Skip to main content

Local Plants You Can Eat!

Between our sunny spring days, the hot summer sun, or crisp fall air – there’s always beauty and adventure outdoors in Georgia! Whether you enjoy spending time honing your green thumb in your garden, playing with the kids in your backyard, or walking the dog in your local park, you’ll likely come into contact with the beautiful flowers and foliage our area has to offer.

Did you know that some of these local plants are edible? We asked our lawn experts to share some of their favorite edible plants found in Georgia - so don’t be afraid to sneak a nibble if you spot one of these local finds!

Honeysuckle

A staple of many childhoods, this sweet flower is probably one of the most popular edible plants around Georgia. The flower itself contains a sweet nectar that can be consumed raw, or used in larger quantities to create puddings, teas, or syrups.

While the leaves of the honeysuckle can be boiled and consumed, it is important to take great care when preparing them to remove any possible toxicity. These sweet flowers can be identified by their trumpet shape and they are usually warm colors such as yellow, white, pink, or orange.

Cattails

These water-dwelling plants are well known for possessing an uncanny resemblance to hot dogs or corn dogs. Unfortunately, cattails do not taste quite like your favorite fair food, but they are still edible, nonetheless!

The green parts of this plant – including the leaves and stem – can be eaten raw or boiled. The fuzzy flower is a little more challenging. While there are creative recipes for the more adventurous that involve roasting this part of the plant or mixing it into dough, it is usually recommended that you do not eat it. There are many different cat tail recipes including cattail, soup, rice, and even cookies.

Clovers

While it is difficult to find a lucky four leaf clover, you can find plenty of regular clovers all over the Southeast. These tiny plants can be typically be found in grassy areas. You can boil their tiny leaves or eat them raw. The small flower blossoms clovers produce are also edible, but it should be noted the younger ones will taste better.

Look for pink and white ones while avoiding the more mature brown ones as they can have a bitter flavor. These flowers can be eaten raw or roasted in the oven to make them nice and crispy.

Dandelions

These pesky weeds can be found almost anywhere there is soil; as such, our Lawn Ace experts are all too familiar with them. While homeowners detest dandelions, they are actually edible and nutritious.

The entire plant can be used and is packed full of Vitamin A and C. The flowers of this plant are bright yellow and fairly small, and when they mature they have a fluffy top that allows for seed dispersion. To prepare dandelions, the leaves and roots are best when boiled as it minimizes their tart flavor.

The leftover water can be used as a healthy tea, while the flowers themselves are best enjoyed raw when they are young and yellow.

Muscadine Grapes

Muscadine wine has long been a popular product of the South and these large grapes are known to grow in the wild. This type of grape is perfectly round and its leaves are typically heart of triangle shaped.

Muscadine grapes are usually quite tart when consumed ripe but there are endless recipe opportunities to capitalize on their flavor and common availability. Muscadine wine, jams, and juices have long been a southern tradition and are very easy to prepare.

Identify Before You Eat!

It’s important to be cautious when consuming edible plants, as it can be tricky to identify which ones are safe and which ones are not. You should also pay close attention to the soil in the area and whether or not the plants are sprayed with pesticides, as many weeds such as clovers or dandelions frequently are.

Once you know which plants are safe to eat, you can enjoy the unique flavors of all different types of edible plants in Georgia!

Looking for more expert advice to maximize your next outdoor adventure?

Check out our other pro-tips!