Edible Wild Plants in Ohio

mayappleEating plants found in the wild can be a rewarding practice for those seeking a little variety and adventure in their diet. It is also knowledge that can come in quite handy in emergency situations. Ohio, with its rolling hills and vast forested swathes is a perfect place to learn about the edible plants all around. Knowing what to eat while in the woods is simply a matter of learning to recognize your plants, then seeing the utility to be found in them. Of course, it is also a pursuit with some dangers. Make absolutely sure of your identification before consuming any plants. Below are descriptions of a few edible varieties, all easily found in Ohio, to get you started.



A tree that grows to a height of approximately 100 feet, the nuts can be gathered and eaten. Leaves have an appearance similar to fern fronds, with seven to 23 leaflets ordered directly across from each other. Each leaflet is oval in shape, with pointed ends. The nuts are green and soft, with dark brown meat inside. To consume the nuts, shell then boil.

Mayapple (pictured top)

This common ground-growing vegetation achieves a height of approximately 18 inches. The leaves are umbrella-like, with six leafs emerging, then drooping down from a central shoot. Each leaf is sharply scalloped. The plant grows flowers and fruits on the underside of the umbrella leaves. The flowers typically grow between two shoots and look like white cups with yellow centers. The fruits are ovoid and light yellow. Eat only the meat of the fruit, as seeds, leaves and roots are poisonous.

Pine Trees

Pine trees are fairly prevalent and contain many edible parts. Boil pinecones to release edible seeds. Chew on pine needles or inner bark to release a pleasant aroma and vitamin C.

Article Written By Louie Doverspike

Based in Seattle, Louie Doverspike has been a professional writer since 2004. His work has appeared in various publications, including "AntiqueWeek" magazine, the "Prague Post" and "Seattle Represent!" Doverspike holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hamilton College.

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