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.
Calflora has a list of toxic plants according to the California Poison Control System.

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

Links to species photos courtesy of Calflora: Information on California plants for education, research and conservation, with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals. [web application]. 2023. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization]. Available: https://www.calflora.org/   (Accessed: 03/14/2023).