Help Guide to edible wild plants?


Has No Life - Lives on TB
Hi. I'm adding to my kids' time capsule, and I realized I did not have a guide to edible wild plants in it. Looking around on Amazon (the bad reviews are super helpful), it seems that all of them either weren't just the U.S., lacked color photos, peed away space on plants that were rare or had "religious" meaning, or were about "medicinal" plants, which is not what I'm looking for here. Any help suggesting a GOOD guide to edible wild plants in the U.S. would be much appreciated. Thanks!


Senior Member
Edible Wild Plants by Elias and Dykeman is a very good guide. I really think that you need more than one. The Peterson Field Guides are generally good, but the pictures are drawings not photos in this one. The Peterson guide to medicinal plants is good and has a lot of information that is applied to food plants and it has good photos.

This is the E and D book.
Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods: Elias, Thomas, Dykeman, Peter: 9781402767159: Books

school marm

Contributing Member
I've spent a lot of time researching medicinal plants, and one of the things I've learned can also be applied to edible plants: you want a guide specific to your area. Many of the edible plants in the desert don't grow in the humid Midwest, and vice versa. Even if they do, they are probably going to look a lot different. And more regional references probably aren't going to make Amazon's top sellers list, either. Good luck.


This too shall pass.
The best guides available for much of the United States (not, I think, the Southwest -- at least not yet) are by Samuel Thayer. He's written three so far. The Forager's Harvest, Nature's Garden, and Incredible Wild Edibles.

There are others that are good, but these are by far the best.



Contributing Member
Daylilies -- all parts are edible. I am expanding my collection this year. Most do not know that they are edible. Flowers, leaves, and even the tubers. They reproduce well, and is a thing I plan on utilizing in the future.