How can you tell if an edible plant is poisonous _ How do you identify edible wild plants?

How do you identify edible wild plants?

On the globe there is a huge number of plants of varying degrees of edibility, which can be eaten at different times of the year and in different natural zones. 

The plant world of the planet is so diverse that it is practically impossible for a person who finds himself in difficult extreme conditions in the taiga, jungle, mountains and deserts to die from hunger and lack of water. In different parts of the world and in different climatic zones, you can always find plants that provide you with water, tasty and juicy fruits. Vegetable bread, fats, sugar and milk. But for this you need to know where, how and when to collect them. Which part and how to use. The nutritional value of some plants is truly enormous.

In some areas during an accident, nutrition can only be addressed through plant foods. Therefore, knowledge of the basic rules for the collection and distribution of edible plants increases the survival rate in an extreme situation. In addition, it is useful to know the main poisonous plants of various natural zones. This will avoid not only severe poisoning, but also death.

edible wild plants

– Bird droppings with seeds of eaten fruits.
– Scraps of peel and pecked fruits.
– A large number of seeds at the foot of the tree on which the fruits grow.
– In the rainforest, watch the monkeys: if they eat this or that fruit, then it is edible for humans.

Of course, you need to eat only those plants that you know enough. However, there are some general guidelines for determining the edibility or toxicity of plants.

– It is advisable to avoid eating plants with pods, especially when raw.
– Plants with shiny leaves are often inedible and even dangerous.
– It is undesirable to use seeds and seeds of fruits.
– Bulbs of plants without a characteristic onion or garlic odor.
– Plants secreting milky sap on a break.
– If a plant taken in the mouth causes bitterness, burning, or nausea, it is most often poisonous or, at best, unsuitable for food in terms of taste.

If you can’t immediately determine whether this plant is edible or not, then eat a small portion on the first day. If nothing happened, the next day the portion can be increased. Thus, you can avoid not only gastrointestinal diseases, but also poisoning.

In addition, take the habit of cooking at least two times the water in which they are boiling unfamiliar plants or their parts. Letting it boil and boil for 5-7 minutes. In most cases, toxic, toxic substances found in various parts of plants either dissolve in water or break down when exposed to high temperatures.

Based on the book “Encyclopedia of Survival.”
Chernysh I.V.

Edible plants in the forest.

Everything is simple in the city – I went to the store or looked in the refrigerator and took any food I needed. But what if you find yourself in a forest, get lost and cannot quickly get out into civilization? This can be especially interesting for tourists who travel to wild places. It can happen, as we have in the Subpolar Urals – 80 kilometers in a straight line to the nearest settlement, but we only have two chocolates and three bags of soup for five. In this case, knowledge about what edible plants are in the forest, in the mountains and in the fields can be useful.


Nettle edible wild plants

One of the most famous plants, which is probably familiar to everyone. How many of you in childhood did not accidentally run into the nettle thicket, did not burn, did not remember since this plant looks like? But did you know that nettles are often eaten? Salads, mashed potatoes and cabbage soup are usually made from it. You have heard everything about nettles, and someone even ate. But do not forget that you need to cook it for at least 5-6 minutes, so that formic acid, which is contained in nettle villi, is completely destroyed. If you want to make nettle salad, soak this plant for a whileboiling water.

Sorrel (horse and ordinary)


Everybody knows ordinary sorrel – many grow it in the garden or make a garden on the balcony , add it to salads or cook sorrel soup. Similarly, it looks in the wild. Usually grows in sunny clearings – look in the grass. Horse sorrel has a similar shape of leaves and inflorescences, then it is an order of magnitude larger in size – the plant reaches a meter in height. Horse sorrel has stiffer and not so tasty, but also quite edible leaves.

Wild rhubarb

Wild rhubarb

This plant is also often grown in the garden. Sweet and sour jam is made from it and jelly is made with a specific taste. True, rhubarb grows more in the mountains, you can find it in the Altai Territory, in the Sayans, Mongolia, Siberia, the Pamirs – in general, in a mountain hike. Do not forget that the leaves and roots of this plant are considered poisonous, but its stem can be safely eaten. As there is rhubarb: choose the largest leaves, tear instead with a stem and clear it of the upper layer. The remaining pulp is tender, juicy and tasty.


Gunner edible wild plants

This plant can be found in the forest in many parts of our country, in the Urals and the Caucasus, in the Crimea and the Far East, in Siberia and in the central zone of Russia. It grows along the shores of lakes and rivers. In autumn, tuberoid formations develop on the ends of shoots of the arrowhead leaf, which are usually eaten. They can be cooked, baked, and even eaten raw, in which case they taste like nuts, boiled – like chestnuts, and baked – like our usual potatoes. You can also eat arrowroot rhizomes.



Another plant that grows along the shores of lakes and other bodies of water and grows up to 1.5 meters in height. It can also be found in flood meadows, salt marshes, in swamps and near close-lying groundwater. The most nutritious fleshy rhizome of this plant. You can also eat it raw, fry, bake and cook. The cane rhizomes taste sweet and very tender. You can also roast, dry and grind the roots of the reed – you will get some kind of coffee substitute.

Broadleaf cattail

Broadleaf cattail

This plant also loves water, but it grows already on the banks of rivers and lakes, as well as in flood meadows. A distinctive feature by which you can easily recognize this plant is dark brown velvet inflorescences, white and fluffy inside. It grows in our forests in central Russia. In food, you can eat both rhizomes and young stalks of cattail. Rhizomes are usually baked, although you can eat boiled. You can also make flour from them, and from it you can make pancakes, pancakes and buns. If you find young shoots, they are usually boiled for some time in slightly salted water, and then pickled for the winter.



A popular and well-known plant that can be found not only in the forest, but also in any city. Dandelion is used for borscht and salads. But if you tried it, then you know that it is bitter. In order to get rid of this bitterness, you must first sprinkle this plant with boiling water, and then hold it for several hours in salty cold water. A simple recipe for dandelion salad: dandelion and nettle leaves + willow-tea leaves. Salad ready. In addition, from dandelion – already from its flowers, some make jam. And from this useful plant you can make a delicious coffee substitute – for this you need to dig out the roots, finely chop them and roast them to a dark brown color. After grind and can be prepared in the same way as regular coffee.

Source: “Site Cottage and Garden”

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