Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 29, 2013

From: New York, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Edible native plants in New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

In your plant database- which is great by the way- it does not say whether or not the plant is edible. Do you have any way to search for edible plants? Or do you have a separate database? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Thank you for the compliment!

Our Native Plant Database will occasionally mention that a plant has edible fruit [e.g., Prunus americana (American plum)], but we don't have a means to search our database for plants that are edible.  However, I can guide you to other resources for identifying edible wild plants in New York.  First, let me refer you to the webpage of "Wildman" Steve Brill.  He does foraging tours and field trips in and around New York City.  He also has a list of Wild Plants with information about identifying them as well as recipes using the plants.  Not all of the plants he lists are native, but most are and they all can be found wild.  The Foraging Pictures site has photos of most of the plants discussed by Brill.

Brandeis University has A Guide to Edible Plants and Fungi of New England where you can search by name, by use or by growth type.

Also, check out the Urban Forager from the New York Times for articles about edible wild plants.

You can search in our Native Plant Bibliography for books on edible plants that you can potentially purchase at a bookstore. You can also find a host of books by searching "edible wild plants" on Barnes & Noble or Amazon or visit your local book store to see what they might have in stock for your area.

Finally, searching the internet for "foraging New York" or "wild edible plants New York" will give you still more leads.

 

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Growing Chile Pequin Indoors
December 09, 2015 - About a year ago I visited your page and as a result I planted 8 seeds in spring 2015 from a large Chile Pequin plant that came up wild in my Cedar Park home near Austin. The last harvest was late su...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 04, 2012 - We found a bush on our ranch in southern Gonzales County. It has oval shaped leaves about an inch long. There are no thorns on the branches. Fruit is round and smooth, the size of a small cherry to...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native tomatoes from Spokane WA
August 18, 2012 - I have 2 tomato plants in 1 whiskey barrel, they are in abundance with tomatoes. My problem is when the tomatoes start to ripen, half green & half light red within 1 day the tomatoes are really soft ...
view the full question and answer

Can tulip tree sap be used to make syrup in Bunker Hill IN?
July 10, 2009 - I was just wondering if tulip tree sap could be used to make syrup. I saw the sticky stuff on the leaves and decided to taste test it and it was very sweet, unfortunately I later found out that I was ...
view the full question and answer

Planting fruit and nut trees in Archer, FL.
January 26, 2012 - We're looking to plant a few fruit and nut trees in Archer, Florida. We've been thinking about figs, apples, peaches, oranges, plums, and whatever nuts grow best here (looks like almonds and pecan...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.