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Seasonal Schedule Of Edible Wild Plants

In Southeastern Ohio

The following table lists the genera (where several species are used in the same way) or species of wild and naturalized vascular plants that can be foraged in southeastern Ohio (principally in Athens County and the surrounding region) for food products. Rare species in the region, e.g., Zizania aquatica (wild rice), are not listed. Only those plants, and those parts of listed plants, are mentioned below that provide comparatively "edible" and palatable products (at least to some authors or their constituents); abhorrent or sickly products are excluded. Medicinal plants in the strict sense are not treated here unless particular preparations are also palatable condiments or confections, e.g., wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) tea with methyl salicylate, related to aspirin, and coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) drops used for millenia in Europe for colds but tasty as a lozenge, too. A few plants still widely used but recently reported to have carcinogenic or other adverse qualities in substantial quantities, e.g., Hemerocallis spp. (daylily) and Sassafras albidum (sassafras), are included but are indicated by an asterisk (*); these should be used sparingly and infrequently if at all. Finally, certain members of the Araceae, notably Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit) and Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage) are left off because of the 6-month drying time required to rid the corms of calcium oxalate and render them usable for food. Plants are listed alphabetically by family, genus and species in the first column. Where three or more species of a genus in our region have the same parts used in similar ways, these are lumped together under "spp.". Parts most commonly used are noted in the second column. Scientific nomenclature follows Gleason and Cronquists "Manual of Vascular Plants", 2nd edition (1991, New York Botanical Garden, New York); common names are based on ethnobotanical literature, state and regional floras and our experience in the area. The season(s) during which each part is best harvested and utilized is indicated by an "X". For simplicity, the seasons are divided equally into three month

blocks: spring, March-May; summer, June-August; fall, September-November. Some highlighted plant species or genera have links to individual Web pages with information on identification, ecology, products and preparation, and personal observations on palatability. We plan to greatly expand the number of Web pages linked to particular species and genera in the near future.

Plant Part(s) Spr Su m Fall

Aceraceae Acer spp. (maple) sap Xearl y

Acoraceae Acorus calamus (calamus, sweet flag) rhizome X X X

Alismataceae Sagittaria spp. (arrowhead, wapatoo) tubers Xlat e

Amaranthaceae

Sagittaria spp. (arrowhead, wapatoo)

tubers

Xlat e

Amaranthaceae Amaranthus spp. (amaranth, pigweed) " young shoot X

seeds

Anacardiaceae Rhus spp. (sumac) fruit [=berries] X

Annonaceae Asimina triloba (pawpaw, custard apple) fruit [="berries"] X

Apiaceae Daucus carota (wild carrot, Queen Annes lace) " fruit [=schizocarp ] X taproot X X X

Daucus carota (wild carrot, Queen Annes lace) "

taproot

fruit [=schizocarp ]

Aristolochiaceae Asarum spp. (wild ginger) rhizome X X X

Asclepiadaceae Asclepias syriaca [& other spp.?] (milkweed) " " young leaves buds X X X young shoots X

Asteraceae Arctium spp. (burdock) Cichorium intybus (chicory) " Helianthus annuus (sunflower) taproot X

young crowns taproot fruits [=achenes]

X X

(burdock) Cichorium intybus (chicory) " Helianthus annuus (sunflower) H. tuberosus (Jerusalem artichoke) Inula helenium (elecampane) young crowns taproot fruits [=achenes] tuber X

X X

Xlat e Xlat e Xearl y

root

Lactuca canadensis, L. serriola [& other spp.?] (wild lettuce) Sonchus spp. (sow thistle Taraxacum spp. (dandelion) " "

leaves/young shoots

young leaves

young crowns taproot "flower" [=h ead] taproot [first-year plants]

X X

X X

X X

Tragopogon spp. (salsify, vegetable oyster) " Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)

young leaves leaves

X X

oyster) " Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot) young leaves leaves X X

Balsaminaceae Impatiens capensis (jewelweed, touch-me-not) young shoots X

Berberidaceae Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) Podophyllum peltatum (May apple) fruit [=berry] X fruit [=berries] X

Betulaceae Betula lenta (sweet birch) sap Xearl y X X X X

" Corylus americana (American hazelnut)

twigs fruit [nuts]

birch)

earl y twigs fruit [nuts] X X X X

" Corylus americana (American hazelnut)

Brassicaceae Arabis spp. (rock cress) young leaves Xearl y X X X X

" Armoracia rusticana (horse-radish) "

buds rhizome

leaves

Xearl y Xearl y

Barbarea verna, B. vulgaris (winter cress) " Brassica nigra [& other spp.?] (mustard) " " Capsella bursapastoris (shepherds

leaves

buds leaves

X Xearl y

buds seeds young leaves

(X) X

Xearl

y (mustard) " " Capsella bursapastoris (shepherds purse) Dentaria spp. (crinkleroot, pepperroot) Rorippa nasturtiumaquaticum (water-cress) " shoots X X X leaves X X X rhizome X X X buds seeds young leaves Xearl y X (X) X

Caprifoliaceae Sambucus canadensis (common elder, elderberry) " fruit [=berries] fruit [=drupes] X X flowers X

Triosteum spp. (tinkers weed, wild coffee, horse gentian) Viburnum spp. (black-haw, highbush

Fruit [=drupes]

elderberry) " fruit [=berries] fruit [=drupes] X X

Triosteum spp. (tinkers weed, wild coffee, horse gentian) Viburnum spp. (black-haw, highbush cranberry, nannyberry or wild raisin)

Fruit [=drupes]

Caryophyllaceae Stellaria media (chickweed) shoots X X X

Chenopodiaceae Chenopodium spp. (lambs-quarters) " young shoots X (X) (X)

seeds

Cupressaceae Juniperus virginiana (red-cedar) shoots X X X

Cupressaceae Juniperus virginiana (red-cedar) shoots X X X

Cyperaceae Cyperus esculentus (chufa, yellow nut-grass) tubers X X X

Ebenaceae Diospyros virginiana (persimmon) fruit [=berries] Xlat e X

"

leaves

Ericaceae Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen) " leaves X X X

fruit [="berries"] berries X

Gaylussacia baccata (huckleberry) Vaccinium spp. (blue-, cranberry)

berries

(wintergreen) " fruit [="berries"] berries X X

Gaylussacia baccata (huckleberry) Vaccinium spp. (blue-, cranberry)

berries

Fabaceae Apios americana (groundnut, Indian potato) Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) Trifolium pratense (clover) " flowers X tubers X X X

flowers

tops (fls +shoots) flowers

Wisteria spp. (wisteria)

Fagaceae Fagus grandifolia (American beech) Quercus spp. (oak) fruit [nuts]

fruit ["acorns" =nuts]

Fagaceae Fagus grandifolia (American beech) Quercus spp. (oak) fruit [nuts]

fruit ["acorns" =nuts]

Juglandaceae Carya spp. (hickory) Juglans cinerea, J. nigra (butternut, black walnut, respectively) fruit [=nuts] X

fruit [=nuts]

Lamiaceae Hedeoma pulegioides (American pennyroyal Marrubium vulgare (horehound) Mentha piperita, M. spicata (peppermint, spearmint, respectively) Nepeta cataria (catnip) leaves X X leaves X X leaves X X

leaves

pennyroyal Marrubium vulgare (horehound) Mentha piperita, M. spicata (peppermint, spearmint, respectively) Nepeta cataria (catnip) Monarda spp. (beebalm, wild bergamot, horsemint, Oswego tea) leaves X X leaves X X

leaves

leaves

Lauraceae Lindera benzoin (spicebush) " twigs X X X

fruit [=berries] root X X

Sassafras albidum (sassafras)*

Liliaceae Allium canadense, A. tricoccum (wild onion, wild leek or ramp, leaves X

Liliaceae Allium canadense, A. tricoccum (wild onion, wild leek or ramp, respectively) " Medeola virginiana (Indian cucumber) bulb rhizome X X X X leaves X

Asparagus officinalis (asparagus) Hemerocallis spp. (daylily)*

young shoot

buds

Malvaceae Malva neglecta (common mallow) fruit [=mericarps] X X

Moraceae Morus alba, M. rubra (mulberry) fruit [=aggregate "berries"] X

Moraceae Morus alba, M. rubra (mulberry) fruit [=aggregate "berries"] X

Onagraceae Oenothera spp. (evening primrose) roots X X X

Phytolaccaceae Phytolacca americana (pokeberry) young shoots X

Pinaceae Pinus spp. (pine) needles X X X

Plantaginaceae Plantago spp. (plaintain) young leaves X

Polygonaceae Polygonum cuspidatum young shoots X

Plantago spp. (plaintain)

young leaves

Polygonaceae Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed) Rumex spp. (dock)` young leaves Xearl y young shoots X

Portulaceae Claytonia virginica (spring beauty) Portulaca oleracea (purslane) " "tuber" [=cor m] shoots X

seeds

Ranunculaceae Caltha palustris (marsh marigold) " leaves X X X

buds

Rhamnaceae Ceanothus americanus (New leaves X

"

buds

Rhamnaceae Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea) leaves X

Rosaceae Amelanchier spp. (Juneberry, serviceberry, shadbush) Crataegus spp. (hawthorn) Fragaria vesca, F. virginiana (strawberry) Prunus spp. (cherry, peach, plum) Pyrus [Amygdalus, Malus] spp. (apple, crabapple, pear) Rosa spp. (rose) flowers [pink, fragrant best] fruit ["hip"] fruit X X X fruit [=drupes] fruit [=pomes] X fruit ["haw" =pome] fruit [=aggregate "berries"] X X fruit [=pome] X

" Rubus spp. (black-,

Pyrus [Amygdalus, Malus] spp. (apple, crabapple, pear) Rosa spp. (rose)

fruit [=pomes]

flowers [pink, fragrant best] fruit ["hip"] fruit [=aggregate "berries"] leaves

" Rubus spp. (black-, dew-, raspberry)

X X

"

Rubiaceae Galium aparine (bedstraw, cleavers) shoots X

Saxifragaceae Ribes spp. (currant, gooseberry) fruit [=berries] X X

Smilacaceae Smilax spp. (greenbrier) young shoots X X

Solanaceae

Smilacaceae Smilax spp. (greenbrier) young shoots X X

Solanaceae Physalis spp. (ground cherry) fruit [=berry] X

Tiliaceae Tilia americana (American linden, basswood) flowers X

Typhaceae Typha spp. (cattail) rhizome Xearl y X X X X

" " "

young shoot young spike pollen

Ulmaceae Celtis occidentalis (hackberry) fruit [=drupe] X

Ulmaceae Celtis occidentalis (hackberry) fruit [=drupe] X

Urticaceae Urtica dioica (stinging nettle) young shoot X

Violaceae Viola spp. (violet) " young leaves flowers [blue spp.] X X

Vitaceae Vitis spp. (grape) " leaves fruit [=berry] X X X