Edible and Wild!

Amaranth – growing and returning annually in my veggie garden. Some varieties can get very large. Domesticated varieties produce concentrated clusters of seeds. The seed and leaves are edible, but small. The cows and the bugs love it. Stems have nasty thorns, but the cows don’t care!

Elephant Ears – See Tarot Root, below.

Hairy Cluster Vine – grows wild in the southeastern United States. It is growing and returning annually in my veggie garden. Climbs a trellis I think to 7 feet. The leaves can be cooked and eaten, says Prota, and they are big!


Mimosa Tree


The leaves of a young Mimosa tree, and its flowers can be eaten. Don’t eat the pods or seeds, as they contain some toxic amino acids! This “mimosa”, of the U.S. Europe, is not a true mimosa, but something called Albizia julibrissin.

There is also a “Mimosa strigillosa or mimosa powderpuff, which is a ground cover used as food for livestock such as cattle and chickens or turkeys, and is equally utilized by wild fowl, deer, caterpillars, and honeybees. No part of this strain of mimosa was listed as toxic.” You won’t be mistaking this for a mimosa tree. “It does not grow into trees or bushes and remains fairly close to the ground, usually three to four inches high, but rarely as much as 12 inches high (DenGarden).”

Moringa – is a small tree that looks similar to Mimosa and is famous for having numerous uses. It dies off every winter if you have a freeze, but grows back.

Morning Glories (Ipomoea. Some Morning Glories are edible and some are not!) And I think sweet potato is also a morning glory. I have White Star Potato growing in my garden. I don’t know how it got there, but it’s very pretty (it is listed below).

Nettles – The common stinging nettle, found all over the world, is one of the most nutritious vegetables. It really excels. You would not think so, since if you have ever brushed up against it you know it stings and makes a bit of a rash. But you just boil it up like spinach (no need to boil it twice or anything), and it is delicious. It is actually my favorite greens! I have heard that it likes borders between one vegetative cover and another, and it likes rich soil. As the season progresses, keep cutting the tops of the plants. They are tender and cook up nicely. It is a perennial, so you should only have to plant it once.

Plantain – is a wild edible that can be eaten as a food and is really good for a lot of things, from acne to hemorrhoids.

Purslane – growing and returning annually in my veggie garden. It stays pretty close to the ground. They are pest resistant. The leaves are juicy and pretty good in salads, but they are small so a little slow harvesting.

Taro Root and Elephant Ears – One needs to be careful with Taro because it has to be cooked properly to be edible. Properly fermented and cooked taro root is great!


Elephant ear can be edible, too, but it yields much less. If you can grow elephant ear you can grow taro in the same location and get 10 times the root and it’s a lot better for you. So I wouldn’t grow elephant ear to eat, but if I saw it growing I would know it’s an ideal spot to suit taro/dasheen.

White Star Potato (Ipomoea Iacunosa) is an invasive vine. Leaf is light green with dark border. The whitestar potato (I. lacunosa) was traditionally eaten by some Native Americans, such as the Chiricahua Apaches.

Yaupon – is said to be the only shrub native to America who’s leaves make a caffeinated tea. Don’t mix it up with Dahoon.

10 Edible Wild Roots

Here’s a webpage discussing how to test for edibility: http://www.eattheweeds.com/is-wild-taro-in-florida-edible-2/

What would you like to grow? ZipCodeZoo gives the human uses of plants. Or ask Big Brother! Or check Find The Data. Vines of MS has good drawings but includes all vines in MS irrespective of edibility.

Identify flora in the Southeastern USA.

Other plant identification websites.

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