Common Edible Wild Plants

Common Edible Wild PlantsYour outdoor survival may depend upon finding edible wild plants. One of the most essential lessons you can learn if you commonly go camping or backpacking is to identify those wild plants that you can eat without fear of poison or debilitating diarrhea. Fortunately, the world is full of common plants you'll find outdoors that are perfectly fine for eating.



Blueberries grow in the wild across America and may be known in certain regions as huckleberries. Similar berries known as elderberries and gooseberries are commonly plucked by kids as well as campers for a delicious snack. The flowers that surround blueberries should be shaped like a bell and colored white, pale pink or red.


prickly pear

If you ever find yourself lost in the desert, turn to cacti for nutrients as well as water. The flesh of most cacti in North America can be consumed raw. You can also boil, fry and roast cactus. Just make sure to remove the spikes first.


The hazelnut common to North America is a simple shrub that features hard brown nuts. These are the same hazelnuts often found in chocolate. Use a rock to crack open the hazelnuts, and you will be treated to a sweet taste that may be the closest to candy you'll find in the wilderness.

Stinting Nettles


Most people look at nettles, and the last thing on their minds is eating them. True, they must be handled delicately, but what makes these good for survival purposes is that they grow wild and don't actually require the extensive cooking and preparation you might think. Just plunk nettles into some boiling water until they get soggy enough to eat.

Maple Trees

The maple tree offers itself up to hikers and campers as a multiply edible plant. The sap that comes from the maple tree is famous, of course, for making the syrup that coats millions of pancakes a year. This makes the maple tree an excellent source for sugar and energy if you get lost in areas where these trees grow. What many people aren't aware of is that maple seeds (pictured above) are also quite edible and are especially good when boiled. The leaves of maple trees also happen to be quite rich in the sugar that sweetens the sap.

Article Written By Timothy Sexton

Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.

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