20 Wild Edible Plants

If you get lost, being able to identify these wild edibles could save your life! See the list of the 20 most common wild edible plants in North America.

Here’s a list of the 20 most common wild edible plants in North America, according to Jeannine Tidwell, from Twin Eagles Wilderness School in Idaho:

20 Wild Edible Plants

Wild Onion
Allium bisceptrum (flowering)

Common Burdock
Arctium minus

Common Milkweed
Asclepias syriaca

Common Milkweed should be cooked before consuming. See how to prepare common milkweed here. 

Common Dandelion
Taraxacum officinale

 Farmers’ Almanac has lots of dandy dandelion recipes here!

Chenopodium album

Rubus spp.

Currants and Gooseberries
Ribes spp.

Wild currants (Ribes spp.)
Wild Gooseberries

Tips on foraging for wild gooseberries.

Blueberries and Cranberries
Vaccinium spp.

Wild blueberries
Wild cranberries

Sheep Sorrel
Rumex acetosella

Stellaria media

Read more about chickweed here.

Red Clover
Trifolium pretense

Garlic Mustard
Alliaria petiolata

Miner’s Lettuce
Claytonia perfoliata

Common Plantain
Plantago major

Stinging Nettle
Urtica dioica

Common Cattail
Typha latifolia

Wild Ginger
Asarum caudatum

Wild Strawberry
Fragaria virginiana

American Elderberry*
Sambucus Canadensis – *Cook before eating.

Wild Rose
Rosa sp.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Farmers’ Almanac wants you to take every precaution before eating edible wild plants. Before you eat anything in the wild, it’s wise to get a qualified instructor to show you the plants. Be aware that you may be allergic to a plant that someone else can eat without harm. Be sure that any plants that you gather have not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides.

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Clarence Samuel

I hope I’m pronouncing this correctly but the old folks called it asphicedi… is my best pronunciation but I would much like to know the properties of this because I saw it in a jar it look like a molded root of some type and it was used as a medicine… can you explain ?


have eaten a lot of these plants when I was younger and lived on the farm. Stinging nettles make good cooked greens a little vinegar is great with it .. lots of wild berries everywhere raspberries; blue berries; cranberries . We canned a lot of them in a sugar syrup delicious on a cold winter day


When I was growing up, we ate a small wild plant my Mother called it suky. I don’s know if that was the correct name.

Susan Higgins

Hi Cledith, we know of a suky iris, but haven’t heard of a wild edible called that. We’ll investigate!


Is there a printed guide? If I’m lost in the woods my phone won’t last long.

Lois Scott

I find it interesting that Milkweed is shown as in animals (cows and horses) the plant will kill the animal.

Susan Higgins

Hi Lois, common milkweed should be cooked before consuming. We have added this information to the post. http://tacticalintelligence.net/blog/how-to-eat-milkweed.htm

Joe Mama

Bruv link isn’t working

Christine Lux

In this list, is it just the berries or flower that are edible, or the leaves, too, or in some cases, just the leaves or the flower or berry?


I’m surprised I don’t see fiddle heads on this list.

Susan Higgins

Hi Linda, the reason you don’t see fiddleheads on this list is that fiddleheads really can’t be eaten raw. They have to be cooked to be eaten otherwise they are toxic. Raw fiddleheads won’t kill you but “Eating raw or undercooked fiddleheads can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and headaches.” Our list is about weeds you can eat in the wild (as is, in the event you have a survival need).

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