7 Edible Weeds from the Garden

7 Edible Weeds from the Garden

When it comes to some weeds, if you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em.

Weeds are among many gardeners’ biggest challenges and dealing with these pestilent plants can be tedious and back-breaking. However, there are actually garden-variety weeds that are edible so if you are looking for ways to put them to good use, well, put them on the table.

This list presents 7 common weeds that can be eaten. These can add rustic flavors to your dishes but please be careful. Before you start to feast on a weed, it’s always a good idea to ask a knowledgeable person to identify it.

Now on with the list…

Photo: safelawns.org

1. Dandelions

The lowly dandelion. It is known all over as a stubbornly persistent weed that invades gardens and lawns. It is also the most known edible weed. The leaves of the dandelion are rich in vitamins A, C and beta-carotene.

The first European settlers actually introduced the dandelion to the U.S. as a salad green. And indeed, the tender leaves of the spring dandelion are sweet and make a flavorful salad. The flowers are also edible though mildly bittersweet in taste. The greens can be sautéed or boiled and seasoned with salt and butter. You can also make dandelion wine.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I live in Jacksonville, FL and have growing in my backyard a pesky vine that some call a “potato” vine. It has small potato pods(?) attached to the vine. The leaves are heart shaped. I have seen Kudzu in GA and am not sure this is the same thing. Is this potato vine edible??

  2. It’s probably not a good idea to pick your own watercress for salads as there is a liver fluke which spends the first part of its lifecycle in watercress stems and the second part in the liver of anything that eats it. If you want raw watercress you should buy commercially grown stuff. If you do have access to a large amount of watercress and can’t resist your foraging tendencies then you should cook it – watercress soup is pretty good. Be wary about eating too many dandelion leaves too – no parasites there but they do have diuretic properties hence the French name for them, pis-en-lit. I’ve heard elderly country folk refer to them as wet-the-bed on occasions too.

  3. Here in UK the Romans brought Borage which was part of their diet, now is a weed like the roman celery but I don’t think that many people knows that they can eat it.

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