The list is a very extensive one if you include non-native & invasive. You will get to know them well during your time in the Alderleaf Wilderness College Certification program.
Some of the species I might mention would be:
- Himalayan blackberry (fruit is edible, stems for fire)
- Canary Reed-grass (seeds can be made into a meal, stems/leaves made into a mat)
- Dandelion (medicine for almost everything, all parts edible in different ways, makes good hot beverage)
- Japanese & Giant knotweeds (edible shoots, make water carrying containers, shelter building materials)
There are many others...
The labels non-native, invasive and pest are really a matter of perspective and context. :)
I love the wealth of knowledge. Can't September get here any sooner?!
A couple invasive or non-native plant species we have here in NE/IA would be:
-Garlic Mustard which smells and tastes like garlic and is in full bloom around June or July, the leaves are edible. Since I'm not always out surviving mother nature it's a nice addition to a salad.
-Smooth Sumac which I learned is a major nuisance in a lot of our prairies. It grows along road sides and on hill sides. I learned that native American children used to break off the cones and then they made a lemonade type drink with them. This was the first plant I ever memorized from an informational hike I went on and I've never forgotten it. I've tried it myself and it's a great little tea. I wouldn't say it's LIKE lemonade, but it certainly has that acidic taste
-Autumn Olive, this was a new one to me but apparently it's widely invasive throughout the country. It was interesting to find out that in just one of it's edible berries it contains more lycopene than a whole tomato.
Anyways, just wanted to share a little bit from here in the Midwest.
Always love learning more about the other parts of the country/world!
Glad you are inspired by all of this knowledge. Looking forward to seeing you in the program.
Funny, cause we have Autumn Olive we intentionally brought to Alderleaf to add to our food forest. It is not a rampant invasive here.
I have heard a lot about Garlic Mustard, and have not have the opportunity to try eating it yet.
Smooth sumac... I have only seen that one at a distance, look forward to getting to know it better. I did, however, get to know Lemonade berry (a member of the same family) that grows wild in California. Made a nice, refreshing "strawberry lemonade-like" drink. Best served chilled on a hot day, in my opinion.
We have Staghorn sumac in urban areas around the Puget Sound, also some smooth sumac growing in the moist zones of the dry canyon country east of the Cascade mountains.