En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

What blueberry cultivar is best for Austin, TX.
April 15, 2010 - How do I know what blueberry bush to purchase for the best tasting variety that will grow in the Austin, TX area?
view the full question and answer

Is cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) edible?
December 21, 2012 - I found a post here about cenizo leaves being used for tea, but I'm wondering if the leaves of the cenizo are edible? I have found many recipes for 'brown butter sage' leaves (sauteed often with on...
view the full question and answer

Non-native pomegranate failing to fruit from Highland Village TX
October 20, 2012 - Last spring I planted a pomegranate tree (type: Wonderful) which is supposed to produce edible fruit. It had 5 or 6 absolutely beautiful blooms, but each of them dropped off and no sign of fruit. Is...
view the full question and answer

Use of Ilex sp. by Seminole Indians to make black drink.
August 03, 2009 - Ilex myrtifolia: can the leaves be used as tea? Seminole indians made a black drink reputed to be made of holly leaves.
view the full question and answer

Edible native plants for Camp Wood, TX
November 01, 2012 - We live northwest of Camp Wood, TX in the uplands, so our soil is shallow with caliche and limestone beneath and is clay-like with the typical higher pH. Are there any native trees, bushes, vines, or...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center