Edible wild herbs are nothing more than local superfood, available to everyone and very healthy. The list of species is long and the harvest extends over all seasons.

Collection time from February

Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)

  • also garden cuckoo
  • Harvest time: March-May
  • 7-30 cm tall, small green leaf rosettes, fast spreading
  • tiny white flowers
  • edible: leaves, flowers, flower buds, stems
  • roh, bought
  • Edible wild herbs found in gardens and parks

Cowslip (Primula veris)

  • Harvest: February-June
  • Leaves wavy, roughly toothed, rosettes, 8-30 cm high
  • flowers: yellow, bell-shaped, umbel-like
  • usable: leaves, flowers
  • raw and cooked
  • edible wild herbs on poor meadows, in sparse forests, under fruit trees
Note: The cowslip is partly under nature protection and should not be collected indiscriminately from the wild.

Spotted Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis)

  • also lungwort
  • Harvest: February-July
  • up to 30 cm high, heart-shaped leaves with white spots
  • flowers: terminal, racemes, pink-violet
  • usable: leaves, flowers, roots
  • raw and cooked
  • Gardens, wet meadows, stream banks, light forests
Note: Lungwort should not be used in large quantities and should not be used continuously.

Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)

  • also common evening primrose
  • Harvest: February-October
  • up to 30 cm high, leaves lanceolate, leaf rosette
  • yellow funnel flowers, strongly scented
  • usable: all plant parts
  • roh, bought, dünstet
  • Gardens, embankments , scree slopes

White Deadnettle (Lamium album)

  • Harvest: February-November
  • 35 cm tall, quadrangular stems, leaves serrate, opposite
  • white lipped flowers
  • edible: leaves, flowers, shoot tips, roots, seeds
  • raw, boiled, steamed, as a tea
  • Gardens, meadows, roadsides, heaps of rubble, railway embankments

Collection time spring/summer

A bis E

Acker-Schachtelhalm (Equisetum arvense)

  • Harvest months: May-September
  • To be determined on a lively branched shoot, 10-50 cm
  • edible: leaves, stems, tubers
  • Sprouts raw, leaves, stalks cooked, tea
  • embankments, edges of meadows
  • Risk of confusion with poisonous marsh horsetail (Equisetum palustre)

wild garlic (Allium ursinum)

  • Harvest: March-June
  • leaves before flowering
  • Flower white, one flower per stem
  • usable: leaves, flowers, flower buds, seeds, bulbs
  • raw, boiled, tea preparation
  • humus-rich, moist deciduous forests

Duftveilchen (Viola odorata)

  • also March violets
  • Harvest months: March-August
  • kidney or heart shaped leaves
  • 5-15 cm tall, dark violet, fragrant flowers
  • Collectibles: Leaves, flowers, shoots, roots
  • roh, bought, candiert
  • Forest edges, nutrient-rich loamy soil

However Ehrenpreis (Veronica officinalis)

  • also Forest Speedwell
  • Harvest before flowering, May-June
  • up to 30 cm, leaves ovate, toothed
  • Flowers racemose, bluish or white
  • usable: leaves, flowers, shoots
  • in small quantities raw, as a spice
  • Gardens, meadows, road and forest edges

G to P

Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris)

  • also pointed-lobed or ordinary lady’s mantle
  • Harvest months: April-August
  • bulges and serrations of the leaves
  • 40 cm high, yellow-green flowers, like panicles
  • edible: leaves, flowers
  • sparse forests, damp meadows, ditches

Gelber Steinklee (Melilotus officinalis)

  • also common sweet clover, real sweet clover or honey clover
  • Harvest: May-August
  • 30-100 cm high, serrated feather leaves, clover leaves
  • yellow, racemose flowers
  • edible: leaves, flowers, shoots, roots, seeds
  • raw, cooked, tea
  • Paths, banks, railway embankments, rubbish dumps
  • avoid excessive consumption

Kamille (Matricaria chamomilla)

  • Harvest: March-August
  • about 50 cm, pinnate leaves, typical camomile flowers
  • edible: leaves, flowers, flower buds
  • Tea preparations, flowers also raw
  • Gardens, roadsides, fallow land, cornfields
Note: Can easily be confused with dog chamomile (Anthemis arvensis), which is considered to be slightly poisonous.

Small nettle (Urtica urens)

  • also nettle
  • Harvest months: March-August
  • up to 50 cm high, serrated rounded leaves
  • Seeds: green nut fruits
  • usable: leaves, shoots, roots, seeds
  • raw, cooked, tea preparations
  • Gardens, road and forest edges, embankments, rubbish dumps, nutrient-rich sites

Portulaca (Portulaca oleracea)

  • also vegetable purslane or summer purslane
  • Harvest months: May-September
  • to determine on thick-fleshed leaves and stems
  • 10-30 cm, one or more yellow flowers
  • edible: leaves, flowers, flower buds, shoots, seeds
  • Gardens, paths, weed corridors, raw fields or steamed
  • only in small amounts (high nitrate content)
  • Gardens, paths, weed corridors, fields

S to W

Sand-Thymian (Thymus serpyllum)

  • also Quendel
  • Harvest: May-August/September
  • small oval leaves, hairy stems, carpet-like
  • funnel-shaped violet-pink flowers, fragrant
  • edible: leaves, flowers, shoots
  • raw, cooked, tea preparations
  • Rock gardens, pine forests, roadsides, meadows, fields

Narrow-leaved willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium)

  • Harvest: April-September
  • to determine on sessile, narrow leaves
  • walnut-sized pink flowers, candle-like
  • edible: leaves, flowers, roots
  • raw, tea, root cooked
  • Path and forest edges, hedges, forest clearings

Stachel-Lattich (Lactuca serriola)

  • also compass or fence lettuce
  • Harvest months: April-July
  • Leaves deeply lobed or lanceolate and unlobed
  • cup-shaped inflorescences
  • usable parts: leaves, shoots, roots
  • raw, finely tart herb
  • Roadsides, hedges, scree heaps, railway embankments, weed corridors
Note: The prickly lettuce can be confused with the poisonous lettuce (Lactuca virosa). However, this can often be recognized by its unpleasant smell.

Waldmeister (Galium odoratum)

  • Collection time: May-July
  • angular stems with whorls of leaves, up to 30 cm high
  • small white umbel flowers
  • edible: leaves and flowers
  • raw, dried, tea
  • localities in forests
  • Slightly toxic if consumed in excess

spring to autumn

B to F

Borretsch (Borago officinalis)

  • also cucumber herb
  • Harvest months: May to September
  • Leaves and stems bristly hairy
  • Flowers: blue, few-flowered whorls
  • usable parts: leaves, flowers, shoots, seeds
  • raw or cooked
  • not a regular indulgence
  • Gardens, wasteland

Real herb (Verbena officinalis)

  • Harvest: May-October
  • Leaves coarsely toothed, deeply pinnate
  • slender pink spikes of flowers
  • Collectibles: Leaves, flowers, shoots
  • raw, dried, tea
  • Pastures, roadsides, gardens, rubbish dumps

Real Maiden’s (Filipendula ulmaria)

  • Harvest months: March-September
  • up to 200 cm, leaves clearly veined, toothed, white downy underneath
  • umbellate cream-colored inflorescences
  • Collectibles: Leaves, flowers, flower buds, fruits, roots
  • raw, herb, tea
  • Streams, ditches, damp meadows
  • Slightly toxic at high doses

Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)

  • also Common Soapwort or Soaproot
  • Harvest months: April/May-October
  • 30-70 cm tall, leaves decussate, stem hairy
  • Flowers: Soft pink flower clusters
  • usable: leaves, flowers, roots
  • Tea, flowers also raw
  • Embankments, heaps of rubble and rubble, banks
  • sometimes toxic if overdosed

Yellow-throated Dipper (Galinsoga parviflora)

  • also small-flowered buttonhead
  • Collection time: May-November
  • Leaves ovate, roughly serrated
  • white flowers, yellow center
  • edible: leaves, flowers, shoots, seeds
  • raw or cooked
  • Roadsides, rubbish dumps, gardens, fields

G to L

Viper Bugloss (Echium vulgare)

  • also Blue Adderhead
  • Collection time: April-November
  • 25-100 cm high, leaves lanceolate
  • blue racemose inflorescences
  • edible: leaves, flowers, roots
  • Paths, screes, dry grass, wasteland, rocks

Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

  • Harvest months: March-October
  • leaves finely pinnate
  • white-pink cymes
  • edible: leaves, flowers, shoots
  • raw, syrup, tea preparations
  • dry roadsides and meadows, gravel heaps, embankments

ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria)

  • Harvest: March-September
  • to be determined on a triangular handle
  • 30 cm high, white, radiating umbelliferous flowers
  • usable: leaves, flowers, shoots, seeds
  • raw or dried
  • Path and hedge edges, light deciduous forests, parks, gardens
  • Risk of confusion with other, partly poisonous umbellifers

Guter Heinrich (Chenopodium bonus-henricus)

  • also Grüner Heinrich or Wilder Spinach
  • Harvest: March-October
  • Leaves triangular, conspicuously veined, plant slightly sticky
  • Inflorescence large, candle-shaped
  • usable: leaves, flowers, buds, shoots, seeds
  • raw and cooked
  • roadsides, embankments

Kapuzinerkresse (Tropaeolum majus)

  • Harvest: May-October
  • round, long-stalked leaves
  • climbing, large orange, yellow or red flowers
  • usable: leaves, flowers, buds
  • raw, seeds dried
  • moist and nutrient-rich soils

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

  • Harvest: March-October
  • Leaves lanceolate, roughly toothed, rosette
  • yellow daisy flowers
  • edible: leaves, flowers, flower buds, stems, roots
  • raw, cooked, tea preparations
  • Roadsides, meadows, fields, clearings

M bis W

Mariendistel (Silybum marianum)

  • Harvest: April to October
  • up to 150 cm, leaves encircling the stem, yellow spines on the leaf margin
  • Flowers violet, thorny bracts
  • usable: all plant parts
  • raw, cooked, tea
  • Meadows, gardens, roadsides

Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum)

  • Harvest months: March-October
  • Heart-shaped leaves, quadrangular stems
  • violet to red labial flowers
  • edible: leaves, flowers, shoots, roots
  • raw, tea preparations
  • roadsides, under hedges

Sauerampfer (Rumex acetosa)

  • Collection time: March-October
  • Arrow-shaped leaves, dark to red-green
  • reddish-brown flower spikes
  • edible: leaves, shoots, buds
  • roh, dündtet, bought
  • Meadows, edges of meadows, gardens, embankments

White Goosefoot (Chenopodium album)

  • Collection time: March-October
  • 80-150 cm tall, leaves short-stalked, goosefoot-shaped
  • whitish-green, branched, spike-like flower spikes
  • Collectibles: Leaves, flowers, flower buds, shoots, seeds
  • roh, gedünstet, Tee
  • Roadsides, sparse forests, gardens, fields, rubbish dumps

Wilder Hopfen (Humulus lupulus)

  • Collection time: March-October
  • Heart-shaped leaves, three to five lobed, toothed
  • male panicle flowers, female cone-like false spikes
  • usable: leaves, flowers, shoots, roots
  • Forest edges, alluvial forests, light embankments

Harvest in summer

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)

  • Harvest: June to September
  • 30-150 cm, leaves lobed three to seven times, palmate
  • pink to creamy white whorls of flowers
  • edible: leaves, flowers and shoots
  • Weed corridors, nutrient-rich substrates near settlements

Common toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)

  • also lion’s tail or motherwort
  • Harvest months: July-September
  • to be determined on needle-like leaves
  • 20-60 cm, racemose inflorescences, labial flowers
  • edible: flowers, shoots, seeds
  • dry roadsides, screes, warm embankments
Note: Only external use is recommended for pregnant women.

Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria)

  • Harvest: June to September
  • Leaves imparipinnate, silver-grey underneath
  • up to 130 cm high, yellow flower spikes
  • usable: leaves and flowers
  • raw, as tea
  • Roadside edges, railway embankments, lean meadows

Water daffodil (Eupatorium cannabinum)

  • Harvest: July to September
  • 50-200 cm, three to seven leaflets
  • dense pink-white umbrella panicles
  • usable: leaves, flowers
  • Forest edges, alluvial forests, banks, streams, damp meadows

Mutterkraut (Tanacetum parthenium)

  • also false chamomile or fever herb
  • Harvest: June-September
  • 30-80 cm, leaves imparipinnate, roughly toothed
  • chamomile-like flowers
  • usable: leaves, flowers, shoots
  • raw, as tea
  • Gardens, fields, weed corridors

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

  • also bitter mugwort
  • Harvest months: June to August
  • 60-80 cm tall, pinnate, silver-grey leaves
  • yellow flower heads
  • usable: leaves, shoots
  • raw and dried as tea
  • Roadsides, vineyards, screes, sheep pastures, rocks

summer to autumn

Breitwegerich (Plantago major)

  • also large plantain
  • Harvest: June to October
  • up to 25 cm, leaves broadly oval
  • yellow-brown, spiked flowers
  • edible: leaves, flowers, buds, roots, seeds
  • roh, dünstet, bought
  • Meadows, paths, roadsides

Real Labkraut (Galium verum)

  • also sweetheart
  • Harvest: July-October
  • on needle-like leaves arranged around the stem
  • 25-100cm high
  • paniculate, yellow inflorescences
  • usable: leaves, flowers, shoots, seeds
  • raw, seeds roasted
  • Meadows, roadsides, banks, dunes

Majoran (Origanum vulgare)

  • also known as dost
  • Harvest: June to October
  • about 50 cm, leaves ovate, slightly hairy
  • globular pseudopanicles, pink-red-violet
  • usable: leaves, flowers
  • raw, dried, cooked
  • lean, dry meadows, hedges, embankments, quarries

Mönchspfeffer (Vitex Agnus-castus)

  • Gathering time in October
  • up to 300 cm, leaves in five to seven parts
  • light purple, cone-shaped inflorescences
  • the fruits are usable
  • rivers and coasts

Year-round edible wild herbs

Baldrian (Valeriana officinalis)

  • Harvest from the second year
  • up to 200 cm, pinnate leaves
  • umbellate, pink-white flowers
  • usable: leaves, flowers, flower buds, roots
  • Flowers raw, other parts as tea
  • Roadsides, forest clearings, damp deciduous forests, banks

Real clove (Geum urbanum)

  • Harvest under leaves and snow even in winter
  • 25-70 cm, upper part of the leaves in three parts
  • small yellow flowers
  • edible: leaves, flowers, flower buds, roots
  • raw, dried, cooked
  • edible wild herbs on roadsides, streams, sparse forests

Knoblauchsrauke (Alliaria petiolata)

  • triangular leaves, edgy stem, 30-90 cm
  • Leaves are most tender and tasty in spring
  • white, racemose inflorescences
  • edible: all parts of the plant
  • as an addition in the raw state
  • Roadsides, parks, gardens, hedges, light deciduous forests

frequently asked Questions

Wild herbs are edible, herbaceous, not modified by breeding and occur naturally. They do not lignify and sometimes have a healing effect.

Edible wild herbs should not be collected along roads or at the edge of fields. They could be contaminated with pollutants and pesticides. Dog parks and nature reserves are also taboo. In addition, you should pay attention to sustainability and never pull it out by the roots.

Before consuming, be sure to seek expert advice, such as your local conservation association. If in doubt, just leave the plant alone.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *