Don't pull a Michael Scott and eat the first mushroom you find if you're stuck in the wilderness without food. To help you make it out alive, Live Science rounds up the most common edible plants found in the continental US. Luckily, they cover a variety of landscapes, from marshes to deserts:
- Cattails: Found nationwide, it has white shoots that apparently taste like a cucumber. You can also eat the sprouts at the end of the roots, but they're best in fall and winter.
- Clovers: These plants are identifiable by their trefoil leaves and can be eaten from blossom to root, cooked or uncooked.
- Dandelions: You can eat the entire thing cooked or raw. Sometimes people dry and roast their roots to create a coffee-like drink.
- Redwood sorrel: They're found mostly in redwood forests from the San Francisco Bay Area to British Columbia. They're also mildly toxic but usually OK in small doses.
- Prickly pear cactus: Watch out for thorns, but you can eat the cactus pads any time of the year.
- Pickleweed: Found in coastal areas, it has a salty taste and is sometimes used as a vegetable in Europe. OK to ingest raw or cooked.
- Arrowleaf balsamroot: Easy to find in the West and Northwest, it's entirely edible but be careful—it resembles the Arnica montana flower, which is toxic.
(Also steer clear of this "horror plant