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Wild Edible Plants Quiz

Updated on May 31, 2012

Test your knowledge of wild edible berries, roots and leaves

These quizzes will test your knowledge of wild edible plants by allowing you to identify a photograph of each plant, as well as giving you the chance to specify which parts of each plant are edible, and which are not.

Have fun, but be careful: there may be a few non-edible or even poisonous plants tossed in here, just to keep you on your toes!

I hope you enjoy these quizzes, and perhaps even learn something in the process!

All photos taken by the author, unless otherwise noted

Why learn about wild edible plants?

There is such a bounty of fresh, nutritious food--greens, berries, seeds and even starchy, filling roots all around us for the taking, if we will only go to a bit of trouble to learn which are good to eat, and when and how to harvest them. These wild resources helped to sustain our ancestors, and can do the same for us, both now when they can supplement expensive produce bought from the market or grocery store, and later if we find ourselves in a situation where such luxuries may not be available.

The study and use of wild foods is both a fun, rewarding hobby that gives us an opportunity to spend more time in contact with the wonders of nature and a serious pursuit which can add a beneficial variety of nutrients to our diets.

While there are literally hundreds of tasty and beneficial plants out there to discover, many less savory and even poisonous ones exist right alongside them, so one must not, of course, ever consume a plant which has not been positively identified as edible, so now is the time to start your journey in learning to know and identify wild edible plants!

Spring Beauty

Spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) is a relative of the also-edible purslane, and is widely distributed throughout the continental US, appearing in the mountains of Colorado, on Oklahoma prairies, and in various places along the East Coast, to name a few areas of its range.

All parts of the plant are edible and tasty, the succulent leaves and stems providing a tasty snack when hiking, but the most valuable food source coming from their enlarged, starchy corms that resemble new potatoes in appearance, flavor and nutrition. They can be eaten raw, but are best boiled first for a few minutes.

Arrowleaf balsamroot

Arrowleaf balsaroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) is widely distributed across the foothills and high, arid mesas of the American west, growing in some places nearly up to treeline and subsisting well on minimal water.

Its roots, which release a strong pine or balsam smell when broken, are edible and quite nutritious if first steamed or otherwise cooked to convert the inulin sugar they contain into the more digestible fructose.

The seeds of this plant are also edible, resembling tiny sunflower seeds.

Wild edible plants books - Learn to identify wild foods in your area!

Avalanche lily

Avalanche lilies (Erythronium grandiflorum) are also known as glacier lilies, and have large, starchy roots that were harvested in great quantity by the Blackfoot, Flathead and other tribes, and slowly roasted in pits to convert their poorly digestible sugars (mostly inulin) to fructose, before drying for the winter.

These dried roots, often eaten cooked up into a soup with dried serviceberries, deer fat and spring beauty corms, were an important winter food source, as well as a valuable trade item. While these beautiful alpine wildflowers cover wide swaths of meadow in some areas, they are fairly rare in others, so care should be taken not to harvest too heavily in places where they may be more sparse.

Fireweed

Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) is a common sight in the high mountains and on the subarctic tundra alike, its uniquely colorful blooms adding some spice to otherwise drab landscapes. The plant does especially well on areas which have recently been burned in wildfires, and is often one of the first to return.

Young shoots can be peeled and eaten much like asparagus, blooms are edible and the leaves are good both added to soups and made into a tea. Roots, also, can be eaten, and are sweetest when harvested in the spring.

This plant's seeds produce a fuzzy down similar to that of dandelions, and this can, somewhat ironically, be used as tinder for starting fires.

Never, ever eat any part of a wild plant unless it is one you have positively identified.

(Avalanche lily roots, spring beauty roots--just like little potatoes!)

While the best way to learn these plants is to find someone in your area who already has the knowledge and can personally take you out and teach you what you need to know, this information can be learned from careful study of a variety of different edible plants books, as well. The study and collection of wild edible plants can be a fun and rewarding hobby and a way to spend more time out in nature as well as adding valuable and renewable nutrient sources to your diet!

Did you enjoy this quiz? - Which of these edible plants have you tried?

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    • Art-Aspirations profile image

      Art-Aspirations 5 years ago

      I enjoyed this lens. I'm very interested in the topic of wild edibles. You're right. There are times when this knowledge might be very important.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I loved taking this a while back and just had to stop by again.

    • alex89 lm profile image

      alex89 lm 5 years ago

      This was a great quiz, although you should know that a few of your pictures are missing. I'm not sure if this is my computer or your lens, but I wanted to let you know anyway! I have tried most of the berries, and have read about many of the others, thank you for making this!

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      I did enjoy this quiz and the learning that went with it. Thank you for the education. Blessings.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

      I've done my fair share of berries from nature's grocery store, but not the plants in this great lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      Excellent and informative lens.

    • profile image

      cmadden 5 years ago

      Fun, educational quiz! I did well enough for a tenderfoot, I think - about three quarters correct. Not well enough to sink my teeth into wild plants, though.

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 5 years ago

      Yes, I had fun with this quiz, although I got most answers wrong. The only edible plant I have eaten is raspberries.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      Oh! I try, I am not very proud of my responses (only around 50% good), but I learn a lot. so Thanks

    • lclchors profile image

      lclchors 5 years ago

      yes very much

    • gatornic15 profile image

      gatornic15 5 years ago

      Raspberries is the only one I have eaten.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      Although we owned property with cattails for decades, we never ate any of it. In fact I've only eaten the berries you show. Beautiful shots.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      I would love to be able to safely eat wild plants. Of course, after reading about the death of Christopher McCandless in the book Into the Wild, I've been more hesitant to do so. I'm always worried I will misidentify something poisonous and eat the wrong thing. I like your advice about learning from a trusted mentor. Enjoyed your quiz and learned a great deal here. Really valuable information. Thank you!

    • profile image

      Jolent 5 years ago

      Great lens! I definitely have a lot to learn.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      Great job on this quiz! I learned a few things. I live in Colorado by the way.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Love your lenses. This is the second one I have read today. Now, I know I would starve in the wilderness.

    • MindPowerProofs1 profile image

      MindPowerProofs1 5 years ago

      Thank you for the information. Really helpful

    • Einar A profile image
      Author

      Einar A 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Well, the roots are certainly very useful as you described, but since they're used more as medicine than food, I listed them in the quiz as not edible. Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great quiz, very informative.

      But the oregon grape says only the berries are edible. The roots are also edible, can be used to make a very good tea that is nutritious and antiseptic.

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      It is amazing how many plants we can eat, actually. At least parts of it.

    • suzy-t profile image

      suzy-t 5 years ago

      i knew most of the plants but didn't have a clue about whether they were edible. I'd better stay out of the woods..Very interesting lens. Thank you for saving me from poisoning myself !

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      How Delightful Einar, youhave fascinated me once again. I did pretty well on the identification quizzes but there were a couple lucky guesses and not so lucky guesses on plants I'd never seen before. You sure had me studying the chokecherries, they look like giants in the picture but I grew up picking them for Mom's chokecherry jelly. I was taken by surprise that fireweed is edible and that is cool that the seed fuzz can be used to make a fire that might help the plants to grow. I've noticed it grows really well along railroad tracks where the railroad burns every spring. Thanks for this informative fun!

    • Valdacious profile image

      Valdacious 5 years ago

      Great lense!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      another interesting quiz page. enjoyed my visit.

    • profile image

      Ladyeaglefeather 5 years ago

      Thanks, I really enjoyed this.

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

      Enjoyed the quiz and the photos!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Terrific quiz - learned a bunch! Thank you!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      Yes, I learned quite a bit. I recall eating something like the prickly pear on a trip once, but I'm not sure that was it.

    • AlphaChic profile image

      AlphaChic 5 years ago

      I have seen prickly pear cactus in the grocery store, but have never tried to. It would be interesting to taste all these plants.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I enjoyed your quiz but did get confused with some of the berries that I have not seen in Tennessee. I have tried cattails and some of the greens that grow back east. Thanks for a great quiz.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      Great quiz! I didn't do too well - but I learned something - great photos as well.

    • top101 profile image

      top101 5 years ago

      Great lens! I love all the quizzes :)

    • profile image

      TravelingRae 5 years ago

      I used to eat a lot of wild plants when I was a student in Ontario. I have to say that the humble dandelion is a workhorse because there is so much you can do with it, including making a hot beverage that is very close to coffee. Wonderful lens. :::blessed:::

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very challenging. And fun. Thanks

    • BlueObsidian profile image

      Kimberly 5 years ago from Oregon

      Great quiz! I learned a lot taking it (although I didn't do as well as I hoped)! Guess I have more learning to do.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Enjoyed the quiz.