The plants you would not think are edible and people eat


I’m in Michigan and I get purslane from late June right through fall. I did wipe it out as a weed a number of years back in my yard and had to procure seeds online (a French culinary variety with larger leaves/pads) which seems to have crossed with what nature has reintroduced and it does well.

Its great in salads, almost a cucumber-ish flavor, but with a lemony hint as well.



When I lived in a semi arid area I grew a lot of purslane as living mulch under corn. When irrigated it grew to 1/2 a foot tall and was so thick no light hit the soil. It made a big difference to yield.

Purslane survives when it is far too dry/hot for grass to survive, so served as free poultry feed over summer.

@glib that is fascinating about the omega 3. I am not convinced that eating mammoths and bison being the reason for us losing that ability though. Humans have eaten insects since the dawn of time and in many countries still do, it is only in western nations that eating insects is not common. Regardless of the reason why we are not good at elongating, it is still fascinating.


i have also noted that purslane can increase yields due to its mulching capability. A friend in sandy soil had two non-irrigated corn plots (he is a vegan), in a dry year only the one “infested” with purslane gave a crop. and all domestic animals love it.

It is true that we have always eaten insects, but if your diet gives you enough of a nutrient, eventually you lose the ability to manufacture it. it is the same with vitamin C. Although we have been eating insects far longer than we have eaten megafauna, insects were never a dominant part of the diet. But homo sapiens was often subsisting entirely on megafauna.

The other thing I did not mention: to elongate, say from 18 to 20 or 22, you need a high concentration of 2 and 4 fat molecules available for the reaction. That is acetic acid and butyric acid. Where do they come from? all from fermentable fiber, fermenting in the gut (for you and me, beans, potatoes, and the like). We have about ten times less by concentration, and therefore a smaller chance of doing the conversion, because we have a smaller gut compared to wild and domestic animals.


It doesn’t do well in a forest. It needs cleared land and prefers dry soil. I couldn’t grow it as part of my permaculture food forest, so I put it in the parking strip and it grew.


It’s as bad as spurge in my area of Texas. Every time it rains, it BURSTS forward with a ton of growth. Can’t turn your back on it.


The leaves on pepper plants are commonly used as a vegetable in the Philippines. It’s in the nightshade family, which is poisonous, so they do need to be cooked. A couple of years ago I took most of my neighbor’s hot pepper plants and froze a bunch of ziplock bags full of the leaves. They were portioned and rolled up in saran wrap, just like how I freeze parsley. We’re still working through that.


Anyone know of flowering purslane is edible?


Edible bamboo is very interesting to me because I find it delicious! This is an interesting website
"Warning: Not all bamboo can be eaten!

Bambusa multiplex - Edible - This is one of the hardiest of the genus clumping bamboo. Each node of this edible bamboo species bears a large number of branches down to the culm base which makes it ideal for growing a dense hedge or windbreak.

Bambusa oldhamii - Giant Timber or Oldham’s - Edible - This species has wide leaves, erect straight culms - clumping bamboo in tight clumps. Also makes a good hedge or windbreak.

Bambusa tuidoides ‘Ventricosa’ - Buddha’s Belly - Edible - The development of pot belly type internodes provides a name for this species. It is a clumping bamboo that makes a good hedge or windbreak but can just as easily be grown in a pot.

Bambusa Vuigaris ‘Vittata’ - Painted - Edible - This species has golden culms with green stripes that vary in width. It is an indoor clumping bamboo that can be grown in a pot.

Bamboo shoot - Dendrocalamus Latiflorus Shoot and Culm
Dendrocalamus Latiflorus Shoot
Photo courtesy of
Eco Terrestrial Concepts

Dendrocalamus Latiflorus - This is a clumping bamboo species with wide culms, large foliage, and long internodes. It is harvested for edible shoots and timber bamboo for construction and crafts projects.

Phyllostachys edulis - Moso - Edible - This edible bamboo species is the largest of the hardy bamboos. It is a running bamboo that makes a good hedge or windbreak and can also be used for bamboo crafts.

Phyllostachys vivax - Vivax - Edible - This bamboo species has thinner walled culms than Ph. Bambusoides and white powdery bands below the nodes. It is a running bamboo that can be used as a hedge or windbreak and it is cold hardy.

Phyllostachys atrovaginata - Incence - Edible - When eaten raw, these shoots have less of a bite than some other edible species. It is a running bamboo that makes a good hedge or windbreak and is cold hardy.

Phyllostachys nidularia D2 - Edible - The shoots of this species of bamboo are free of the acrid taste of some other edible bamboo species. It is a running bamboo that makes a good hedge or windbreak and is cold hardy.

Phyllostachys rubromarginata - Edible - The shoots of this bamboo species are good quality for eating. It is a running bamboo that is prolific and has a high cold tolerance. It makes a good hedge or windbreak and is useful for using in craft projects."


another relative of bamboo that is edible is Japanese knotweed. it grows everywhere here as a invasive. people are surprised when i tell them the shoots are edible.


Is it Good?


i found it has a taste similar to those immature corn cobs in stir fry. best to get them under 6in. got to be careful where you collect though as people dump all kinds of stuff on them trying to kill them.


Well, I eat poke stalks, just peel off the red. Batter and fry them. Better than fried okra.
Or, when tender, cook 'em with other wild greens. I didn’t know what spinach was for years, as I’d never bough any “greens” to cook.


Check out Toona sinensis and some of the Tilia species like americana, cordata, and tomentosa. I couldn’t find Toona plants but a few places carry the seeds. After doing a bit of reading on all these I decided I’d like to have some. The cool thing about all of these is that they coppice or pollard very well and the leaves are supposed to be very palatable. What could be better than a perennial vegetable tree?