A Human’s Guide to Surviving an Alien Invasion: #3 Edible Wild Plants

When faced with the threat of alien invasion, whether in the form of little green men or acidic bacteria, it is the duty and responsibility of every man and woman to do their bit to keep the Human race alive. Your species depends on you! This set of guidelines has been collated by the British Government to help you survive should you find yourself stranded, without power, and staring into the face of danger. Any polite and sporting alien should provide ample opportunity for you to read the correct section in line with the Intergalactic Fair Invasion Treaty (2012), before attacking you. Good luck.

Edible Wild Plants

It is a commonplace occurrence for people to poison themselves, or have some other mishap, when trying to find edible plants in the wild. Familiarising yourself with wild plants that can be consumed, is useful in preventing an unwanted case of the runs; and some of the ones that are most easily found and identified are:

Asparagus Officinalis (Asparagus)

This plant is well-known, and also grows wild in most European countries. Wild asparagus has a noticeably thinner stalk, than those that are grown specifically for sale, but otherwise appears the same. It can be eaten either raw or boiled and is a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Potassium.

Typha (Bullrush)

Also known as reedmace in the UK, and cattail in America, these plants are usually found near the banks of freshwater wetlands. Almost the entire bullrush plant is edible. The rootstock, found underground, can be eaten either boiled or raw. The tastiest part of the stem is found close to the roots, and is almost white. This can also be boiled or eaten raw. The leaves taste best when boiled in a similar manner to spinach. The female flower spike looks like a corn-dog, and can be eaten when the flower is first developing (in early summer). The taste is also very similar to corn.

Trifolium (Clover)

Not only is a four leaf clover lucky, but it is also edible. Clovers can be found in almost every open, grassy area. They can be identified by the common trefoil leaves, and can be eaten either raw or boiled.

Rumex crispus (Curled Dock)

Curled dock is distinguished by its long, bright red stalk which can grow as high as three feet. The outer layers of the stalk should be peeled away, after which it can be eaten boiled or raw. The leaves have a naturally bitter taste, which can be removed by boiling them in several changes of water.

Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion)

This weed grows everywhere, and the entire plant is edible. The flowers can be used to spice up a wild salad, and the leaves are very tasty when young. Before consumption, the roots should be boiled. Dandelions are also used to make a delicious tea.

Plantago (Plantain)

This plant is found all over the world, where it is used as a herbal remedy for several ailments. Plantain can also be eaten, and is found mostly in wet areas. They have oval, ribbed short-stemmed leaves that hug the ground. These can grow to be 6” long and 4” wide. Like many other plants, the leaves become bitter as they mature and are best when eaten young. Plantain is a good source of Vitamin A and Calcium.

Oxalis (Wood Sorrel)

Wood sorrel is another plant that is used widely for medical purposes. The plant can be chewed to quench thirst, as well as to heal mouth sores. The roots are starchy and similar in taste to potatoes when boiled, and the leaves have a high Vitamin C content.

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