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you plan to live off the land during a zombie apocalypse or simply want to
brush up on your survival skills, it’s crucial you know which plants are friend
and which are foe. Luckily, there are a number of plants that are edible and
even nutritious if you ever find yourself lost in the wilderness. However, you
should still keep an eye out for their poisonous cousins.
plants look like giant hot dogs, and they’re just as edible. Cut off the lower
parts of the leaves for a lovely addition to a wild plant salad and you can eat
the young stems raw or boiled. The cattail flowers produce pollen in mid-summer, which you can use in a
variety of ways. Use it to thicken soups or mix it with flour to add
all-natural nutrients to bread, pancakes and more.
most homeowners consider the dandelion a pesky weed, it can actually make a
tasty addition to your next garden salad. Since they’re packed with
vitamins and minerals, the roots, leaves, stems and flowers are all fair game.
for bright yellow flowers and avoid the wispy white ones, as these are dead or
dying and won’t taste as good. And be sure to look for them in the wild rather than
someone’s front lawn, as they may be covered with herbicides or weed killers.
3. Prickly Pear Cactus
prickly pear cactus may not look like the most edible plant, but it’s actually
very delicious and nutritious. And the plant may help you survive if you’re
ever stranded in the desert wilderness. Before eating the plant, remove the
pokey spines from the outer skin. Then, slice up the cactus as well as the
fruit, if you were lucky enough to find any, and dig into the juicy flesh.
4. Field Pennycress
in most parts of the world, field pennycress is incredibly common, which makes
it the perfect companion in almost any survival situation. This weed soaks up
minerals from whatever soil it’s growing in, so it can be incredibly nutritious
if you find it in the wild. However, refrain from eating this plant if you find
it in contaminated soil, like dirt by the side of a road, as it may contain
This plant may sound downright dangerous to touch, much less eat. But fireweed is actually a delicious source of vitamins A and C. You’ll recognize this plant by its purple flower and circular veins. The leaves are most tender when the plant is young. Add flower buds to salads, eat young leaves like spinach or lightly cook early shoots for the best flavor.
tiny, green plant grows practically anywhere there’s grass, and they often have
white or red flowers. The leaves have three leaflets but the lucky clovers have
four. So, if you happen upon a four-leafed clover, you might consider saving it
for good luck instead of eating it. While you can eat the whole clover plant,
doing so may result in a very bitter flavor. So, it’s best to cook the plant
before eating it.
to be confused with banana-like plantains (genus Musa), this weed (genus Plantago)
grows just about anywhere and it tastes best after you cook it. Pick the leaves
and discard the rest. And try to find younger plants, too, which provide the
most tender leaves to munch on.
seeds within the offshoots are also edible if you have the patience to pick
them and shake them out. Add garlic and butter to the pan when cooking plantain
for a tasty side dish.
dandelions, many homeowners view amaranth as simply another weed and hastily
pluck them and toss them to the side. But these brightly-colored plants are
India, people even cultivate amaranth for its grain-like seeds and leaves. Cook
the leaves for a nutritious dose
of folic acid,
minerals, protein and other vitamins. You can even use the stems, flowers and
leaves to make pesto or a bruschetta topping! Keep in mind you can also eat the
plant raw in a survival situation.
the pokeweed’s berries may remind you of blueberries, they are not edible! This
is one plant you don’t want to mess with. If you pluck the fruit and eat it
raw, you risk vomiting, convulsions and even respiratory paralysis. Ingesting
just 10 berries is
enough to poison an adult. And simply touching the plant can cause toxic chemicals
to pass through your skin and into your bloodstream.
2. English Yew
of the most poisonous trees in the world, the English Yew sports red berries
whose seeds are incredibly deadly. Just three berries are enough to poison a
human. And, quite often, you won’t even notice
before the plant takes your life. So, if you notice a needled tree with bright
red berries, steer clear and look for sustenance somewhere else!
better prepared to spot edible and not-so-edible plants out there in the wild?
This list is just the beginning, so make sure you thoroughly research and
identify anything you find while foraging before you eat it.