9 Wild Winter Plants You Can Eat

It’s always helpful to be able to identify which wild plants are edible and which ones aren’t. Knowing this could be a valuable tool for you and your family! When you think about eating wild plants, you mostly imagine being able to do so in the spring, summer, and possibly the fall. Most of those plants do die back and stop growing during the colder months. But did you know that there are some wild winter plants that you can eat as well? Here are nine of them to look for if you’re on a winter hike, or find yourself trying to survive in the wild during the winter months.

Wild Onion

Wild onions are a great way to supplement your diet from nature’s bounty. They crop up all over yards in the south year round, and they are safe to eat! They can be eaten raw or cooked. They make great fillers for salads and stews.


Who knew you could eat pine needles and pine sap? It’s true! You can use pine sap to soothe a sore throat. The needles can be boiled to make tea. Even the bark can be used for cooking. Since pine trees grow in many parts of the United States – this is definitely a wild winter plant to make use of!


Again, this is one that shows up all over many meadows and yards year round. It is cold-weather hardy, so you will have access to this one all 12 months of the year. It’s one that I never considered a survival food, but you can eat it! The whole plant is able to be eaten, but most people say the blossom is where the real taste lies.


These pretty water bank dwellers aren’t just for looks – they are survival food, too! While you don’t want to eat the cylinder shaped part at the top where the seeds are, you can eat the stems. Cattails are also used to make flour. Who knew?


These little yellow weeds grace our yards in springtime, but they are a survival food all year long. You can eat the leaves in salads, or you can boil them (roots, leaves, or blossoms) to make a tea – which some find can replace their decaf coffee. Dandelions have lots of nutritional properties!


When you hear the word sumac, most people think of poison sumac, but this is another plant altogether. Edible sumac has somewhat of a sour taste, and can be used to make a “wild” version of pink lemonade.

Rose Hips

This bright red plant is easy to spot in the winter months. It is chock full of nutritional goodness – especially Vitamin C. They can be eaten cooked or raw – it’s up to you. Also, you can make a tea from them!


Acorns are not just for squirrels anymore! Most people probably don’t know that they have been used for eating for several centuries. To eat acorns, you have to boil them to get out the tannins (which are not edible), then you grind them up. You can actually make flour from them and make acorn bread. Since you cannot get acorns year round, they are a good food to store for the winter months.


Often used as a dietary supplement, chickweed should definitely be on your list of wild winter plants to look for. Chickweed has white, star like blossoms that are easy to recognize. You can eat chickweed raw or cooked. Some people like to eat it fried or sauteed (with other vegetables and bacon), too.

Always, always be certain before eating any wild plant – make sure it is what you think it is! There are some plants that are fine to eat, but they have a “twin” plant that is very similar in appearance and that twin is poisonous. If you are doubtful about it being the real deal, don’t eat it! Better to be safe than sorry!

These are just some of the winter plants you can eat. It might be a good idea to print out photographs of these plants and keep them in your emergency kit or bug out bag just in case you find yourself needing to forage the forest or fields for edible plants.

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About Ms. Prepper

I’m Laura P, aka, Passion Prepper, aka, Storage Prepper! I’ve been homesteading nearly all my life and prepping for the last 6 years. I strongly believe our great country of America was built on self-sufficient families like mine and yours. Politics bores me, learning new stuff, getting outside and living life thrills me.

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