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Wild Native Edible Florida Plants & Weeds

This board has information on foraging for wild, native plants and weeds that can be found in Florida and the South. These can also be planted and cultivated in the garden or yard for presumably easy care food plants - why fight nature when we can work with it?
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Amaranth/Pigweed is a common weed that is highly nutritious! Use the greens in soups, stir fries, or salads. Eat the dried seeds raw or roasted. The seeds are very high protein and have lysine, fiber, and calcium. A single plant can produce 100,000 seeds! The leaves have vitamins A and C, iron, fiber, calcium, and manganese. Amaranth is a highly sustainable food crop because of its drought resistance and fast rate of growth and proliferation.


Foraging Texas: Amaranth

Usnea (Old Man's Beard): Food and Pharmacy Lichen - Usnea “Has unmistakable white core when main stem is pulled apart… I like it right off the tree in amounts about one/third to one half the size of a cotton ball... Larger amounts should be leached of the acid [by soaking in several changes of water] or it will irritate your lower digestive track… For external wounds is can be a lifesaver to prevent infections and gangrene. Internally it is a pain reliever, broad spectrum antibiotic…”


Usnea: Food and Pharmacy Lichen

Hydrocotyle bonariensis, and its cousin, Centella erecta, a.k.a. Pennywort or Dollarwort and gotu kola. These weeds have a chemical, like celery, that helps the aorta and blood vessels relax. They do that by increasing the amount of nitrous oxide available and that can lower blood pressure. In India, Centella has been used for that purpose for some 3,000 years. Eat raw or cooked like any green.


Pennyworts Making Sense

Wood Sorrel - Wood sorrel tubers have less oxalic acid than other parts of the plants so they aren't as tangy. Their flavor is somewhat like a carrot and so that's how I use them: raw, steamed, or tossed into stews. Excessive amounts of oxalic acid can lead to kidney stones in some people. Be sure to drink plenty of water when eating wood sorrel. Also avoid dairy products...


Wood Sorrel

Foraging DOs and DON’Ts

Spanish Needles, Pitchfork Weed, Bidens Alba - Young leaves (a few at a time; high saponin content) and flowers for salad. Shoots, tips and young leaves are good potherbs. It’s dried leaves are also a favored in Hawaii for tea. Related Biden pilosa lowers blood sugar and blood pressure, stimulates the immune system and is anti-inflammatory.


Spanish Needles, Pitchfork Weed

Cranesbill Geranium (Geranium carolinianum) - The plant is high in tannins, which is why it is bitter and used for diarrhea. You can eat it raw or cooked.


Stork’s Bill, Cranesbill

Edible Elderberry, or Poisonous Water Hemlock? How to Tell. Image: Elderberry blooms are irregular flattops. Photo by Green Deane


Look Alikes

Poke (Ink Weed) Berries in the treatment of Cancer; Rheumatism, Arthritis and Bone Spurs - The truth is that Poke, when properly used, is both safe and effective. It can also be a serious poison when ingested improperly, but is far less poisonous than some other plants and many pharmaceutical drugs.


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from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

How to Make Acorn Flour

Best Way to Make Acorn Flour. You can store acorns ~ a year before making flour; freeze for easy-to-remove skins; shell into water to prevent oxidation; cold process w/ water in blender or food processor to preserve starch; store in fridge, strain thru cheesecloth & replace water daily for 3-10 days til flour tastes bland, not bitter; pour into bowl w/ a fine strainer lined with cheesecloth; pour off water, scrape good starch and fat from bowl back on flour; spread & dry at low temp ~ 95…


The Best Way to Make Acorn Flour