Edible and Medicinal Plants often found in urban settings

Since the dawn of Man, plants have been used as a source of food, medicine, and shelter. You need not venture into the forest to forage for plants. Urban foraging is something available to everyone. Unless you treat your yard with herbicide, I would be willing to bet that you have multiple edible plants growing right outside your door. You can also forage in parks, fields, and the lawns around schools and churches. Urban gardens are an excellent place to forage. That seems like a no brainer, but believe it or not, I am not talking about the planted fare. My favorite garden plant is considered a noxious weed, and the scourge of gardeners everywhere. Purslane grows in disturbed rich soils. Much to the chagrin of just about every gardener, vegetable and herb gardens provide ideal conditions for it to flourish.

It truly saddens me that children have to go to bed hungry because their parents are unaware that a delicious salad is more than likely growing right outside their door. Lets look at my yard and garden as an example. In my yard I have chickweed, chicory, dandelion, japanese knotweed, lamb's quarters, mullein, pineapple weed, plantain, queen anne's lace (wild carrot), red clover, violet, sow thistle, white clover, wild lettuce, wild mint, wood sorrel, and last but definitely not least purslane. That is not including the maple, willow, and walnut trees I have. All of that growing on a city lot less than ¾ of an acre in area. We are all surrounded by highly nutritious foods, and healthful medicinals, free for the taking.

Interested in Plants and Foraging?


Autumn Olive

Eleagnus umbulata

Plant Info

Black Birch

Betula lenta

Plant Info

Yellow Birch

Betula alleghaniensis

Plant Info

Black Cherry

Prunus serotina

Plant Info

Black Raspberry

Rubus occidentalis

Plant Info

Burdock

Arctium spp.

Plant Info

Pot Marigold

Calendula officinalis

Plant Info

Cattail

Typha spp.

Plant Info

Chickweed

Stallaria media

Plant Info

Chicory

Cichorium intybus

Plant Info

chokecherry

Prunus virginiana

Plant Info

Clover-Red

Trifolium pratense

Plant Info

Clover-White

Trifolium perens

Plant Info

Coltsfoot

Tussilago farfara

Plant Info

Comfrey

Symphytum officinale

Plant Info

Cowparsnip

Heracleum maximum

Plant Info

Creeping Bellflower

Campanula rapunculoides

Plant Info

Curlydock

Rumex crispus

Plant Info

Dandelion

Taraxacum

Plant Info

Daylily

Hemerocallis fulva

Plant Info

Eastern White Pine

Pinus strobus

Plant Info

Echinacea

Echinacea purpurea

Plant Info

Elderberry

Sambucas nigra

Plant Info

Evening Primrose

Oenothera spp.

Plant Info

Field Pennycress

Thlaspi arvense

Plant Info

Garlic Mustard

Alliaria petiolata

Plant Info

Goldenrod

Solidago canadensis

Plant Info

Japanese Knotweed

Fallopia japonic

Plant Info

Juneberry

Amelanchier medik

Plant Info

Kava Kava

Piper methysticum

Plant Info

Ladys Thumb

Polygonum persicaria

Plant Info

Lamb's Quarters

Chenopodium album

Plant Info

Lobelia

Lobelia inflata

Plant Info

Mallow

Malva neglecta

Plant Info

Mullberry

Morus rubra

Plant Info

Mullein

Verbascum thapsus

Plant Info

Oxeye Daisy

Chrysanthemum leucanth.

Plant Info

Pineapple Weed

Matricaria discoidea

Plant Info

Plantain

Plantago spp.

Plant Info

Purslane

Portulaca oleracea

Plant Info

Queen Anne's Lace

Daucus carota

Plant Info

Salsify

Tragopogon spp.

Plant Info

Sheep Sorrel

Rumex acetosella

Plant Info

Shepherd's Purse

Capsella bursa-pastoris

Plant Info

Slippery Elm

Ulmus rubra

Plant Info

Staghorn Sumac

Rhus typhina

Plant Info

Swamp Rose

Rosa palustris

Plant Info

Tall Blue Lettuce

Lactuca biennis

Plant Info

White Cedar

Thuja occidentalis

Plant Info

Wild Bergamot

Monarda fistulosa

Plant Info

Wild grape

Vitis riparia

Plant Info

Wild Lettuce

Lactuca canadensis

Plant Info

Willow

Salix spp.

Plant Info

Wintercress

Barbarea vulgaris

Plant Info

Wood Sorrel

Oxalis spp.

Plant Info

Yarrow

Achillea millefolium

Plant Info