Edible Wild Plants in Ireland

Pineapple mayweedThe green land of Ireland displays many colorful plants in every season, many of which are edible. Foraging for wild edibles is an ancient pastime that is still enjoyed today. Of course, one must be 100 percent positive of the identification of a wild plant before eating it. It takes time to learn how to identify wild edibles. Consult a plant identification book or someone with local plant knowledge if you are unsure of what you have found.


These are also known as "frochan" in Ireland, according to amateur botanist Zoë Devlin, who has studied Ireland plant life for more than 30 years. These small berries are similar to huckleberries and contain a large amount of vitamin C. They can be used in jams, pies, muffins and tarts, or raw atop hot or cold cereal. The deep blue berries grow on low shrubs that have small ovate leaves and pink bell-shaped flowers. It is found around mountainsides and in low-growing woods and heathlands in all of Ireland.

Pineapple Weed (pictured top)

This plant is easily identified by its distinctive yellow flower heads and its pineapple scent. The feathered, pinnate leaves can be used in salads and to make tea. It blooms into November, and can be found nearly everywhere in Ireland and Great Britain.

Wild Garlic

This can be found all over the coastal regions of Ireland. They like to grow in the shade of roadsides, hedges and banks. It is also known as "three-cornered leek," and has beautiful white bell-shaped flowers with pale green lines down each petal that bloom in the spring. It has a strong aroma. The bulbs are dug up and used in a wide range of dishes, including garlic soup.

Lamb's Lettuce

Lamb's lettuce is a fragile plant that can be a tender and sweet addition to a salad. It should be eaten young, as it takes on a more bitter taste as it ages several days after being picked. It contains vitamins B and C, and is excellent dressed with lemon or vinaigrette dressings.

Other Edibles

There are many other wild edibles in Ireland, including primrose, purple curly kale and nearly 120 varieties of mushrooms.

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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