A Quick Guide to Some Common Edible Wild Plants in Minnesota
Outdoor explorers in "The Land of 10,0000 Lakes" are in little danger of thirst. Although Minnesota's wild edible plant species are not as numerous as its lakes, the state's high precipitation and rich soil still provide many forms of wilderness rations.
Edible Plants by Season
Ostrich fiddlehead ferns and morels--the state mushroom--provide good outdoor eating in the Minnesota spring. June and July bring currants, raspberries, blueberries and Juneberries. Late summer is the season for wild plums, elderberries and wild cherries, most enjoyable as preserves, sauces or wine.
Look for ostrich fiddleheads in shady spots with moist sandy soils--swamps and wet bottomlands are likely locations. Morels love southeastern Minnesota's fields and forests. Blueberries thrive in sandy, open woods and raspberries in thickets--along with currants--and along roadsides with elderberries, chokecherries and wild plums. Search moist woodland edges and ravines for Juneberry bushes.
Know which parts of Minnesota's edible wild plants are edible. Elderberry bushes, for example, produce edible--when ripe--berries. Their unripe fruit, twigs, roots and leaves, however, are toxic. Ingesting them can cause vomiting, diarrhea and other unpleasant effects, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.