Tubers and Bulbs
The best of the wild tubers is the wood sorrel, or oxalis. The plant has a root tuber similar to a small potato. However, the stems, leaves and flowers are mildly toxic and should not be consumed. Ordinary onion grass, which grows virtually everywhere in Kentucky, is also edible. This includes both the grassy stem and the bulbs. Spring onions, or "ramps," are also easy to find and can be eaten.
Fruits and Berries
The most common wild berry in Kentucky is the blackberry, the briars of which can be found fringing numerous farms and vacant suburban lots. The American elderberry is also found in the state, but it should be carefully studied before consumption since it superficially resembles several varieties of poisonous berries. The ill-informed can easily make a mistake and quickly come to regret it. Ground cherries are also present in Kentucky, but since these plants thrive on bad, well-watered soil, it would be best to look for them in the sandy and/or rocky areas around the state's creeks and rivers.
The ponds and lakes of Kentucky are home to wild watercress, which can be harvested and eaten. Often mistaken for thistles, wild prickly lettuce is just as edible as its domesticated counterpart and arguably tastier to boot.
Walnuts in Kentucky can be had from the American black walnut tree, which needs plenty of water and good soil. It, therefore, grows best close to rivers and streams. The state also has a good climate for hickory trees, which produce edible (and often ignored) nuts. The Kentucky coffee tree produces a semi-edible product, meaning that the seeds can be used as a substitute for coffee if they are roasted for three or four hours. However, even after being roasted, the seed remains marginally toxic and should never be consumed in large quantities.
Chickweed is a wild herb that can provide some nutrition if consumed, and the entire plant is edible. The ordinary, humble dandelion has long seen its flower petals used for making tea and recently has become popular for use in salads. It is easy to find and can be eaten straight from the field.