Edible Plant Test and Resources

If I were roving around in the mountains, lost and starving, and then somehow stumbled into an alpine meadow full of these wonderful purple flowers…

alpine flowers

…I’d probably bow down on my face and munch away at them like a cow. But how to know if a plant–any part of it–is safe to eat? If you don’t know the difference between a poisonous plant and an edible one, then you can perform a plant edibility test, like the one I just wrote about on the About.com Survival skills website: “How to Test a Plant for Edibility.”

However, it’s great to study plants and practice identifying them as well because positive plant identification will likely be quicker than going through the edibility test, which requires about a day of preparation, gathering, testing, and monitoring. Here are a few edible plant resources to get you started:

Plants for a Future: 7,000 Edible, Medicinal & Useful Plants

Wild Edible’s Wild Food Resources Page

First Ways, Urban Plant Forager Rebecca Lerner’s Blog:

And if you still get stuck out there without any background knowledge about the plants that surround you, read this article so that you at least know how to do the edibility test:

“How to Test a Plant for Edibility”


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