This week we are going to highlight a few useful plants that are native to the pacific northwest. You have no doubt encountered these in the mountains and forests already. If you forage for mushrooms, pick huckleberries, or just like to hike be on the lookout for these. If you make a habit of identification then you will be able to find these plants with ease should the need ever arise. As with any foraging of wild edibles DO NOT consume without being 100% certain you have identified it correctly.
looks like a giants q-tip and easy to identify. Always find these at high elevation. The root can be boiled and eaten like a potato, but is very stringy. The most useful part is the leaves. They are super strong and can be used for cordage, natives used this often to weave baskets.
Can be found in burnt areas and clear cuts. Young leaves and shoots are high in vitamin C and can be eated raw or cooked, treat it like spinach. In early stages of growth when the leaves are still pointed upward the whole plant can be cooked like asparagus. The unique vein in the leaves can help with identification. Can have a laxative effect if eaten in large quantities.
I always found this in heavily trod areas like rock driveways, but it can be found in the wild. Often referred to as “wild chamomile” it has a very pleasant smell when crushed. The dried flowers can be used to make a tea just like chamomile. The leaves are edible as well, but are slightly bitter.
Found in dark forests with plenty of shade. Look for it in our old growth cedar stands. Treat it just like commercial ginger. Although in the wild variety the leaves have a stronger flavor than the root.
We tried to pick a few that are not widely talked about, but are plentiful here in the pacific northwest. Again do not pick and use any wild plant or fungus without being positive you have identified it properly and understand its uses. Have fun looking for these plants and shoot us some pictures if you find these while out foraging.