Foraging: Tallahassee Hills Region of the Big Bend by Scott Allen Davis



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Foraging: Tallahassee Hills Region of the Big Bend

by Scott Allen Davis



 

Note – Do not consume or use any plant material that you are unsure of – check with a local foraging expert first!!


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  1. Acer spp. - Maple - Sap, tender & sweet young leaves, seeds, cambium bark, all raw or cooked.




  1. Albizia julibrissin - Mimosa - Young shoots are edible when cooked.




  1. Allium vineale – Field Garlic Edible bulbs & leaves, raw or cooked




  1. Alternathera philoxeroides - Alligator Weed - Cooked alligator weed has a mild, pleasant taste and is a wonderful source of minerals.




  1. Ambrosia trifida - Giant Ragweed - Young leaves occasionally consumed, leaves used for tea, seeds are very nutritious.




  1. Ampelopsis arborea - Peppervine  (Tripinnate) - The berries are ripe when they are black.




  1. Arisaema dracontium, atrorubens – Green Dragoon, Jack-in-the-Pulpit - Thrice boiled to remove calcium oxalate crystals.




  1. Arundinaria gigantea - Switchcane - Nutritious new shoots are edible cooked/separate directly from rhizome




  1. Bidens alba, spp. - Spanish Needles - The B. alba aka Bidens pilosa (BYE-denz AL-bah, pil-OH-suh) also has an edible flower. It’s a tangy if not vigorous addition to salads. Bidens’ young leaves — a few at a time — are suitable for the salad. Shoots, tips and young leaves are good potherb




  1. Callicarpa americana - Beauty Berry - Eat berries, leaves use for tea

  2. Carex spp. – Sedges – Can eat the whitish leaf base, raw.




  1. Celtis laevigata – Hackberry – pulp, stone, & inner kernel are all edible. Eat raw, cooked, ground into a pulp, spice, milk, etc…




  1. Cercis Canadensis – eastern Redbud – Flowers and young seed pods are edible, raw or cooked.




  1. Cinnamomum camphora – Camphor Tree – Young new shoots are edible when cooked. The shoots & roots of juvenile plants make a fine tea. Dry older leaves for use as a spice. All forms of preparation should be done in moderation. Pregnant or expecting women should not consume this plant at all! Rub the crunched leaves on the skin, or leach the juices in water for topical appointment – this is a very effective for of insect repellant. The raw oil in the leaves can have a numbing, antiseptic effect; and is often used to treat rashes and toothaches.




  1. Chamaecrista fasciculata – Partridge Pea – The root contains stimulant alkaloids – useful as a substitute for caffeine. Moistened, bruised leaves serve as an astringent. Water-soaked seed pods are mucilaginous, and are therefore useful in treating sore throats.




  1. Chenopodium album - Lamb's quarters - Collect the young tender plants whole, and then when the stems become tough, collect just the leaves and buds. It will absorb pesticides from the soil and is also prone to accumulate high levels of nitrates. (in very much the same way as its' relative, spinach). It also contains high amounts of oxalic acid (also like spinach).



  2. Colocasia esculenta  -  Coco Yam - Edible only after cooking due to calcium oxalate/corms,stalks and leaves




  1. Conyza Canadensis – Canadian Horseweed - young leaves & seedlings edible when boiled – leaves contain 66% essential oil (for use in condiments & softdrinks) – leaves will deter fleas from wherever the foliage is placed. Boiled roots for menstrual issues; tea from leaves for dysentery, sweating, diuretic. Leaves for seasoning.




  1. Dactyloctenium aegyptium – Crow’s Foot Grass – Fruit (Seeds) are edible directly off of the stalk. They will “shake-out” when ripe.




  1. Dichondra caroliniensis – Carolina Ponysfoot – use the bland greens to downplay the often-bitter tastes of other raw wild plant greens.




  1. Diospyros virginiana - Persimmon - The berries!




  1. Eleagnus pungens - Silverthorn - Berries & respective seeds.




  1. Eupatorium capillifolium – Dog Fennell – Crushed foliage contains anti-insect alkaloids, warding-off mosquitos & the like.




  1. Geranium carolinianum – Carolina Cranesbill – Leaves are edible raw, but strong & astringent – better suited as a tea for inflammation, febrifuge, etc..




  1. Hydrocotyle umbellata -   Marsh Pennywort - leaves can be eaten raw




  1. Hypochoeris radicata - Catsear - whole plant edible when boiled, young leaves used in salads

    Hyptis mutabilis – Tropical Bushmint – aromatic leaves used for flavoring food, tea, etc. Alkaloids in the leaves are a depressant, used for relaxation.






  1. Ilex vomitoria  -  Yaupon Holly – Tea

  2. Lactuca spp. - Wild Lettuce - leaves eaten raw or cooked

    Lantana spp. - Lantana - Dark ripe berries out of hand.






  1. Lepidium virginicum -  Peppergrass - The young leaves can be added to salads or soups — they are peppery. The leaves contain protein, vitamin A and are rich in Vitamin C. - Completely non-toxic.




  1. Lonicera japonica  -  Japanese Honeysuckle - Parboil leaves/eat flowers raw




  1. Mitchella repens -  Partridgeberry - Berries Raw/Leaves leached for tea.




  1. Micromeria officinale – Micromeria – leaves edible.




  1. .Morus rubra & spp. - Mulberry - Berries edible. Budding growth & young leaves edible raw or cooked, preferably cooked. Unripe fruit are mildly hallucinogenic.




  1. Myrica cerifera - Wax Myrtle - Allow leaves to dry - then crumble into food.  




  1. Nandina domestic - Nandina -  Young leaves boiled in two changes of water.




  1. Nephrolepis cordifolia – Sword Fern – Sweet, edible tubers, preferably cooked




  1. Osmunda cinnamomea – Cinnamon Fern – Fiddleheads edible when cooked due to carcinogens




  1. Oxalis spp. - Wood Sorrel - Like spinach it contains oxalic acid/ Leaves & Flowers Raw/Vitamin A & C/ Use as a salad constituent due to strong

  2. taste. Fever reducer, appetite increaser, topically astringent for cuts/lesions.




  1. Phyla nodiflora – Fog Fruit – A handful of leaves puree with 2 tablespoons of water that is added topically will neutralize gangrene infections, diabrenic wounds, and other various abrasions to the skin. A tea can be made from the leaves.




  1. Phyllanthus urinaria – Chamber Bitter – A natural detoxifier. The plant is used for liver problems such as Hepatitis B., Diabetes, dysentery, flu, tumors, headache, fever; Jaundice ( the yellow color of the skin and whites of the eyes); Vaginitis; Conjunctivitis, Menstrual disorders; It is a proven antihepatotoxic, antiviral, antibacterial and hypoglycemic. Will remove gall and kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and bladder inflammation; It is used to treat gonorrhea.A handful of fresh or dried leaves + three glasses of boiling water for 10 seconds.

  2. Portulaca amilis - Paraguayan Perslane - delicious and healthy, raw or cooked.
  3. Phytolacca americana - Pokeweed - New growth <8", or before the stems begin to turn pink. Pokeweed is edible (cooked) and medicinal. The young shoots are boiled in two changes of water and taste similar to asparagus, berries are cooked and the resulting liquid used to color canned fruits and vegetables. The root is anti-inflammatory, cathartic, expectorant, hypnotic, narcotic and purgative. It is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, tonsillitis, mumps, glandular fever and other complaints involving swollen glands, chronic catarrh, and bronchitis.






  1. Pinus spp. - Pine - The seeds of all species are edible. You can collect the young male cones, which grow only in the spring, as a survival food. Boil or bake the young cones. The bark of young twigs is edible. Peel off the bark of thin twigs. You can chew the juicy inner bark; it is rich in sugar and vitamins. Eat the seeds raw or cooked. Green pine needle tea is high in vitamin C.






  1. Plantago major spp. - Plantain -  Young leaves & flower stalks raw, with older leaves suitable for tea. When young, all parts of the plant are tender and edible. By midsummer, the leaves toughen and require cooking to render them edible and the mature stalks are too fibrous to eat. An advantage of allowing plantago to grow in the lawn is that mowing curtails seed production, forcing the plant to continuously produce new seed stalks that are tender, nutty, and buttery when only a few inches tall. It’s a powerhouse, used as an emollient, astringent, antimicrobial, antiviral, antitoxin, and diuretic. When taken internally as a tea, it lowers blood sugar and treats lung and stomach disorders. Externally, as a poultice, it treats sores, burns, stings, rashes, and insect bites.




  1. Pontederia cordata - Pickerelweed - Entire plant is edible raw or cooked - wonderful salad plant/Starch-Rich seeds can be eaten right off of the stalk for instant energy.




  1. Portulaca amilis - Paraguayan Perslane - delicious and healthy, raw or cooked. Portulaca olecacea  - Purslane -  Purslane leaves and stems make great additions to salads. You can also saute them or add them to soups, stews, or other vegetable dishes.



  2. Pteridium aquiline – Bracken Fern – Collect the young growth in spring when under 10 inches, and cook in boiling & salted water for ten minutes.
  3. Pueraria montana - Kudzu - Kudzu is related to the pea and can be prepared in many ways. The young shoots are tender and tasty. They can be used in salads and cooked as greens like spinach. The young leaves can be treated like collard greens, the flowers can be used to make great jellies, and mature leaves can be fried like potato chips to make a crispy and tasty snack.





  1. Prunus serotina - Black Cherry - The fruit of the Black Cherry has 17 antioxidants. Do not eat the seed.




  1. Rhus copallina  - Winged Sumac - Ripe berries soaked in warm water, filtered then sweetened into an ade. Sometimes the ade will be clear, other times light pink. Peeled shoots, eaten raw or cooked.




  1. Rubus spp. – Blackberry species – The fruit1




  1. Rumex crispa & spp - Curly dock/Sheep Sorrel - Boil to remove oxalic acid. The leaves, stalk, and even seeds are edible. Leaves are served as a raw vegetable in salads, a cooked vegetable or added to soups. Be sure to wash the very young leaves before eating them because they contain chrysophanic acid that can irritate and numb your tongue




  1. Sabal palmetto - Cabbage Palm - Fruit, seeds, and meristem heart edible.




  1. Sambucus canadensis - Elderberry - Flowers & Fruit




  1. Salvia lyrata - Lyre Leaf Sage - Medicinal and edible herb, as an alternative medicine it is carminative, diaphoretic, laxative, and salve. It is used mainly as a gargle in the treatment of sore throat and mouth infections. Medicinal salve made from root is applied to sores. Warm infusion of herb is taken as a laxative or for colds, coughs and nervous debility. This sage is not very strong tasting, and has a rather pleasant minty flavor. Fresh young leaves are edible in salads, or cooked as pot herb.




  1. Sassafras Albidum - Sassafras - Dried leaves for gumbo, fresh leaves for tea, shoots and boiled roots for tea, steep bark in hot water for a diuretic tea, or use twigs for a trailside toothbrush.




  1. Serenoa repens - Saw Palmetto - Berries, seeds, and hearts are edible raw or cooked.

    Sida rhombifolia – Wireweed – Leaves are edible, but should not be consumed by individuals sensitive to ephedrine, as the plant contains high amounts of the it! It is often used as an adulterant to Marijuana, and a very stimulating tea can be made from the leaves.






  1. Smallanthus uvedalia – Bearsfoot – Renowned as a hair growth stimulant. A tonic made from the root - or the oral intake of the root – has been used for hundreds of years as a joint-pain reducer, stimulant, and stimulant. The root is known to reduce organ malfunction and hypertrophy. Apply the root directly to the scalp to facilitate new hair growth.




  1. Smilax spp. - GreenBrier - Young new shoots are edible raw, young tubers can be eaten raw or cooked, older tubers used for starch extraction or root beer.




  1. Solidago canadensis - Goldenrod - Edible Uses: Young leaves and flowering stems - cooked. Seed Used as a thickener in soups. The seed is very small and is only used as a survival food when all else fails. A tea can be made from the flowers and/or the leaves. Seeds can be hallucinogenic, and can cause delirium.




  1. Sonchus oleraceus - Sow Thistle - Young sow thistle leaves are wonderful in salad, adding substance and depth to the flavor of other greens. They have a slight bitter edge (just like some lettuces do), but they're less bitter than dandelion leaves.
    The flowers are also delicious in salads. Older leaves have a more noticeably bitter taste if they are eaten raw. Cooking gets rid of the bitterness.

    Stachys floridana - Florida Betany - Entire plant including tubers is edible.






  1. Stellaria media – Chickweed – leaves and stems are edible raw.




  1. Symplocos tinctoria – Horse Sugar – Foliage is sweet and edible.




  1. Taraxacum officinale - Dandelion - Bitter young greens in salads, slightly older leaves as a potherb, root boiled or roasted, blossoms — yellow parts only — as a flavoring for wine. Flowers dipped in batter fried (no green parts.) When you cook the leaves drop them into boiling water. They will taste better than if you warm them up in cold water. Best salad use is with cooked, cooled greens. The root can be roasted or boiled like a vegetable and eaten that way.It is bitter but edible. Dandelion roots were eaten by man as long as 25,000 years ago.

    Tillandsia usneoides - Spanish Moss - Used primarily for tea; but you can eat the young & tender green tips.






  1. Tradescantia virginiana - Spiderwort - Leaves - raw or cooked. The very young shoots and leaves can be chopped and added to salads or cooked as a potherb. Flowers - raw. They make an attractive edible garnish




  1. Trifolium campestre/repens  -  Field Clover/White Clover - The flowers are the sweetest part of the plant. White Dutch Clover leaves are edible raw or cooked and can be used in salads, soups, casseroles, etc. Fresh or dried clover flowers make a delicious herbal tea. 




  1. Ulmus spp. - Elm - Green samaras wings and seed, raw or cooked. Young or small leaves raw or cooked, inner bark cooked.




  1. Valium aparine - Stickywilly - The young plants can be cooked and eaten like spinach. The older ones are a bit fibrous.



  2. Vaccinium spp. – Blueberry Species – berries edible.




  1. Veronica persica – Speedwell – Leaves raw or cooked.




  1. Viola spp. -  Violet - Violets leaves can be used raw in salads or cooked like spinach.




  1. Vitis spp. - Grape - Young new growth is edible, as is the obvious fruit.




  1. Wisteria spp. – Wisteria species – flowers and leaves edible when cooked.




  1. Youngia japonica - Hawk's beard - young leaves raw or cooked.



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