Joe Jenne

Essential Edible Plants

classic British plants fruits and trees

Some advice for edibility of the most common British flora, this is condensed from this video.

A couple of pointers for the guide:

Leaves and flowers

  1. Primrose - lfr - tasty
  2. Thistle - r - substantial tap root
  3. Fireweed - lfr - up to 8ft, clearings, pith in stem is best, like cucumber, leaves can be brewed into tea, young fireweed (bright red when best) also sweet and root is substantial
  4. Dandelion - lfr - smaller leaves are favoured, high in iron, roots usually too bitter, roasted and ground to make coffee
  5. Stinging Nettles - cl - top fresh leaves are best, vitamin C, iron, protein
  6. Dead Nettles - l - plump white flowers, don't sting
  7. Daisy - fs
  8. Ox-eye Daisy - lfs - dog fennel has thin wiry leaves, this is succulent serrated leaves, smells bad, central disk tastes like pineapple
  9. Garlic Mustard - lfs+seedpod - leaves smells of garlic when crush, best tasting
  10. Red Clover - fl - v.high in protein, (3) leaves have white chevron, slightly like peas
  11. Knapweed - f - pink looks like a thistle/clover, no spikes, rest of plant is not palatable, ignore hard head
  12. Greater Knapweed - f - identical but much larger and scruffier
  13. Burdock - lsr - gigantic leaves can grow to 3 feet, a little like rhubarb, like huge primrose, hollow stems, multiple stems from same point, root is goldmine like carrot, nutrients like potato
  14. Pineapple Weed - fsl - low growing, flour head like a yellow acorn, no petals, feathery leaves, leaves smell of pineapples, can brew

Berries and fruit

  1. Hawthorn - bl - remove large pip first
  2. Rowan - cb - berries toxic when raw
  3. Elderberry - b - must be fully ripe (black), don't eat stems
  4. Blackberry - bl - remove prickles before eating leaves
  5. Rosehip - b - remove spiky seeds, v.high vitamin C
  6. Crab Apple - cb - fruit so bitter they must be chopped and boiled in a little water

Nuts and seeds

  1. Pine - lb - needles can be eaten raw (minimal energy) but may be nicer made into tea, look out for nuts in the soil at the base, fight squirrels
  2. Poppy - b - found by shaking the pod when dried, v.high in calories
  3. Walnuts - b - look for the most rotten and brown husks where the insides have dried
  4. Acorns - b - full of bitter tannins, cut through the shell, nut inside, boil for half an hour to make more palatable