While plant life varies from region to region, there are some common, widespread grasses, weeds and flowers that are not only edible but good for you. These oft-neglected plants are usually full of healthy vitamins and minerals.
Knowing which commonly encountered plants are edible means you'll have a ready source of nutrition in case of emergency.
Being confident about your plant identification is critical; some plants have poisonous look-alikes such as the Eskimo potato, which has delicious roots, while the almost identical wild sweet pea is poisonous.
Weeds might be the most common of all edible plants; chickweed and dandelion are common garden invaders that are good to eat raw or cooked.
Some plants such as the stinging nettle are only good to eat once they've been cooked. Others such as devil's club and fiddlehead ferns can only be eaten as young tender sprouts in the spring.
Fireweed, wild roses--not to be confused with domesticated varieties--and chiming bells are common edible flowers you might find at the roadside or on hiking trails. The hips left behind after roses fail are also edible, but one must remove the barbed seeds from inside the hips before eating.
Plantain, a weed that many go to great lengths to eradicate from their lawns--and that springs up in almost any disturbed ground--is good to eat plucked fresh from the ground.
Article Written By Marie Mulrooney
Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.