Sixty Desserty Wild Foods

For Western North Carolina

Alphabetical, with descriptions

acorn (like almond)
amaranth seed (like poppy)
angelica stalk (often candied)
autumn olive (small berry tastes like a cross between grapes and raspberries; the juice tastes just like lychee)
basswood berry (said to taste just like chocolate)
beautyberry (typically made into a lavender-colored jelly)
birch (strong flavor of wintergreen)
black locust blossom (fragrant)
black walnut (strong walnut flavor)
blackberry
blueberry
burdock root (sweet, nutty)
chaga (tastes like mocha)
cherry
chickory root (classic coffee substitute)
cleavers (related to coffee, tastes vaguely like it, also a bit almondy)
dandelion root (another coffee substitute)
dead nettle seed (like chia seed)
elder berry
fox grape (like concord grape)
goldenrod, sweet (like anise)
greenbrier root (sarsaparilla)
hawkweed root (like dandelion)
hawthorne berry (like crabapple)
hickory nut (strong pecan flavor)
honey locust pod (carob/tamarind relative, tastes something like a carmelized banana)
honeysuckle flower
Japanese knotweed shoot (flavor of rhubarb)
Jerusalem artichoke (aka, sunchoke, like jicama)
kudzu flower (strong smell of grape jelly)
milkweed flower (fragrant)
mulberry
nettle leaf (rich flavor, possibly not necessarily savory)
Oregon grape berry (very tart, slightly bitter)
passionfruit
paw paw (resembling banana but very custardy)
persimmon
pine (tea tastes like lemonade and smells like honey)
prickly pear (margarita classic)
raspberry, black
redbud flower (decorative)
reishi (bitter but pairs well with chaga and chocolate)
rose hips
rose of Sharon flower (decorative)
sassafras root (classic root beer flavor)
serviceberry (like a somewhat mealy, very almondy blueberry)
sheep sorrel (tart, like French sorrel)
sourwood leaf (same)
spicebush berry (aka, American allspice)
spruce tips (tart, somewhat resinous)
strawberry
sumac berry (tart, used in zaatar spice)
sweet cicely leaf, seed (licorice flavor)
violet flower (not much flavor but decorative)
wild ginger root
wineberry (a raspberry but juicer)
wisteria flower (pretty and fragrant though can be fetid)
wood sorrel (tart)
yucca flower (not much flavor but decorative)

 

In Season Calendar (approximate)

March

burdock root
chickory root
dandelion root
hawkweed root
Japanese knotweed shoot

April

burdock root
cleavers
dandelion root
hawkweed root
Japanese knotweed shoot
nettle leaf
redbud flower
sweet cicely leaf
violet flower
wisteria flower

May

black locust blossom
cleavers
dead nettle seed
nettle leaf
reishi
sheep sorrel
sourwood leaf
spruce tips
sweet cicely leaf
violet flower

June

angelica
milkweed flower
mulberry
nettle leaf
Oregon grape berry
reishi
serviceberry
sheep sorrel
sourwood leaf
strawberry
wood sorrel
yucca flower

July

basswood berry
cherry
elder berry
honeysuckle flower
kudzu flower
raspberry, black
rose of Sharon flower
sheep sorrel
sourwood leaf
wineberry
wood sorrel

August

basswood berry
blackberry
blueberry
honeysuckle flower
passionfruit
sourwood leaf
wood sorrel

September

honeysuckle flower
passionfruit
paw paw
sourwood leaf
spicebush berry
sumac berry
wood sorrel

October

acorn
amaranth seed
autumn olive
beautyberry
black walnut
hawthorne berry
hickory nut
persimmon
prickly pear
sumac berry

November

acorn
amaranth seed
beautyberry
black walnut
burdock root
chickory root
dandelion root
fox grape
hawthorne berry
hickory nut
honey locust pod
persimmon
prickly pear
rose hips
sumac berry

December

beautyberry
burdock root
chickory root
dandelion root
hawkweed root
rose hips
sumac berry

January

rose hips

February (or anytime)

birch
chaga
goldenrod, sweet
greenbrier root
Jerusalem artichoke
pine
sassafras root
wild ginger root