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Easy to Identify Edible Plants

March 17, 2020

Easy to Identify Edible Plants

Did you know you can find food all along the trails while hiking? It’s true! However, you need to know what to look for and to be careful, as some are not edible. Don’t let that scare you, though! We have a list of 5 super easy to identify edible foods!


Did you know all parts of the dandelion are edible? Yep! However, there are certain times that are best to pick the leaves and flowers–really big leaves are tough and bitter. Go for the younger, smaller leaves–they’re best if you get them before the flower even blooms. You can cook them or add them to a salad!

You can, if you want, pick the entire yellow flower and eat it, stem and all.

The larger roots can be ground to make a “coffee.” The small, skinny roots can be cleaned and cooked up like a tender root vegetable.


Chives are super easy to identify for a number of reasons. A first obvious one is the smell–they are onions after all. A second is how they grow–tall, tube shaped “stems” that have a purple puffy flower on top. The stem and flower are both edible. The stem, what we buy as chives in the grocery store, can be added to anything for a light oniony flavor (great on potatoes and eggs). The flowers are good in salads and as a pretty edible garnish.

Wood Sorrel:

This plant looks similar to the clover plant, however the leaves are each very distinctly shaped like a paper heart that has been folded in half. The Entire plant is edible–the roots, bulb, stem, flowers, and leaves.


This plant is super easy to identify–it grows in ditches and is considered a weed. It has little purple flowers and a thick, tough stalk. The leaves look almost like dandelion leaves. The leaves should be collected before the plant grows a stalk. However, the roots of any age can be used to make coffee. Collect them, clean them, dry them and grind them up then brew a cup of chicory coffee!