Edible Wild Plants of South Texas

sotolSouth Texas is a diverse area that is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico in the east, spreads to the desert in the west and has lush forests toward the north. Because of the variety of terrain, South Texas is a veritable pantry of wild edible plants.

Desert Plants


One of the most common sites in the South Texas desert is the yucca plant (pictured above). This tough plant grows nearly everywhere and nearly all of its parts have uses. The fruits of many varieties are edible and, if cooked well, the stalks can be eaten, too. Sotol (pictured top) and lechuguilla, members of the agave family, have an edible inner portion in the pointed leaves.

Forest Areas


The bird pepper is found near rivers in South Texas, and the fruit can be eaten when it turns red. American licorice can be made into an extract for cooking or drunk as a tea. Wild onions, dandelions and sorrel (pictured above) can be used to make salads are all are easily found in the spring. Blackberries and raspberries are also found during mid-summer.

Edible Plant Tours and Classes

Many of the edible plants of South Texas are difficult to identify because they look like some non-edible or poisonous plants. To avoid making a serious mistake and to have fun at the same time, consider an edible plant tour. Local gardening clubs or community colleges often run tours and classes, especially in the spring.

Article Written By Catherine Rayburn-Trobaug

Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh has been a writer and college writing professor since 1992. She has written for international companies, published numerous feature articles in the "Wilmington News-Journal," and won writing contests for her poetry and fiction. Rayburn-Trobaugh earned a Master of Arts in English from Wright State University.

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