Edible weeds around the yard

I wanted to make a list of the weeds that tend to grow in my yard, so I will know whether they're edible or not. I'm not planning to make weeds a regular part of our menu, but I just want to know. And in a time of emergency, who knows? Perhaps I'd be grateful for them if I couldn't buy fresh veggies at the store.

I will add the most helpful link I read to each weed.
  • White clover. Yes—flowers, leaves, roots, but flowers are best. Many people are allegric to clover. And some clover in warm climates has cyanide. So not my first choice to eat. 
  • Grass. Not toxic, but not a good source of food for humans.
  • Thistle. Stems, leaves, roots are edible. Not super excited to eat this one, though. Or pick it. 
  • Dandelion. All parts are edible. Leaves are best when young. We have had mixed luck eating dandelion greens; they are very bitter and I can handle them best mixed with other greens.
  • Common mallow. All parts are edible. I munched on the little fruits all summer when I was a kid. The leaves are neutral-tasting and this would be one of my top choices to eat. 
  • Bindweed. Toxic, although safer if double-boiled. Will steer clear of this one.
  • Purslane. It's really good for you and some people even grow it on purpose. I have eaten it; it is pleasantly tart. 
  • Henbit. Related to mint and nettles; stems, flowers, and leaves are edible. I haven't tried this yet, but it grows everywhere around here in the spring (it is actually considered invasive in some areas). I actually hate pulling this up because the flowers are so pretty (they are even immortalized in my blog header!).
  • Goathead/puncturevine. This weed is the worst! One source says the young leaves are edible, but another source says they are poisonous to livestock and names the specific compounds. I will stay away from goathead for now.


  1. Thanks for all this information.. Amazing whats in our own yards.

  2. Great post! I've always been interested in edible wild plants!