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Content tagged with "wild edible"

Photo of garlic mustard plant with flowers

Garlic Mustard

Alliaria petiolata
Because each plant disperses a large number of seeds, garlic mustard can outcompete native vegetation for light, moisture, nutrients, soil, and space as it quickly colonizes an area.

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Photo of garlic mustard plant showing flowers

Garlic Mustard (Flowers)

Garlic mustard, an invasive plant, blooms May through June. The flowers are numerous, small, white, 1/4 inch across, and are borne in a terminal raceme at the apex of the stem and also at some leaf axils. Each flower has 4 white petals that narrow abruptly at the base.

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Photo of ground plum flower cluster with some leaves.

Ground Plum (Flowers)

Ground plum’s short, spikelike clusters of flowers can be white, cream, yellow, pink, or violet. These flowers, whose structure is so obviously of the pea family, show that ground plum is not at all a true plum. Plums (like apples, peaches, and cherries) are in the rose family, and their blossoms have a very different structure. Confusing, fanciful mix-ups in common names are one reason botanists prefer to use scientific names.

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Photo of ground plum plant showing several of its round plumlike legume fruits.

Ground Plum (Fruits)

The fruits of ground plum are nearly ball-shaped, with a central ridge, and with a sharp, beaklike point; they are smooth and about ¾ inch wide. The round, two-parted, cherrylike fruits (which are technically legumes, like peas) are succulent and sweet when young and can be eaten raw or boiled. Because there is a potential for loco poisoning (neurological damage that is not reversible), eating large quantities is not advised.

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Photo of ground plum, top of plant, showing flowers and several leaves.

Ground Plum (Milk Vetch; Buffalo Pea)

Ground plum is a legume with feather-compound leaves, spikelike clusters of pea flowers, and plumlike, edible fruits. It grows in prairies, fields, roadsides, glades, and openings of dry upland forests, particularly in counties along and south of the Missouri River.

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Photo of ground plum, top of plant, showing flowers and several leaves.

Ground Plum (Milk Vetch; Buffalo Pea)

Astragalus crassicarpus (formerly A. mexicanus)
Ground plum is a legume that bears plumlike, edible fruits. Its short, spikelike clusters of pea flowers can be white, cream, yellow, pink, or violet.

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Image of a hackberry leaf

Hackberry

Celtis occidentalis
Although it's named for its sweet, purple (edible) fruits, most people learn to identify hackberry because of its interesting bark, which develops numerous corky, wartlike projections that sometimes join to form ridges.

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Photo of hawthorn trees blooming on lawn of Missouri state capitol

Hawthorns

Various species in the genus Crataegus
Our state flower, the hawthorn, is solidly represented in Missouri. There are about 100 different kinds of hawthorns that occupy almost every kind of soil in every part of the state. These members of the rose family are closely related to apples.

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