Edible Plants Wild

Top Edible Plants Wild in the USA – the Survivalist’s List


Whether you’re camping, hunting, or stranded out there, knowing edible plants wild to eat and plants to avoid can be the difference between life and death!







Luckily, the wild isn’t always harsh, and many plants across the United States are known for being safe and edible in a survival situation.

To help you stay prepared, we’ve compiled this guide with the top edible plants in the USA to help you sustain your health in the case of an emergency. Let’s jump right in!


1. Edible Plants Wild – Milk Thistle

Outsidepride Milk Thistle Herb Plant Seed - 200 Seeds
204 Reviews
Outsidepride Milk Thistle Herb Plant Seed - 200 Seeds
  • Milk Thistle seeds grow easily and produce a hardy biennial that is native to the Mediterranean area and has naturalized throughout North America.
  • It is very impressive as an ornamental herb plant. It is tall and stately with large, mottled, spiny foliage that contains a milky sap-like substance and large, thistle-like heads of rose-pink...
  • Milk Thistle herb plants do re-seed themselves, so it is recommended to deadhead the flowers before they set seed. Other common names for this herb plant are Mediterranean Milk Thistle, Marian...

Let’s start with one of the urban plants that happen to grow in most regions of North America. Milk thistle is a plant with a bright purple flower that grows above a ball of spines.

The plant is actually a popular one in holistic and traditional medicine, having been used to treat a variety of ailments, such as stomach upsets, liver, and gallbladder problems, and even reduce cholesterol.

To eat the plant, you first need to remove the spines. Although the entire plant is edible, the spines are tough and can be lodged in the throat. The best way to eat the plant is by cooking the stems and leaves on an open flame.


2. Dandelions

Seed Needs, 10,000+ Common Dandelion Herb Seeds for Planting (Taraxacum officinale) - Non-GMO - Bulk
  • Quality Dandelion seeds packaged by Seed Needs. Each packet measures 3.25 inches wide by 4.50 inches tall and contains approximately 10,000 seeds.
  • Dandelion is an edible herb that is ready for harvesting in roughly 95 days. The leaves are popularly used in salads.
  • Dandelion herbs are perennials that will grow to a mature height of about 8 to 18 inches tall.

It’s easy to say that dandelions are one of the survivalists’ best friends! Not only do these plants grow in a variety of regions, but you can also eat this yellow plant entirely from roots to flowers!

In fact, some people already add them to their salads.

Keep in mind that dandelion leaves and roots tend to get bitter the older the plant gets, although you can easily reduce this bitterness by boiling the plant.

If you spot the yellow flower head on the plant instead of the white seed puffs, you can eat it raw and even enjoy the taste!


3. Chicory – Edible Plants Wild

Seed Needs, Chicory / Italian Dandelion Seeds for Planting (Cichorium intybus) Twin Pack of 500 Seeds Each - Heirloom, Non-GMO, Open Pollinated & Untreated
  • QUALITY - All seeds packaged by Seed Needs are intended for the current and the following growing seasons. All seeds are stored in a temperature controlled facility that is free of significant...
  • QUANTITY - Seed packets by Seed Needs offer generous quantities. You can share with friends and family, or save your extra seeds until the next season, if properly stored.
  • PACKETS - Each packet displays a beautiful illustration of the variety to be grown, as well as detailed seed sowing information on the reverse side as well. Measures 3.25” wide by 4.25” tall.

Chicory is related to dandelion, and similar to its distant cousin, all parts of the plant are edible. Luckily, edible plants wild grows about anywhere across North America, so you won’t have a hard time coming across some.

Unlike dandelions, however, you don’t have to boil chicories in order to avoid bitterness. However, they’d still taste more pleasant if you do.


4. Acorns

The natural range where oaks grow is vast, so you can find acorns in most forested regions across the US.

Of course, eating a raw acorn may not be ideal. However, if you’re able to process them by grinding them into acorn flour or meal, you’ll have yourself a handy food element in the case of an emergency.

You can even make a mush out of the acorn and extract its oils. After leaching out the tannins in the acorn, you can even roast them for 20 minutes for a delicious snack, especially if you’re able to add some salt!


5. Berries

Shrub O'Neal Blueberry, 1 Gallon, Deep Green Foliage with Rich Blue Berries
  • USDA Zones 5-9
  • Mature size 48-72” W x 48-72” H
  • Light Needs: Full sun

Berries are one of the first sources of food that our ancestors have consumed. They’re delicious, juicy, and even loaded with micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.

However, not all berries in the wild are safe, as some of them are not only toxic but downright fatal within a few hours of ingesting.







As a rule of thumb, always stick to dark-colored berries, such as blackberries and blueberries that grow at higher altitudes and lower temperatures.

Another rule here is to always go for berries that you know and avoid eating any berries that you aren’t familiar with, especially if they’re brightly colored, including yellow, white, red, etc.


6. Grapes – Edible Plants Wild

Pixies Gardens Thompson Seedless Grape Vine Plant Sweet Excellent Flavored"White" Green Grape Large Clusters On Vigorous Growing Vines. (1 Gallon)
  • Thompson Seedless grapes are used for wine, as table grapes and raisins
  • Full sun
  • Fast growing vine Zone: 7 - 10

Grapes are also quite delicious and, in most situations, are typically safe to consume. Grape leaves are also safe to eat and are considered a delicacy in oriental cuisines when boiled and stuffed. You can wrap meats with grape leaves and cook them for a delicious meal in the wild.


7. Cattails

Belle Fleur 40 Pcs Dried Natural Cattails Jumbo for Rustic Floral Arrangement or Decoration 24 inch
  • Package: Set of 40 pieces Dried Natural Cattails Jumbo per pack.
  • Material: Dried Natural Cattails Jumbo
  • Size: length approx 24",each piece's size, color and quality level is different, some is jumbo, some like pencil, some is long some is short, Because they're all natural, Or you can trim it to...

A lot of people have considered trying cattails at some point because they look like corndogs.

The plant is quite common across wetlands, so if you’re near a body of water, there’s a decent chance that you’ll cross paths with some. Many parts of cattails are edible, but not all.

For example, you can eat the plant’s roots, subterranean stems, stalks, and the white stem on the top. However, avoid eating the fibers of the plant itself because it can give you some stomach ache.


8. Fireweed

Everwilde Farms - 1250 Fireweed Native Wildflower Seeds - Gold Vault Jumbo Seed Packet
  • First Quality Native Wildflower Seeds – Current Lab Test Data Shown on Packet
  • Exclusive Gold Vault Packaging – Provides 3X Longer Storage than Paper or Plastic with Triple Layer Mylar Gold Foil.
  • Resealable/Reusable Zipper Bag – Perfect for Storing Excess Seeds

Fireweed has earned its name because it usually grows in abundance after wildfires. The plant is native to North America and many Native American tribes used to consume the plant for dietary reasons.

It has some characteristic pink or purple flowers as well as reddish-maroon stems, so they’re very hard to miss. Luckily, the entire plant, including the stem and the leaves, is edible, especially when the fireweed is still in its younger stages.


9. Clovers

Outsidepride White Dutch Clover Seed for Erosion Control, Ground Cover, Lawn Alternative, Pasture, Forage, & More - 10 LBS
  • White dutch clover seed is a perennial used for erosion control, lawn alternative, food plots, green manure crop, pasture mixtures, ground cover, and many other uses.
  • This perennial seed can be grown across the country for deer food plots, erosion control, pasture mixtures, and cover crops in USDA Zones 3 - 10
  • White clover helps boost soil nitrogen levels, taking nitrogen from the air and fix it in the soil. It can also be used an a lawn alternative.

Clovers are extremely popular and easy to identify due to their multi-leaved structure. The plant is usually associated with Irish tradition and multiple sports teams due to its correlation with luck, especially the four-leaved variety.







Raw clover is edible, despite being known to cause some stomach upsets. The good news is that boiling the plant solves this problem and even reduces its bitterness. Clovers are rich in plant proteins and have a slimy texture similar to boiled spinach.


10. Mustard Plant

Outsidepride Yellow Mustard Herb Plant Seed - 5000 Seeds
  • Yellow mustard is a widely cultivated annual, also found wild in many parts of the world. Grown for its seeds, mustard, as fodder crop or as a green manure. The yellow flowers of the plant...
  • Mustard plants grow anywhere from 12 - 32 inches tall as an annual.
  • These seeds are harvested just prior to the pods becoming ripe and bursting. These mustards seeds range in color from beige or yellow to light brown. This contrasts with black mustards which has...

As the name suggests, this one is where we get the yellow condiment for our hot dogs. The plant grows in the wild all over the world because of its hardy and drought-resistant nature.

The plant has a thin stalk along with multiple bright yellow flowers that you can eat raw if you like the taste of mustard.


11. Edible Plants Wild – Asparagus

Hand Picked Nursery Mary Washington 10 Live Asparagus Bare Root Plants -2yr-Crowns from
  • You will see growth within 10 days. The most importan part of planting these plants is to make sure you have at least 30% sand mixed into the soil. I also include a link for detailed instructions...
  • Asparagus plants need three things: 1. Any soil but at least 30% sand needs to be added and mixed well. The sand is the most important part and without it they will die: the soil needs to be well...
  • The sand is important and a minimuim of 30% for drainage and winterization of the plant and with out them they can rot and not come back the next year.

There are up to 4,900 asparagus farms in the US. However, the edible plant also grows in the wild, all thanks to its hardiness.

Asparagus usually grows in relatively dry soil, so you’ll find it near railroad tracks and ditch banks, especially during the hot dry summer.

Wild asparagus is similar to store-bought one but is fairly slimmer. Like regular asparagus, you can eat the edible plants wild ones raw, cooked, or even steamed!


12. Prickly Pear

Brazilian Prickly Pear Extra Large Cactus in a 4 inch Pot Brasiliopuntia Brasiliensis Nopal Opuntia Cacti Flat-Stemmed Well Rooted Live Rare, Natural
  • Common names include: Brazilian Prickly Pear Scientific name: Brasiliopuntia Brasiliensis Shipped well-rooted & potted in a 4 inch plastic pot with soil and ready for a size up!
  • The Brazilian Prickly Pear is a perennial tree-like species of cacti that can reach up to 66 feet (20 m) in height and from 8 to 15 feet (2.4-4.7 m) in diameter. These cacti produce thin, flat,...
  • Their blossoms are followed by adorable-looking fruits of the same sizes. They look very similar to pears and present many colors including yellow, red, purple, or orange-red.

Prickly pears are extremely delicious and juicy, and since they have a very characteristic look, you wouldn’t mistake them for any other plant.

Keep in mind that prickly pears are a tough treat to get because they grow on cacti with very sharp spines. Make sure that you peel off the skin of the prickly pear before popping one in.


13. Wild Onions

Wild Onion Ramsons Buckrams Wild Garlic Seeds for Planting Around 40 Seeds
  • An extremely healthy plant with many vitamins and nutrients that can be added to the dough when baking bread, pesto sauce, butter, meat, fish, and many other dishes
  • Early variety of perennial wild onion with garlic aroma; It is called both an onion and garlic because while it is a wild onion it has a very strong garlic aroma; All parts are edible; leaves,...
  • A cold treatment at temperatures up to 32 to 37°F is required before planting for at least 3 months; Plant in slightly acidic soil in shaded spots near small trees or shrubs

The family of alliums includes a wide range of bulbous plants. While garlic and onions are the most popular ones, there is plenty of wild onion variety in the world.

wild onions







One thing you should keep in mind is that the meaty bulbs of the onions are embedded in the ground, so you’ll only see the stalks of the onion.

Another note here is that not all wild onions are safe to eat, as some of them are quite toxic, which you can identify because they lack the strong smell of onions.

To avoid them, always make sure that you only eat wild onions that look and smell like regular onions.


14. Seaweeds and Kelp – Edible Plants Wild

Liquid Seaweed for Plants (32 oz) Quart | Concentrated Liquid Kelp Supplement | Makes UP to 470 GALLONS | for All Plants & Gardens | Blue Planet Nutrients
  • SEAWEED USABLE BY PLANTS: Derived from organic Ascophyllum Nodosum Seaweed which naturally contains carbohydrates, micro-nutrients, and organic matter!
  • ALL VARIETIES OF PLANTS WILL BENEFIT: Such as citrus, fruit trees, garden vegetables and herbs, houseplants, succulents and cacti, flowers, shrubs, and so much more!
  • FORMULATED FOR ALL TYPES OF GARDENS/GROWING MEDIA: Can be used in soil, hydroponic, coco coir, rockwool, clay pellets, aeroponic gardens etc.

The vast majority of seaweed and kelp varieties are edible, and they’re actually quite nutritious as well.

Always allow the seaweeds to dry out before eating them because they’ll be full of saltwater and will dehydrate you at a very high rate.

The tastiest seaweeds are the ones that are still attached to the ocean floor because they’re still young and full of nutrients.


15. Purslane

Green Purslane Seeds Many Size Choices. Edible Super Salad Greens or Sprouts bin301 (1100 Seeds, or 1 Gram)
  • We love this plant in salads, and cannot understand why it is still considered just a weed. Goes great with ranch dressing or home made Italian dressing. Can be used in soups for added flavor...
  • Purslane is high in Omega-3 fatty acids and contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B, magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. All in all, edible purslane is a very healthy plant to add to your...

Purslane is a popular weed that you can easily find all over the US, making it a great option if you’re in survival mode. This plant has fleshy succulent leaves with bright flowers.

The plant has a relatively sour taste and is fairly rich in fatty acids, which is great for your health. Moreover, you can boil the plant to reduce the sour taste.


16. Nut Trees

5 AMERICAN HAZELNUT TREE aka Filbert Corylus Americana Fruit Nut Seeds
  • FREE SHIPPING on any additional products from our store !!!
  • NAME(S):  American Hazelnut / American Filbert // SCIENTIFIC NAME:  Corylus Americana
  • HARDINESS ZONE:  4 - 9 // BLOOM TIME:  Flowers April - June // HARVEST: Nuts Sept - Oct

Nuts also have been a reliable source of nutrition for humanity since the dawn of history. Similar to berries, not all the nuts in the wild are safe to eat. Of course, if you’re able to identify a specific one, you’re good to go.

If you’re stranded in the Northern Pacific or the Southwest regions, there are plenty of pine trees where you can find food. Pine nuts, which are secured inside pine cones, are actually edible.

Avoid rooting pine cones because the nuts inside can be bad for you. Instead, always look for cones that are anywhere from dark green to light brown.


Wrap Up – Edible Plants Wild


There you have it! A complete guide with the top edible plants in the USA. As you can see, nature has a lot of plants, fruits, and weeds that can be safely consumed whenever the situation calls for serious measures.

Remember, you can never be too careful when you’re out in the wild, so make sure that you thoroughly inspect and identify the plant before consuming it.