leaves/Flowers Edible Wild Plants Spring Page 1 (A - J)

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