We’ve found the following wild and feral edible plants in the East Bay urban ecosystem. “Spp.” after a genus name means we found more than one species. Species in bold font are particularly abundant.

Species with edible parts are highlighted in green.

Not all parts of nominally “edible” plants are edible: Parts of some edible plants are toxic.

Edible parts of some nominally “edible” plants require special preparation to be edible. For instance, coast live oak acorns (Quercus agrifolia), California bay laurel nuts (Umbellularia californica), California buckeye nuts (Aesculus californica), bamboo shoots (Bambusa spp., Chimonobambusa spp., Phyllostachys spp.), and pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) range from inedible to toxic unless they are prepared properly. Edible parts of some “edible” plants are edible only at particular stages of their development.

Do not rely on the “common name” to identify a plant: There are different plants with the same common name, some of which are edible and some of which are toxic. For instance, in some parts of the country, Queen Anne’s Lace refers to an edible wild carrot Daucus carota, and in others it refers to poison hemlock, Conium maculatum. Mistakes can be fatal.

Do not consume any part of any plant listed here unless you are quite sure you know what you are doing, even if you are certain that you identified the species correctly.

  1. Achillea millefolium in Asteraceae, yarrow
  2. Aesculus californica in Sapindaceae, California buckeye, California horse-chestnut
  3. Agoseris grandiflora in Asteraceae, large-flower native dandelion
  4. Agoseris apargioides in Asteraceae, seaside dandelion
  5. Allium spp. in Amaryllidaceae, wild onion
  6. Allium cernuum in Amaryllidaceae, nodding onion
  7. Allium lacunosum in Amaryllidaceae, pitted onion
  8. Arbutus unedo in Ericaeae, strawberry Tree
  9. Artemisia californica in Asteraceae, California sagebrush
  10. Artemisia douglasiana in Asteraceae, California mugwort, Douglas’s sagewort
  11. Artemisia dracunculus in Asteraceae, tarragon
  12. Artemisia vulgaris in Asteraceae, mugwort
  13. Athyrium filix-femina in Dryopteridaceae, western lady fern
  14. Bambusa spp. in Bambusoideae, bamboo
  15. Bellis perennis in Asteracea, English daisy, lawn daisy
  16. Borago officinalis in Boraginaceae, borage
  17. Bougainvillea spp. in Nyctaginaceae, bougainvillea
  18. Brassica rapa in Brassicaceae, field mustard
  19. Brassica nigra in Brassicaceae, field mustard
  20. Brassica oleracea in Brassicaceae, wild cabbage
  21. Cardamine californica in Brassicaceae, California milkmaids, California toothwort, bitter cress
  22. Cardamine hirsuta in Brassicaceae, hairy bittercress
  23. Carduus pycnocephalus in Asteracea, Italian thistle
  24. Castilleja spp. in Orobanchaceae, Indian paintbrush (flowers only; greens inedible)
  25. Cercis occidentalis in Fabaceae, western redbud
  26. Chenopodium album in Chenopodiaceae, lamb’s quarters, fat-hen
  27. Chlorogalum pomeridianum in Asparagaceae, wavy-leafed soap plant, California soaproot, Amole (leaves, root; requires cooking)
  28. Cichorium intybus in Asteraceae, chicory
  29. Cirsium vulgare in Asteracea, spear thistle, common thistle, bull thistle
  30. Citrus x sinensis in Rutaceae, orange
  31. Citrus x limon in Rutaceae, lemon
  32. Citrus x paradisi in Rutaceae, grapefruit
  33. Citrus spp. in Rutaceae, lime
  34. Claytonia perfoliata in Portulacaceae, miner’s lettuce
  35. Clinopodium douglasii in Lamiacaea, yerba buena
  36. Convolvulus arvensis in Colvolvulacea, field bindweed
  37. Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus in Asteraceae,globe artichoke
  38. Cyperus eragrostis in Cyperaceae, Gglden nutsedge, tall nutsedge
  39. Dichelostemma capitatum in Brodiaeoideae, blue dicks
  40. Equisetum arvense in Equisetacea, field horsetail
  41. Eriobotrya japonica in Rosaceae, loquat
  42. Erodium cicutarium in Geraniaceae, redstem filaree, common stork’s-bill, pinweed
  43. Eschscholzia californica in Papaveraceae, California poppy
  44. Foeniculum vulgare in Apiaceae, Fennel
  45. Fragaria spp. in Rosaceae, wild strawberries
  46. Galium aparine in Rubiaceae, cleavers, bedstraw
  47. Geranium molle in Geraniaceae, dove’s-foot geranium, dove’s-foot crane’s bill
  48. Geranium robertianum in Geraniaceae, herb-Robert, storksbill, geranium Robert
  49. Helminthotheca echioides in Asteracea, bristly ox tongue
  50. Heracleum maximum in Apiaceae, cow parsnip
  51. Hirschfeldia incana in Brassicacae, shortpod mustard, hoary mustard, Mediterranean mustard
  52. Hypochaeris radicata in Asteraceae, Cat’s ear
  53. Juglans regia in Juglandaceae, walnut
  54. Lactuca spp. in Asteraceae, lettuce family
  55. Lactuca canadensis in Asteraceae, wild lettuce
  56. Lactuca ludoviciana in Asteraceae, western wild lettuce
  57. Lactuca serriola in Asteraceae, prickly lettuce
  58. Lactuca virosa in Asteraceae, wild lettuce, bitter lettuce, opium lettuce
  59. Lapsana communis in Asteraceae, nipplewort
  60. Lathyrus latifolius in Fabaceae, perennial pea
  61. Lavandula angustifolia in Lamiaceae, lavender
  62. Maianthemum racemosum in Ruscacea, false lily of the valley, false Solomon’s seal
  63. Malus domestica in Rosaceae, apple
  64. Malva neglecta in Malvaceae, mallow
  65. Malva sylvestris in Malvaceae, mallow
  66. Marrubium vulgare in Lamiaceae, horehound
  67. Matricaria discoidea in Asteraceae, chamomile, pineapple weed
  68. Matricaria recutita in Asteraceae, chamomile
  69. Medicago polymorpha in Faboideae, burr clover
  70. Melissa officinalis in Lamiaceae, lemon balm
  71. Melitotus alba in Fabaceae, sweet clover
  72. Mentha x piperita in Lamiaceae, peppermint
  73. Mentha spicata in Lamiaceae, spearmint
  74. Monardella villosa in Lamiaceae, coyote mint
  75. Myosotis latifolia in Boraginaceae, broad-leaved forget-me-not
  76. Nepeta cataria in Lamiaceae, catnip
  77. Opuntia spp. in Cactaceae, Nopale, prickly pear cactus
  78. Origanum vulgare in Lamiaceae, oregana
  79. Osmorhiza berteroi in Apiaceae, sweet Cicely
  80. Oxalis articulata in Oxalidaceae, wood sorrel
  81. Oxalis californica in Oxalidaceae, wood sorrel
  82. Oxalis oregano in Oxalidaceae, redwood sorrel
  83. Oxalis pes-caprae in Oxalidaceae, sourgrass, wood sorrel, Bermuda buttercup
  84. Parietaria judaica in Urticaceae, pellitory of the wall, spreading pellitory
  85. Phyla nodiflora var. nodiflora in Verbenaceae, lemon verbena
  86. Passiflora edulis in Passifloraceae, passion fruit
  87. Plantago lanceolata in Plantaginaceae, plantago or plantain
  88. Plantago major in Plantaginaceae, plantago or plantain
  89. Portulaca oleracea in Portulacaceae, purslane or pigweed
  90. Prunus domestica in Rosaceae, plum
  91. Prunus persica in Rosaceae, peach
  92. Prunus armeniaca in Rosaceae, apricot
  93. Prunus avium in Rosaceae, cherry
  94. Pyrus communis in Rosaceae, European pear
  95. Quercus agrifolia in Fagaceae, coast live oak
  96. Raphanus raphanistrum in Brassicaceae, wild radish or jointed charlock
  97. Raphanus sativum in Brassicaceae, wild radish or jointed charlock
  98. Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum, Brassicaceae, watercress
  99. Rosmarinus officinalis in Lamiaceae, rosemary
  100. Ribes californicum in Saxifragaceae, gooseberry
  101. Rubus armeniacus in Rosaceae, blackberries
  102. Rumex acetosella in Polygonaceae, Sheep sorrel
  103. Rumex crispus in Polygonaceae, curly dock
  104. Rumex obtusifolius in Polygonaceae, broad-leafed dock
  105. Salicornia virginica in Chenapodiaceae, pickelweed, sea beans
  106. Salvia leucophylla in Lamiaceae, purple sage
  107. Salvia mellifera in Lamiaceae, black sage
  108. Sambucus melanocarpa in Adoxaceae, black elderberry
  109. Sambucus callicarpa in Adoxaceae, red elderberry
  110. Satureja montana in Lamiaceae, winter savory
  111. Sidalcea malvaeflora in Malvaceae, common checkerbloom
  112. Silybum marianum in Asteracea, milk thistle
  113. Sinapis arvensis in Brassicaceae, wild mustard
  114. Sisymbrium officinale in Brassicaceae, hedge mustard
  115. Solanum aviculare in Solanaceae, kangaroo apple, New Zealand nightshade
  116. Solanum nigrum in Solanaceae, black nightshade
  117. Sonchus asper in Asteraceae, sow thistle, spiny sow thistle, prickly sow thistle
  118. Sonchus oleraceus in Asteraceae, sow thistle, common sow thistle
  119. Stellaria media in Caryophyllaceae, chickweed
  120. Syzygium paniculatum in Myrtaceae, magenta cherry, magenta lilly pilly
  121. Taraxacum officinale in Asteraceae, dandelion
  122. Teucrium chamaedrys in Lamiaceae, wall germander
  123. Thymus vulgaris in Lamiaceae, thyme
  124. Trifolium repens in Fabaceae, clover, white clover
  125. Trillium chloropetalum in Melanthiaceae, giant trillium
  126. Triteleia laxa in Asparagaceae, Ithuriel’s spear
  127. Tropaeolum majus in Tropaeolaceae, nasturtium
  128. Umbellularia californica in Lauraceae, California Bay Laurel
  129. Urtica dioica in Urticaceae, nettles
  130. Vaccinium ovatum in Ericaceae, huckleberry
  131. Vicia americana in Faboideae, purple vetch
  132. Vicia sativa in Faboideae, common vetch
  133. Vicia villosa in Faboideae, winter vetch, hairy vetch
  134. Wisteria floribunda in Fabacea, Japanese wisteria
  135. Wisteria sinensis in Fabacea, Chinese wisteria