Identifying Edibles/Non-Edibles in my Own Backyard

If you can’t tell I LOVED my foraging class.  This afternoon I decided to try to identify some plants on my fence and in the empty lot next door.  Within minutes I had identified several plants.

Pokeweed – Poisonous – can cause diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, sweating, reduced breathing and even death.  Young shoots of the plant can be cooked and eaten if you throw out the water.  I don’t think I will try this one……

Beauty Berry – The berries can be made into a jam and the leaves work great for mosquito repellent.  The berries of this plant are not quite ripe for picking.  Can’t wait to see how the leaves do as a repellent.

Wild grapes – I have a TON of these growing on my fence and in the empty lots around my house.  I could find grapes on none of them.  So either they have not bloomed yet or the birds have had quite a feast or both.  In reading a bit about grapes, you want to handle them with gloves if you are to be picking a lot.  They have a chemical in them that will burn your hands and not right away so you don’t realize it until it’s too late.

Bitter Mellon/Bitter Gourd/Balsam Pear (yellow flower on vine) – These are  all around including in my yard.  I have pulled these out constantly never knowing what they were.  The pods can be eaten when they are young and green and never eat without cooking.  When the pods turn yellow or orange they are poison.  The seeds are poison but there is a red coating on the outside which is 96% lycopene and can be sucked off.  I did this while at my foraging class and still alive to tell about it.

Rosary Pea or Crab’s Eye – Poison to humans and animals.  This is             growing everywhere in the empty lots and on my fence.

Ragweed –  Never knew what it looked like.


This one I don’t know what it is….yet.



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1 Response to Identifying Edibles/Non-Edibles in my Own Backyard

  1. austin says:

    The last unknown picture look like new growth of a species of Oak.

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