How to collect wild plants

Good ways of gathering edible wild plants


Recommendations and standards for the collection of wild plants

  • Collect only what you know. Plants are distinguished from each other by many botanical characteristics: the shape of its leaves, stem, hairs if present, their habitat...

    Still, many species can be confused with other plants that could be poisonous. It is therefore recommended to know a wild plant well before consuming it. The best time to study a plant is spring, since the type of flower is a very good clue to differentiate seemingly similar plants.

  • Collect only what you need. To be a sustainable way of eating, we must collect only those plants that we need. It is recommended collecting only 50% of the plants growing in a field. And of that half, only 40% (maximum) of the plant.

  • It is recommended to have a usual route:. Walking regularly by the collection area has two reasons:

    - 1) Discovering plants that, until they do not bloom, they may go unnoticed or be confused by others. Some species are so similar, that are indistinguishable until flowering.

    - 2) By means of walking weekly or biweekly in the area where we we collect, we will realize who interacts with that environment. It is dangerous to gather plants from places fumigated with herbicides or those plants in which animals usually wander.

  • Always carry a field guide to recognize the plants. And, when in doubt, do not collect them. It is recommended to attain a course with a specialist in this area to get to know the plants and how to identify the environment. Such initiatives are increasingly common in rural councils.

  • Collect in a proper way: Let the used plants survive. Cut them with clean scissors to prevent them to be infected. Do not uproot them and do not collect all the flowers (Without flowers they can not bear fruit and reproduce)
  • Do not collect protected plants or endangered species: If possible, it is recommended to grow the plants in the garden itself: arugula, calendula, dandelion,... they are easy to grow wild plants. In this way, we avoid the dangers of collecting in places where domestic animals can move or graze, and we will have the advantage of eating this type of food weekly.

  • Know the main toxic plants. Although a plant may not be listed yet, one can not consume it if its edibility is unknown.

salad with edible wild plants.
Prepared vegetables for a Nature offers a wealth of vegetables

Precautions for the use of wild plants

It is essential to collect in safe, non-contaminated with herbicides places, near crops and in places that are not visited by animals. Nor is it really safe to pick up in rivers where the water can carry bacteria from grazing animals and spread some disease. For example, there have been serious cases of poisoning with watercress.

Elderberry fruit
Elderberry fruit. With flowers and fruits of elderberry desserts are cooked, but the leaves of the tree are very toxic.

It is also essential to know how to cook wild plants. As with all plants, some components make it appropriate a culinary treatment or other. For example, orach is rich in oxalates so it is recommended to boil it to attain edibility (oxalates are soluble, and partially remain in the cooking water.)

Not all parts of the plant are edible. For example, with the fruits and flowers of elderberry delicious desserts are made, but its leaves are highly toxic. Again, it is essential to know every plant.

punto rojo More information about wild plants in the kitchen in the listing above.

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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.