What to Forage in January – The Best Wild Food Plants to Harvest

Discover twenty five wild food plants you can forage and harvest in January.

Availability should only be seen as a rough guide. Variations in climate and location will make a difference to what’s available.

BirchBetula pendula
Twigs: Tea.

BittercressCardamine spp.
Leaf: Raw, cooked.

BurdockArctium spp.
Root: Raw, cooked.

CleaversGalium aparine
Shoots: Raw, cooked.

Creeping thistle – Cirsium arvense
Root: Cooked.

DaisyBellis perennis
Rosette: Cooked.

DandelionTaraxacum officinale agg.
Leaf: Raw, cooked.

Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare
Root: Raw, cooked.

Ground elderAegopodium podagraria
Leaf: Raw, cooked.

HogweedHeracleum sphondylium
Root: Cooked.

HorseradishArmoracia rusticana
Root: Raw, cooked.

Lesser celandineFicaria verna
Leaf: Cooked.

Mahonia – Mahonia aquifolium
Flowers: Raw.

MeadowsweetFilipendula ulmaria
Root: Cooked.

NavelwortUmbilicus rupestris
Leaf: Raw, cooked.

Nipplewort – Lapsana communis
Leaf: Raw, cooked.

Orpine – Sedum telephium
Root: Cooked.

Pink purslane – Claytonia sibirica
Leaf: Raw, cooked.

Red valerian – Centranthus ruber
Leaf: Raw, cooked.
Root: Cooked.

Rough hawkbit – Leontodon hispidus
Root: Coffee substitute.

Saxifrage – Chrysosplenium spp.
Leaves: Cooked.

Sea buckthorn – Hippophae rhamnoides
Fruit: Raw, cooked.

Smooth sowthistleSonchus oleraceus
Leaf: Raw, cooked.

Three cornered leekAllium triquetrum
Leaf: Raw, cooked.

VioletViola spp.
Leaf: Raw, cooked.

White dead nettleLamium album
Leaf and shoots: Raw, cooked.

White stonecrop – Sedum album
Leaf: Raw.

Wood avensGeum urbanum
Root: Raw, cooked.

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  1. wow ‘red valerian’ root is edible? and meadowsweet root!
    cool. is red valerian leaves edible too?
    thanks.

    • They are but you’ve got to get them at the right time or they taste foul. Well they do to me, which doesn’t mean they do to you. January through to early March is the time to eat the leaves. Just try the odd one raw and cooked to see how you get on with them. Bio-individualism rules in the wild.

  2. I’m in Weymouth and have noticed lots of leaves on the mallow ‘trees’, in spite of days of frost. Are they any good now?

    • Where I live yes they are good to eat. Do they look [[fresh]]? I’m not being funny but would you eat kale leaves that looked old and yellowing. Wild greens are no different.

  3. Thank you Robin I love the photo where is this place ? looks Devonish….
    i am still finding identification and plant names tricky.

    • Robin can you use the twigs of a regular Birch, as opposed to silver for tea, I have one in my garden. I heard that you can tap a Birch tree for its syrup , is this true ?

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