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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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Wild Native Edible Florida Plants & Weeds

Wild Native Edible Florida Plants & Weeds

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Identifying plants. Now I can understand Green Deane of Eat the Weeds!

Harvesting and drying plantain. "They are edible and the younger leaves are great in salads while the older leaves are tougher and are better cooked into soups and stews. The seeds can be ground into a flour substitute. The roots can also be used for pain. Today though I'm focusing on the leaves and their uses as a tea. A strong tea can be made of the dried leaves and cooled then applied to sunburn or brush burns to speed healing. It's also good for rashes and poison ivy. Some people have found it helps with excema also as it is very soothing to the skin. I prefer to drink the tea as it has many internal uses. It can soothe a sore through and cough. It helps with digestion, ulcers, heartburn, IBS, mouth sores, and is great to drink when you have diarrhea since it will replenish vitamins and minerals lost through sickness. It is also drank as a tea to help with kidney and bladder problems... Any time I want to make a tea I just crush up about a tablespoons worth and steep as normally for tea. Strain then drink. It's definitely a natural tea taste, but I just add a little local honey and it is so good!"

Harvesting and drying plantain

Nutritional Value of Wild Foods

Discover the Nutritional Value of Wild Foods

EatTheWeeds: Episode 122: Sword Fern. Grows year round, in shady spots. Tubers found in roots can be eaten raw, boiled, roasted.

EatTheWeeds: Episode 122: Sword Fern

Sword Fern is a Wild Edible - YouTube

Sword Fern is a Wild Edible

Surinam Cherry or what we call 'Florida Cherry' tree or hedge. " the fruit begins to ripen around St. Valentine’s day and... in full fruit by April Fools Day... In Florida, the Surinam cherry is one of the most common hedge plants and over runs many back yards. In Florida and the Bahamas, there is a spring crop and a second crop, September through November. Some times a third and fourth crop, depending on weather... The fruit is extremely high in vitamin C and A. Don’t eat the seeds. One probably wouldn’t kill you but if you think the unripe fruit tastes bad the seed is distaste on steroids... If you slice ripe ones open, take out the seeds, and the fruit sit in a refrigerator for a couple of hours they lost much of the resinous tang."

Surinam Cherry: Only Ripe Need Apply

How to Prepare and Eat Clover - Clover that has not been treated with chemicals is safe to eat. Learn how to prepare it and use clover in recipes. "They are high in protein and beta carotene. They also have vitamins B as well as C."

How to Prepare and Eat Clover

Sycamore - "The sycamore is full of drinkable sap, read water when you need it." Tap like a maple. "If the tree has single seed pod, it is the sycamore. If there are two seed pods together, it’s a London planetree. If there are 3-5 seed pods, it is an Oriental planetree which has the seed pods hanging like beads. Those seed pods when dry have a coating of tiny hairs and can irritate air passages, so handle them carefully. However, that same hair makes excellent tinder."

Sycamores Get No Respect

Cold-Weather Foraging for Hardy Henbit Greens - Real Food - MOTHER EARTH NEWS "If you harvest just the top few inches of the stems of this species, you are in no way threatening the plant's survival. In fact, henbit will grow back even bushier and more tender if you harvest this way." (Mine have all died off now in April 2015.)

Cold-Weather Foraging for Hardy Henbit Greens

How to Find, Identify, and Cook Fiddleheads | www.fearlesseatin...

How to Find, Identify and Cook Fiddleheads | Fearless Eating

Yucca/Spanish Dagger "Flowers just after bloom, flower stalks before flowers appear, fruits when ripe, March through end of summer... Dangers: Only flowers, flower stalk, and fruit are edible, the rest of the plant is very poisonous."

Foraging Texas: Yucca/Spanish Dagger

"All thistles in the genus Cirsium and the genus Carduus are edible. Or said another way, there is no poisonous true thistle, but not all of them are palatable." "METHOD OF PREPARATION: Raw, boil or steamed hollow inner stalks peeled of green outer fiber; core of unopened flower buds, when cooked squeezed out like artichoke leaves; stripped midribs raw or cooked. First year roots once large enough to harvest, The seeds are edible, 12 pounds will produce 3 pounds of edible oil. Suitable for cooking or lamp use."

Mullein (Merriwether's Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Texas and the Southwest) "Dangers: fine hairs on leaves can be an irritant. Do not consume seeds." "Mullein tea is made from the leaves of a 1st-year plant and is considered a good cough suppressant. A similar tea can be made from the root after cleaning, peeling, and dicing... The dried leaves were smoked to help with assorted head/chest sickness. The dried flowers has a pleasant flavor.

Merriwether's Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Texas and the Southwest: Prickly Pear

Foraging Texas: Prickly Pear

Mouse Ear Chickweed Plant

Foraging Texas: Chickweed

Wild Mustard "It usually blossoms in winter here in Florida and over Christmas I saw a patch in full bloom in a backyard, feeding honeybees... While the table condiment mustard does indeed come from the mustard seed, the leaves, flowers, seed pods and roots are also edible... Young leaves can use used raw in salads, or cooked as a potherb. As the plant ages, it becomes strong and sometimes the leaves are too bitter to eat. Tender young seeds pods can be added to salads, but are peppery. If you are so inclined, you can make mustard out of the seeds, just grind them up and mix with vinegar, salt optional." Don't overdo, can cause stomach irritation, and start with a small amount as some people are allergic.

Mustard, Wild, Tender And Tough | Eat The Weeds and other things, too

Milkweed Vine Fruit -- "M. odorata fruit looks like a roundish squash... 5 to 6 inches long, 3 to 4 inches wide, green until ripe then yellow, tan, or brown, will split open. TIME OF YEAR: Blooms heavily in mid-spring, fruits continuously, can over winter if no frosts or freezes." "Nutritionally the vegetable is close to squash but has a Vitamin C content closer to citrus. In fact, it has more Vitamin C than oranges." "Young leaves, fruit, flowers and shoot tips raw, older fruits boiled or roasted in embers (usually 30 minutes) Older stalk boiled and peeled. Older green fruit can be dried and preserved. Unripe seeds and coma are edible. Ripe seeds and coma are not edible. When roasted the inner rind flavor is similar to squash. When boiled it is more like zucchini/potatoes."

Ragweed - Ambrosia artemisiifolia - range and identification, ragweed as food and habitat for wildlife, medicinal uses of ragweed.

Ragweed - Weekly Weeder #7 - Common Sense Homesteading

Ragweed! The grain is some 47% crude protein and 38% crude fat. That’s an energy powerhouse despite the size.

Ragweed | Eat The Weeds and other things, too

Dewberry. Nutritional Value: carbohydrates, vitamin C; small amount of minerals and vitamins A & B "The dewberry plant creeps along the ground as a thorny vine as opposed to blackberries which grow in the form of an upright cane."

Foraging Texas: Dewberry

Fresh Ginkgo Leaves Though ginkgo is considered a medicinal herb, the leaves can actually be eaten fresh in salads or blended into green smoothies. They contain wild plant alkaloids that are very nutritious in small doses and can help to round out the diet.

Ginkgo Biloba Benefits, How To Harvest and Use Ginkgo Leaf

Bamboo: Arundinaria gigantea - Cook the seeds and young shoots. Bamboo leaf tea for your health.

Foraging Texas: Bamboo/River Cane

Kudzu blooms. Leaves, blossoms and roots are edible.

If You Can't Beat It, Eat It

Temperate Climate Permaculture: Permaculture Plants: Maypop (fruit of the passion flower vine)

Temperate Climate Permaculture: Permaculture Plants: Maypop

See the difference between Henbit, Purple Dead Nettle and Ground Ivy

Three (easily mixed up) early spring plants