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. Convolvulus arvensis in Colvolvulacea, field bindweed
  36. Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus in Asteraceae, globe artichoke
  37. Dichelostemma capitatum in Brodiaeoideae, blue dicks
  38. Equisetum arvense in Equisetacea, field horsetail
  39. Eriobotrya japonica in Rosaceae, loquat
  40. Erodium cicutarium in Geraniaceae, redstem filaree, common stork’s-bill, pinweed
  41. Eschscholzia californica in Papaveraceae, California poppy
  42. Foeniculum vulgare in Apiaceae, Fennel
  43. Fragaria spp. in Rosaceae, wild strawberries
  44. Galium aparine in Rubiaceae, cleavers
  45. Helminthotheca echioides in Asteracea, bristly ox tongue
  46. Heracleum maximum in Apiaceae, cow parsnip
  47. Hirschfeldia incana in Brassicacae, shortpod mustard, hoary mustard, Mediterranean mustard
  48. Hypochaeris radicata in Asteraceae, Cat’s ear
  49. Juglans regia in Juglandaceae, walnut
  50. Lactuca in Asteraceae, lettuce family
  51. Lactuca canadensis in Asteraceae, wild lettuce
  52. Lactuca ludoviciana in Asteraceae, western wild lettuce
  53. Lactuca serriola in Asteraceae, prickly lettuce
  54. Lactuca virosa in Asteraceae, wild lettuce, bitter lettuce, opium lettuce
  55. Lapsana communis in Asteraceae, nipplewort
  56. Lathyrus latifolius in Fabaceae, perennial pea
  57. Lavandula angustifolia in Lamiaceae, lavender
  58. Maianthemum racemosum in Ruscacea, false lily of the valley, false Solomon’s seal
  59. Malus domestica in Rosaceae, apple
  60. Malva neglecta in Malvaceae, mallow
  61. Malva sylvestris in Malvaceae, mallow
  62. Marrubium vulgare in Lamiaceae, horehound
  63. Matricaria discoidea in Asteraceae, chamomile, pineapple weed
  64. Matricaria recutita in Asteraceae, chamomile
  65. Medicago polymorpha in Faboideae, burr clover
  66. Melissa officinalis in Lamiaceae, lemon balm
  67. Melitotus alba in Fabaceae, sweet clover
  68. Mentha x piperita in Lamiaceae, peppermint
  69. Mentha spicata in Lamiaceae, spearmint
  70. Monardella villosa in Lamiaceae, coyote mint
  71. Nepeta cataria in Lamiaceae, catnip
  72. Opuntia spp. in Cactaceae, Nopale, prickly pear cactus
  73. Origanum vulgare in Lamiaceae, oregana
  74. Oxalis articulata in Oxalidaceae, wood sorrel
  75. Oxalis californica in Oxalidaceae, wood sorrel
  76. Oxalis oregano in Oxalidaceae, redwood sorrel
  77. Oxalis pes-caprae in Oxalidaceae, sourgrass, wood sorrel, Bermuda buttercup
  78. Phyla nodiflora var. nodiflora in Verbenaceae, lemon verbena
  79. Passiflora edulis in Passifloraceae, passion fruit
  80. Plantago lanceolata in Plantaginaceae, plantago or plantain
  81. Plantago major in Plantaginaceae, plantago or plantain
  82. Portulaca oleracea in Portulacaceae, purslane or pigweed
  83. Prunus domestica in Rosaceae, plum
  84. Prunus persica in Rosaceae, peach
  85. Prunus armeniaca in Rosaceae, apricot
  86. Prunus avium in Rosaceae, cherry
  87. Pyrus communis in Rosaceae, European pear
  88. Quercus agrifolia in Fagaceae, coast live oak
  89. Raphanus raphanistrum in Brassicaceae, wild radish or jointed charlock
  90. Raphanus sativum in Brassicaceae, wild radish or jointed charlock
  91. Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum, Brassicaceae, watercress
  92. Rosmarinus officinalis in Lamiaceae, rosemary
  93. Ribes californicum in Saxifragaceae, gooseberry
  94. Rubus armeniacus in Rosaceae, blackberries
  95. Rumex acetosella in Polygonaceae, Sheep sorrel
  96. Rumex crispus in Polygonaceae, curly dock
  97. Rumex obtusifolius in Polygonaceae, broad-leafed dock
  98. Salicornia virginica in Chenapodiaceae, pickelweed, sea beans
  99. Salvia leucophylla in Lamiaceae, purple sage
  100. Salvia mellifera in Lamiaceae, black sage
  101. Sambucus melanocarpa in Adoxaceae, black elderberry
  102. Sambucus callicarpa in Adoxaceae, red elderberry
  103. Satureja montana in Lamiaceae, winter savory
  104. Sidalcea malvaeflora in Malvaceae, common checkerbloom
  105. Silybum marianum in Asteracea, milk thistle
  106. Sinapis arvensis in Brassicaceae, wild mustard
  107. Solanum nigrum, black nightshade
  108. Sonchus asper in Asteraceae, sow thistle, spiny sow thistle, prickly sow thistle
  109. Sonchus oleraceus in Asteraceae, sow thistle, common sow thistle
  110. Stellaria media in Caryophyllaceae, chickweed
  111. Syzygium paniculatum in Myrtaceae, magenta cherry, magenta lilly pilly
  112. Taraxacum officinale in Asteraceae, dandelion
  113. Teucrium chamaedrys in Lamiaceae, wall germander
  114. Thymus vulgaris in Lamiaceae, thyme
  115. Trifolium repens in Fabaceae, clover, white clover
  116. Trillium chloropetalum in Melanthiaceae, giant trillium
  117. Triteleia laxa in Asparagaceae, Ithuriel’s spear
  118. Tropaeolum majus in Tropaeolaceae, nasturtium
  119. Umbellularia californica in Lauraceae, California Bay Laurel
  120. Urtica dioica in Urticaceae, nettles
  121. Vaccinium ovatum in Ericaceae, huckleberry
  122. Vicia americana in Faboideae, purple vetch
  123. Vicia sativa in Faboideae, common vetch
  124. Vicia villosa in Faboideae, winter vetch, hairy vetch
  125. Wisteria floribunda in Fabacea, Japanese wisteria
  126. Wisteria sinensis in Fabacea, Chinese wisteria