Mother Nature has provided people with a wide range of nutritious plants rich in vitamins and nutrients for robust health in every season of the year. At the beginning of the last century, many people were familiar with edible plants, flowers, blossoms and wild plants. This knowledge saved many children from starvation, especially during the famine after World War II. Today, many hobby gardeners are not even aware that nature has more to offer than potatoes, lettuce, leek, cauliflower and the other established vegetable and fruit plants.

Edible plants and wild plants

In modern housekeeping, the typical types of vegetables and fruits are undoubtedly an indispensable part of the diet, especially with regard to targeted storage. On the other hand, wild plants have the advantage that they are freshly picked full of vitamins, vital substances and minerals that are much more sparse or not at all in cultivated plants. In the following some of the most famous plants and wild plants are presented, which are an ideal complement to the conventional species and varieties:


  • boil the leaves
  • reich an Vitamin C
  • tastes similar to spinach


  • all parts edible
  • Flowers as a salad decoration

Berberitze, Sauerdorn

  • Fruits are edible
  • rich in vitamins and slightly acidic

Esskastanie, Marone

  • Fruits taste toasted and raw
  • rich in serotonin, the happiness hormone

Franzosenkraut, Galinsoga

  • is considered a weed
  • the top leaves are edible similar to basil

Knotweed, snake knotweed

  • young leaves taste great as a salad or spinach

Heligoland wild cabbage

  • tasty vegetables even in winter

Rocket, wild rocket

  • Leaves, flowers and seeds are edible
  • the young parts of the plant are particularly delicate

Good Heinrich

  • is also called wild spinach
  • young leaves serve as a substitute for spinach
  • older leaves, on the other hand, taste bitter
  • long shoots are prepared like asparagus


  • young leaves make a delicious salad
  • the young shoots are also digestible

Meadow chervil

  • Leaves and roots are edible
  • make a nutritious vegetable

Akebia, chocolate wine

  • very nice climbing plant
  • the blue-violet fruits can be enjoyed like kiwis

Topinambur, Erdbirne

  • Enjoy the tubers raw or cooked
  • are not long-lasting


  • the berries season many dishes
  • are cooked and eaten

Mallow, small cheese poplar

  • Leaves make a healing tea for flu
  • also has a cough suppressant effect

Vegetable goose thistle

  • is commonly considered to be a weed
  • Leaves and flowers make a hearty salad


  • Aromatic plant
  • Boiled leaves make a refreshing tea
  • can also be enjoyed raw

Mispel, Mespilus germanicus

  • the brownish fruits are edible
  • sweet and sour taste
  • very suitable as jam

White devil’s claw

  • the roots make a spicy vegetable


  • counts as a vegetable and not a fruit
  • the stems make sweet and sour compote when cooked
  • the roots have healing properties
  • the leaves are poisonous!


  • popular hedge shrub
  • the berries are edible

Real sage

  • Leaves can be used for seasoning
  • Taste takes a bit of getting used to
  • a popular ingredient in candy


  • popular rock garden plant
  • hearty spice in the kitchen


  • is fought as weeds
  • the leaves are a delicate addition to salad
  • the young, tender leaves taste best

Dandelion, dandelion

  • is vehemently fought as a weed
  • Nevertheless, the young leaves taste very good
  • Leaves and roots cure gastrointestinal diseases

Stevia, sweet herb

  • very sweet herb
  • serves as a sugar substitute


  • attractive climbing plant
  • Edible leaves, flowers and seeds
  • Buds can be cooked like capers

Bilberry, blueberry

  • widespread wild shrub
  • delicious berries from July also as a cake topping
  • rich in healthy vitamins

Rauschbeere, Moosbeere

  • intensely spreading bog bed plant
  • Berries taste similar to blueberries

Lamb’s lettuce

  • hardy
  • provides healthy food in winter
  • rich in vitamins, iron, folic acid and potassium


  • substantial roots
  • as an addition to green tea
  • as a remedy for colds


  • blooms in many meadows
  • Leaves are edible
  • however, there is a high risk of confusion with poisonous plants


  • belongs to the plantain family
  • mostly grows half under water
  • the leaves enrich every salad


  • Edible seeds, leaves and buds
  • chopped leaves serve as a spice
  • Buds and herbaceous parts make a tasty vegetable

Barbara’s herb, winter cress

  • makes a delicious salad
  • can be used as a substitute for spinach


  • frequently encountered tree species
  • the young leaves make aromatic tea
  • Also suitable as a salad addition


  • grows on many roads and paths
  • Leaves and buds can be used in the kitchen
  • suitable as a tea, salad or spice

Common evening primrose – ham root

  • Cooked roots make a nutritious vegetable
  • Leaves, flowers and seeds are also edible


  • a popular ornamental flower
  • all parts of the plant are edible, especially as a salad


  • Do not eat fruits raw
  • Can be used dried and ground as a flour substitute

Parsnips – Germanenwurzel

  • Roots are harvested in winter
  • reminiscent of carrots or celery
  • Can be used in many ways as vegetables, puree, spices, syrup, baby food

Tube flasks

  • the whole plant is edible
  • especially the roots are valued as a vegetable

Foam herb

  • Leaves, shoots, seeds and flowers are digestible
  • cooked as a soup or vegetable very healthy
  • reich an Vitamin C

White dead nettle

  • the young shoots make a delicious vegetable
  • old home remedy for flatulence

Wild garlic

  • classic wild plant, related to chives
  • whole plant is edible
  • is used as a vegetable, spice, soup,


  • Foliage and roots go well with cottage cheese
  • popular in the Black Forest as a bearwort and salt mixture
  • The high-proof Bärwurz schnapps is also known

Borretsch – Cucumber herb

  • Leaves are boiled into soup
  • Flowers and leaves make a refreshing salad

Rapunzel Bellflower

  • Leaves, flowers and buds can be eaten
  • When cooked, the result is an aromatic vegetable
  • also delicious as a salad


  • the young leaves are crunchy and tasty as a salad
  • Also a pleasure as a bread topping on quark

Enriching your menu with edible plants and wild plants is not only healthy, but also has a touch of culinary adventure. However, these offers of nature should only be used if there is absolute certainty that they are not contaminated with pollutants or pesticides, as can be the case on busy roads or on unknown properties. In addition, confusion with similar but poisonous plants must be ruled out, as is the case, for example, with the edible wild garlic and the poisonous lilies of the valley. The black deadly nightshade, which is extremely poisonous, is also quickly mistaken for the blueberry.

Edible flowers and petals

Years ago, gourmet chefs rediscovered the old tradition of enriching and decorating dishes and salads with edible flowers and blossoms. The Chinese and Romans already used flowers to make tasty dishes a feast for the eyes. This custom reached a climax in the time of the English Queen Victoria; But then it was forgotten again, only to find its way back into the private hobby kitchen.

  • Daisies: as a salad addition
  • Hibiscus flowers: in tea or as a salad
  • Rose petals: to decorate salads, in jellies and punch
  • Cornflowers: for decorating dishes
  • Nasturtium flowers: delicious in salads
  • Borage flowers: blue flowers are very decorative in salads
  • Lemon tree blossoms: for snacking in between
  • Lavender flowers: decoration in vanilla pudding or as a jelly
  • Dandelion blossoms: taste bitter, but have a detoxifying effect
  • Coltsfoot: resembles dandelion, but has a much milder flavor
  • Golden nettle blossoms: Children love the sweet taste
  • Forget-me-not: flowers offer a very mild treat
  • Marigolds: Makes a colorful salad with other flowers
  • Horned violets: for decoration and for consumption
  • Gundermann flowers: pamper the palate discreetly and tartly sweet
  • Lily: as an accompaniment to soups, meat dishes and salads
  • Tulip magnolia: candied or baked in batter
  • Orchid flowers: for food decoration
  • Zucchini flowers: in a salad
  • Banana blossom: a rarity from Thailand

For use, the stems are cut off and the flowers washed thoroughly with clean water. With the exception of the zucchini blossoms and the banana blossoms, which can also be breaded and fried, all the other blossoms are freshly distributed on the dishes and salads. The orchid blossoms are also very popular with those with a sweet tooth, because dipped in liquid chocolate, they are a seductive taste experience. If the flowers and blossoms do not come from your own garden, you should ensure that they have not been chemically treated, as is usually the case with the varieties from the flower shop.

As with wild plants, it is essential to find out exactly whether they are edible before eating flowers and blossoms. The following varieties should be avoided because some of them are highly toxic:

  • Christrose
  • Fingerhut
  • Schierling
  • lily of the valley
  • Eisenhut
  • Laburnum
  • Steinklee
  • Deadly nightshade
  • daphne
  • Sharp buttercup
  • Oleander

Well-founded information is essential if plants, flowers, blossoms and wild plants are to be used in the home kitchen. Children especially, who observe that their parents enrich the menu in this way, must understand exactly that although many gifts of nature are healthy and nutritious for us humans; that there can also be dangers lurking there that threaten life and limb.

The traditional plants that are grown in the kitchen garden, such as potatoes, leeks, onions and much more, represent only a fraction of what mother nature has to offer humans in terms of vegetable food. Numerous wild plants that are fought as weeds out of ignorance are in fact rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and also tasty and aromatic. This also applies to flowers and blossoms, which decorate many lovingly prepared dishes with their natural splendor. Fresh from the garden, they are a pleasure. Some varieties, such as the zucchini flowers, can even be fried and breaded. Those with a sweet tooth dip orchid blossoms in chocolate. The list of preparation and use options is multifaceted and long.

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