New England Wild Edibles Monthly Guide

New to foraging? Check out my Guidelines for Foraging and Foraging Tips.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but rather a sampling of wild foods that I enjoy throughout the turn of the seasons. Timing refers to my experiences in southern Maine (and past experience in Plainville, MA) and should be adjusted one way or the other depending on your location. Happy foraging!


March (or spring thaw)

Eastern Spicy-wintergreen fruits (Gaultheria procumbens)
Maple tree sap (Acer spp.)
Partridge-berry fruits (Mitchella repens)

Photo of Norway Maple TapPhoto of Eastern Spicy WintergreenPhoto of Partridge-berry Fruit


Green Season Offerings

The following edibles have a long season of availability, assuming the ground isn't frozen and/or leaves are present.

Balsam Fir needles (Abies balsamea)
Common Burdock taproots (Arctium minus)
Common Dandelion leaves and taproots (Taraxacum officinale)
Common Evening-primrose taproots (Oenothera biennis)
Eastern Hemlock needles (Tsuga canadensis)
Eastern White Pine needles (Pinus strobus)
Indian Cucumber Root (Medeola virginiana)
Labrador-tea leaves (Rhododendron groenlandicum)
New Jersey Redroot leaves (Ceanothus americanus)
Sassafras roots (Sassafras albidium)
Shepherd’s-purse tops (Capsella bursa-pastoris)
Small Bayberry leaves (Morella caroliniensis)
Sweet-fern leaves (Comptonia peregrina)
Wild Carrot taproots (Daucus carota)
Wood Sorrel leaves, flowers and fruits (Oxalis spp.)

Photo of Indian Cucumber (Medeola virginiana) rootPhoto of Small Bayberry branchPhoto of Wild Carrot TaprootsPhoto of Sweet-fern leavesPhoto of Eastern Hemlock needlesPhoto of Common Burdock taproot (washed)Photo of Common DandelionPhoto of Wood Sorrel flowerPhoto of Labrador Tea budnjredrootleafPhoto of Balsam Fir from abovePhoto of Shepherd's-purse flowers


April/May

American Linden leaves (Tilia americana)
American Sea-rocket leaves (Cakile edentula)
American Trout-lily leaves (Erythronium americanum)
Black Locust flowers (Robinia pseudoacacia) -- Late May
Carrion-flower shoots (Smilax herbacea)
Cat-tail shoots (Typha spp.)
Coltsfoot flowers (Tussilago farfara)
Common Dandelion leaves, flowers and taproots (Taraxacum officinale)
Common Greenbrier shoots (Smilax rotundifolia)
Common Milkweed shoots (Asclepias syriaca)
Common Stitchwort tops (Stellaria media)
Curly Dock leaves and shoots (Rumex crispus) -- Mid/Late May
Eastern White Pine pollen cones (Pinus strobus) -- Late May
Garden Yellow-rocket tops (Barbarea vulgaris)
Garlic-mustard tops (Alliaria petiolata)
Gill-over-the-ground tops (Glechoma hederacea)
Hairy Bitter-cress (Cardamine hirsuta)
Japanese Knotweed shoots (Fallopia japonica)
Pitch Pine pollen cones (Pinus rigida) -- Mid/Late May
Saltwort tender tips (Salsola kali)
Seaside Plantain leaves (Plantago maritima)
Sheep Dock leaves (Rumex acetosella)
Stinging Nettle tops (Urtica dioica)
Violet flowers and leaves (Viola spp.)
Wild Leek leaves (Allium tricoccum)

Photo of Black Locust flowersPhoto of Common DandelionPhoto of Garden Yellow-rocket topsPhoto of Japanese KnotweedPhoto of Stinging NettlePhoto of Violet FlowerPhoto of American Linden leavesPhoto of Pitch Pine branchletPhoto of Garlic-mustardPhoto of American Sea-rocket (Cakile edentula)Photo of Saltwort close upPhoto of Curly Dock shootPhoto of Curly Dock leafPhoto of Hairy Bitter-cress flowersPhoto of Wild LeeksPhoto of Quiz #158: PlantPhoto of Coltsfoot flower heads


June

American Linden leaves (Tilia americana)
American Sea-rocket leaves (Cakile edentula)
Black Elderberry flowers (Sambucus nigra) -- Late June
Black Locust flowers (Robinia pseudoacacia) -- Early June
Black Raspberry fruit (Rubus occidentalis) -- Late June
Carrion-flower shoots (Smilax herbacea)
Cat-tail shoots, bloom spikes, and pollen (Typha spp.)
Common Burdock shoots (Arctium minus)
Common Evening-primrose shoots (Oenothera biennis)
Common Greenbrier shoots (Smilax rotundifolia)
Common Milkweed flowerbuds (Asclepias syriaca)
Common St. John's-wort flowers (Hypericum perforatum) -- Medicinal
Common Stitchwort tops (Stellaria media)
Common Strawberry fruit (Fragaria virginiana)
Common Yarrow flower tops (Achillea millefolium) -- Medicinal
Curly Dock shoots (Rumex crispus)
Eastern White Pine pollen cones (Pinus strobus) -- Early June
Gill-over-the-ground tops (Glechoma hederacea)
Mulberry fruit (Morus sp.)
Rayless Chamomile (Matricaria discoidea)
Saltwort tender tips (Salsola kali)
Sassafras leaves (Sassafras albidium)
Seaside Plantain leaves (Plantago maritima)
Smooth Sumac peeled shoots (Rhus glabra)
White Goosefoot tops (Chenopodium album)
Wild Carrot shoots (Daucus carota)
Wild Radish tops (Raphanus raphanistrum)

Photo of Black Locust flowersPhoto of American Linden leavesPhoto of Common Evening-primrose peeled stalkPhoto of Common Greenbrier shootPhoto of Curly Dock shootPhoto of Pine Pollen Cone tincture Photo of Smooth Sumac shootPhoto of Carrion-flower shootsPhoto of Wild Carrot stalk Photo of American Sea-rocket (Cakile edentula)Photo of Black RaspberryPhoto of Mulberry fruitPhoto of Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) topPhoto of Common StitchwortPhoto of Common StrawberriesPhoto of Seaside Plantain (Plantago maritima)Photo of Saltwort close upPhoto of Common St. John's-wort flowerPhoto of Rayless Chamomile from the sidePhoto of Black ElderberryPhoto of Sassafras leavesPhoto of Wild Radish flowerPhoto of Quiz #158: Plant


July

American Linden flowers (Tilia americana) -- Early July
Beach Vetchling immature fruit (Lathyrus japonicus)
Black Chokeberry fruit (Aronia melanocarpa) -- Late July
Black Elderberry flowers (Sambucus nigra) -- Early July
Black Raspberry fruit (Rubus occidentalis)
Blueberry fruit: Black Highbush, Common Lowbush, Highbush, Hillside, and Velvet-leaved Blueberry (Vaccinium spp.)
Common Evening-primrose flowers/buds (Oenothera biennis)
Common Milkweed flower buds and young seedpods (Asclepias syriaca)
Common Purslane leaves and stems (Portulaca oleracea)
Common St. John's-wort flowers (Hypericum perforatum) -- Medicinal
Hairy-stemmed Gooseberry fruit (Ribes hirtellum)
Huckleberry fruit: Black and Blue Huckleberry (Gaylussacia spp.)
Northern Blackberry fruit (Rubus flagellaris)
Orange Day-lily flowers (Hemerocallis fulva)
Pin Cherry fruit (Prunus pensylvanica)
Rayless Chamomile (Matricaria discoidea)
Red Raspberry fruit (Rubus idaeus)
Red-rooted Amaranth tops (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Shadbush fruit (Amelanchier spp.)
White Goosefoot tops (Chenopodium album)
Wild Radish tops (Raphanus raphanistrum)

Photo of Common PurslanePhoto of Orange Day-lilyPhoto of Red-rooted Amaranth topwhitegoosefoottopPhoto of Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) flower budsPhoto of Quiz #110: Wild EdiblesPhoto of Shadbush fruitPhoto of Common Evening-primrosePhoto of Black Highbush BlueberryPhoto of Hairy-stemmed Gooseberry handfulPhoto of Black ElderberryPhoto of Common Lowbush BlueberryPhoto of Blue HuckleberryPhoto of Rayless Chamomile from the sidePhoto of Highbush Blueberry closePhoto of Northern Blackberry patchPhoto of Hillside BlueberryPhoto of Red RaspberryPhoto of Black RaspberryPhoto of Common St. John's-wort flowerPhoto of Black HuckleberryPhoto of Velvet-leaved BlueberryPhoto of Wild Radish flowerPhoto of Beach Vetchling handful


August

Apples (Malus spp.)
Beach Plum fruit (Prunus maritima)
Black Cherry fruit (Prunus serotina)
Blackberry fruit: Bristly, Common, and Northern Blackberry (Rubus spp.)
Blueberry fruit: Black Highbush, Common Lowbush, Highbush, Hillside, and Velvet-leaved Blueberry (Vaccinium spp.)
Canada Dwarf-dogwood fruit (Chamaepericlymenum canadense)
Choke Cherry fruit (Prunus virginiana)
Chokeberry fruit: Black and Purple (Aronia spp.)
Common Evening-primrose flowers/buds (Oenothera biennis)
Common Purslane leaves and stems (Portulaca oleracea)
Flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus)
Fox Grape fruit (Vitis labrusca) -- Late August
Hazelnut: American and Beaked Hazelnut (Corylus spp.)
Huckleberry fruit: Black, Blue, and Dwarf Huckleberry (Gaylussacia spp.)
Kousa Dogwood fruit (Benthamia japonica) -- Late August
Rose hips: Beach and Rambler Rose (Rosa spp.)
Spotted Touch-me-not seeds (Impatiens capensis)
Sumac berries: Smooth and Staghorn Sumac (Rhus spp.)
Wild Leek bulbs (Allium tricoccum)
Wild Radish tops (Raphanus raphanistrum)

Photo of Black ChokeberryPhoto of Black HuckleberryPhoto of Blue HuckleberryPhoto of Highbush Blueberry closePhoto of Black Raspberry handfulPhoto of Hillside BlueberryPhoto of Black Highbush BlueberryPhoto of Kousa-big-bracted Dogwood fruitPhoto of Common Lowbush BlueberryPhoto of Red-flesh ApplePhoto of Velvet-leaved BlueberryPhoto of Bristly Blackberry handfulPhoto of Common Evening-primrosePhoto of Common PurslanePhoto of Smooth Sumac clusterPhoto of Common BlackberriesPhoto of Staghorn SumacPhoto of Northern Blackberry patchPhoto of Canada Dwarf-dogwood fruitPhoto of Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana)Photo of American Hazelnut clusters in handPhoto of Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)Photo of Purple Chokeberry fruitPhoto of Dwarf Huckleberry fruitPhoto of Flowering Raspberry fruitPhoto of Wild Radish flowerPhoto of Spotted Touch-me-not seeds


September

Apples (Malus spp.)
Autumn-olive fruit (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Beach Plum fruit (Prunus maritima)
Black Cherry fruit (Prunus serotina) -- Early September
Black Elderberry fruit (Sambucus nigra)
Common Evening-primrose flowers/buds & taproots (Oenothera biennis)
Feathery False Solomon's-seal fruit (Maianthemum racemosum)
Flowering Raspberry fruit (Rubus odoratus)
Grapes: Fox and Summer Grape (Vitis spp.)
Hazelnut: American and Beaked Hazelnut (Corylus spp.)
Kousa Dogwood fruit (Benthamia japonica)
Nannyberry fruit (Viburnum lentago)
Oak tree acorns (Quercus spp.)
Purple Chokeberry fruit (Aronia floribunda)
Rose hips: Beach and Rambler Rose (Rosa spp.)
Shagbark Hickory nuts (Carya ovata)
Sumac berries: Smooth and Staghorn Sumac (Rhus spp.)
Wild Leek bulbs (Allium tricoccum)
Wild Radish tops (Raphanus raphanistrum)

Photo of Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) handfulPhoto of Common Evening-primrosegrapesinhandPhoto of Smooth Sumac handfulsummergrapePhoto of Staghorn SumacPhoto of Kousa-big-bracted Dogwood fruitPhoto of Autumn-olive fruitPhoto of American Hazelnut clusters in handPhoto of Beaked Hazelnut fruitPhoto of Nannyberry fruit clusterPhoto of Beach Rose hipsPhoto of Beach Plum fruitPhoto of Purple Chokeberry fruitPhoto of Red-flesh Apple Photo of Feathery False Solomon's-seal fruitPhoto of Northern Red OakPhoto of Flowering Raspberry fruitPhoto of Wild Radish flower


October

American Sea-rocket leaves (Cakile edentula)
Apples (Malus spp.)
Autumn-olive fruit (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Beach Plum (Prunus maritima)
Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
Cranberries (Vaccinium spp.)
Feathery False Solomon's-seal fruit (Maianthemum racemosum)
Hawthorn fruit (Crataegus spp.)
Nannyberry fruit (Viburnum lentago)
Oak tree acorns (Quercus spp.)
Purple Chokeberry fruit (Aronia floribunda)
Rose hips: Beach and Rambler Rose (Rosa spp.)
Stinging Nettle tops (Urtica dioica)

Photo of Stinging NettlePhoto of Autumn-olive fruitPhoto of Beach Plum fruitPhoto of Beach Rose hipsblackwalnutcranberriesinhandPhoto of Red-flesh ApplePhoto of Nannyberry fruit clusterPhoto of Feathery False Solomon's-seal fruitPhoto of Northern Red OakPhoto of Hawthorn berriesPhoto of Purple Chokeberry fruit


White Season Offerings

The following edibles can often be foraged (while supplies last) even if the ground is frozen.

Balsam Fir needles/buds (Abies balsamea)
Cranberries (Vaccinium spp.)
Eastern Hemlock needles (Tsuga canadensis)
Eastern Spicy-wintergreen fruits (Gaultheria procumbens)
Eastern White Pine needles (Pinus strobus)
Oak tree acorns (Quercus spp.)
Partridge-berry fruits (Mitchella repens)
Purple Chokeberry fruit (Aronia floribunda)
Rose hips: Beach and Rambler Rose (Rosa spp.)

Photo of Partridge-berry FruitPhoto of Eastern Hemlock needlesPhoto of Beach Rose hipsPhoto of Northern Red OakPhoto of Rambler Rose rosehipsPhoto of Purple Chokeberry fruitPhoto of Eastern Spicy WintergreenPhoto of Balsam Fir from abovecranberriesinhand


If you'd like to add some wild foods to your diet but don’t know where to start, I may be able to help. Together we can craft a custom workshop to introduce you to some wild edible plants who live near you.