Wild, edible Plants of Northwest Ontario
Tips and Tricks
Wild edible plants and weeds require a keen eye and a little understanding of the descriptions of the plants. Very few plants can kill you, a lot can make you sick either from toxins or personal reactions. A few basic rules when foraging for edible wild plants and weeds are as follows.
The first thing to note is where is the plant growing. is it in a field, woods, hardwood, softwood, cedar swamp, something descriptive.
What time of year is it?
How does it grow? Groups, alone, clusters?
Describe the leaves/take pictures of a few different leaves as individual leaves can vary.
Note flowers, berries and stem – both colors, shape and makeup.
Now you have found a plant listed as edible, your now have to see if you have a reaction to it.
- Never ingest an unknown plant.
- Medicinal plants are by definition edible, however they may have proper dosage levels.
- First rub a bit of the plant in question on your skin – if a rash/hives or swelling occurs – that is a bad reaction.
- Rub a little on your lips, note any sensations, stinging, tingling, swelling.
- Ingest just a little bit and see how you react.
Identification and resources
It is important to identify and be sure of edible plants, mushrooms and berries in the wild. There are numerous resources available however nothing is better than going with an expert and growing your knowledge over time.
Pictures and videos are very important and a simple google search (images) will return a wide range of a specific plant you are looking for. There are numerous Facebook groups as well, where the users are usually more than happy to help identify something. Simply upload a good quality picture (or 3 or 4 from different angles) and see what the collective consensus is.
Keep in mind that no one can identify by picture alone 100% of the time.