Edible wild spring flowers and plants

Maybe when you see dandelions you don’t think food. I have been foraging since I was small. Gathering in the spring can feel more challenging.

Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are found in many parts of the world, North America, Europe and Asia. You can eat all parts of them. The younger leaves are not as bitter, you can soak them in water to help the leaves get a bit milder. If you are ambitious you could ferment the flowers to make wine. Their bright yellow flowers in my area are some of the first flowers bees use as food in the spring.

Dandelion,

I eat fresh chickweed (Stellaria media) like a salad green ( I likely look like a wild rabbit when I find wild greens) and have fed it to many pets.

Nettle (Urtica incisa) in a tea or lightly stir fried is very good for your organs. The big tip with harvesting nettles is to wear long sleeves and gloves. Once it is cooked it does not cause that tingle. If you have joint pain with or without arthritis you can thrash the sore joints. You may want to find a traditional healer to help you with pains. A gentler way to use them as a medical aid is to make an ointment with them in it. When looking for nettles you can find them on the outskirts of forests. 

Nettles Photo by Markus Winkler

You can eat a weed called plantain, it comes in broad leaves (Plantago major) and long narrow leaves (Plantago lanceolata). It can be used in medical ways too.

Ever tried pine (Pinus Genus) needle tea? It is very refreshing.


Red (Trifolium pratense) and white (Trifolium repens) clovers are good for helping the liver. You don’t need to cook them. You can pick them wash them in clean water and eat them

Morel mushroom, Photo by my Friend on Vancouver Island

You can have many wild mushrooms, I’m not experienced in harvesting them. I would join a local mushroom or foraging group to learn which is safe. There are many good books with photos on the topic. My friend from Vancouver Island has picked morel mushroom (Morchella), turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) and cat tongue (Pseudohydnum gelatinosum) that she said people soaked in sugar and made them like gummies.

Turkey Tail mushroom, Photo By my friend on Vancouver Island
Cat tongue mushroom, Photo By my Friend on Vancover Is

Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) is something you can grow in the garden or find in the wild. There are a few types. It is used like spinach. It has a bitter flavor, I would say it would be very good with lemon or lime juice. 

Many of the plants and flowers you can find in the wild are good for your health, they also can have some side effects like making you pee alot (diuretics) if you have any health conditions, allergies including hay fever please talk to someone in the natural health field, always better to check out anything you as adding to your diet. Some can have adverse effects with medications you are taking. 

Happy foraging, have a great week enjoying the wild! 

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