If you’re prepared now, there will never be a situation that is a real survival threat. If you fly commercial you have no choice. But in gathering herbs, always leave enough for seed. Leave enough to prime the pump for others.
Kingston Trio – Desert Pete
The photo and video below show the edible green head on a cattail and the video of preparing a young cattail to eat raw. You can cook the tender parts that are a little tough to eat raw. Or you can chew on them awhile. The roots have a lot of fiber. More than yams. You can dry and crush them and sift out the starch. Or you can boil them. There is more fiber than starch in spring and summer, but it’s worth eating if you’re hungry.
If you like cucumbers, you’ll love them. But don’t wipe them out!!!
The leaves can be dried and used for baskets, sandals, hats, etc.
Don’t forget about the yellow pollen that forms on the head. you can shake it into your hand, cup, or whatever and eat that too!
They’re good and good for you.
Avoid Iris and bulbs and tubers that you do not know.
The fruits of roses (hips) are edible. Even the hips of the cursed multiflora rose. Pictured are Rugosa Rose hips. They are good sized. But wait till they’re red and ripe. The ones in the picture are not. Hips are mosly seed, but you can suck out the delicious part and boil the skins for tea. Not all hips are equal in flesh or taste.
Notice the trumpet vine in the pic. Which brings up a warning not to eat plants with pods.
The jewel weed, or touch-me-not, is a valuable plant. It is a substitute for aloe and the pods are edible. The brown, ripe seeds are delicious, but are good green too. Cup a ripe pod in your hand and catch the seeds as they pop out. Blossoms are usually orange, yellow, or white. If you’re really hungry, eat the pods. Always remember to leave some for seed and feed for others.
If you find a big patch of foxtails, you can collect a lot of seeds. Just hold them in your hat and beat them with a stick. Or just beat them against the inside of your hat. The hard part is blowing off the whiskers.
Pokeberry or Pokeweed shoots are edible before the leaves unfold. About eight inches high. The roots, tall plants, and berries are all toxic to some extent. They can be unpleasant at both ends, as well as other effects. Even wild animals and birds get funky after eating the berries. The leaves on the new shoots can be eaten, but it is the stalk that is prepared like asparagas.
Don’t forget the nettles on our food and water page.
The burdock is an edible plant, though I put it way down on my list of favorites. The leaves can be crushed and the juice used for an antiseptic. I never found the plant to be very palatable, though I’ve never cooked the stalks.
The peeled tender stalks can be eaten raw or cooked. Most docks tend to be bitter unless boiled and the water poured off however many times it takes for the particular species.