Browsing the archives for the mullein tag.

  • Summer - Fall 2015 Intensive

    Join us for our

    2015 Summer/Fall Intensive!

    Take the whole intensive or pick and choose classes: it's up to you.

    We'll take wild edibles walks, forage, use wild food in our lunch (provided for you!), have discussions, hands-on activities, mushroom foraging, wild food demos and tastings and much more!

    Learn more about the intensive and register here.

  • Time To Choose Your Wild Plant Ally!

    Wild Plant Ally Workbook Cover
  • Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting

    Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting"
  • Our New Ebook is Here!

    Wild Edibles 101"
  • Recent Posts

  • More Great Posts!

    Food Under Foot Logo Get Started on Your
    5-Part Wild Edible Series
    FREE when you
    Enter Your Email.
    Get Free Newsletter, Previews
    of our Upcoming eBook, and
    Tips You Won't Find Elsewhere.
    First Name:
    Primary Email:
    Food Under Foot Logo We hate SPAM.
    We will never send it
    or share/sell your email.

Backyard Edibles: The Food Under My Feet

General Posts



In my small urban backyard which is only twenty feet by sixty feet, I am able to identify and collect over 80 edible plants, especially if I walk down my street and make use of other plants in the neighborhood.

Most of these plants are literally wild and grow there by chance. Others I have transplanted to the yard, and they now return year after year. Some, like Japanese Knotweed, are quite invasive and I am happy they are not in my yard, but I can easily harvest them around the neighborhood. And some food, fruit bushes and trees like peach, fig, blueberry and blackberry, I have planted.

The following is a list of wild plants, separated into categories, of what grows in my tiny yard (and these are only the things I identify and use! There are plenty of other plants which I don’t know or do not know how to use hanging out as well.)

Totally Wild in My Yarddandelionflowers

1. Dandelion
2. Yellow Dock
3. Chickweed
4. Lambs Quarters
5. Amaranth
6. Quickweed
7. Lady’s Thumbprint
8. Garlic Mustard
9. Broad Leaved Plantain
10. Narrow Leaved Plantain
11. Red Clover
12. White Clover
13. Sorrel
14. Wood Sorrel
15. Shephard’s Purse
16. Cress (Peppercress)
17. Purslane
18. Wild Carrot/Queen Anne’s Lace (though we don’t use this as a rule, because of its resemblance to hemlock)

Transplanted to my yard, but considered a wild plant

Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster Mushrooms

1. Nettles
2. Comfrey
3. Blackberries
4. Black Raspberry
5. Oyster Mushrooms
6. Lemon Balm
7. Violets

In my neighborhood, an easy walk from my front door

1. Burdock
2. Black Walnut
3. Acorns
4. Japanese Knotweed
5. Chicory
6. Mulberries
7. Wild Cherries, Tart and Sweet
8. Maple (Maple Syrup, if I were to tap them)
9. Cleavers
10. Thistles
11. Sumac
12. Wild Grapes

Plants I use only as medicine (most of the plants above are medicinal as well as edible, but the following I use only as medicine or herbs)

Feverfew...This one's in a pot, there is more in the yard

Feverfew...This one's in a pot, there is more in the yard

1. Mugwort
2. Mullein
3. St. John’s Wort
4. Motherwort
5. Catnip
6. Feverfew

Food Plants Which I Have Added To My Yard

1. Grapes/Grape Leaves
2. Fig
3. Strawberries
4. Peach Tree
5. Plum Tree
6. Cherry Tree
7. Kale (3 Varieties)
8. Beets
9. Carrots
10. Radishes
11. Tomatoes
12. Arugula
13. Spinach
14. Zucchini
15. Broccoli
16. Collard Greens
17. Chard
18. Fennel
19. Cucumbers
20. Pepper
21. Asian Pear Trees…3 trees/varieties
22. Blueberries

Edible Flowers

Calendula Flowers

Calendula Flowers

1. Calendula
2. Nasturtiums
3. Borage
4. Day Lily
5. Squash Flowers
6. Violets
7. Pansy
8. Sunflowers (Seeds)

Cultivated Herbs (if not mentioned above)

1. Basil
2. Rosemary
3. Thyme
4. Lemon Thyme
5. Peppermint
6. Spearmint
7. Apple Mint
8. Oregano
9. Sage
10. Cilantro
11. Dill
12. Parsley
13. Chives

What do you have in your yard?

Enjoy the harvest!


Birch Center for Health
Food Under Foot


Walking With The SCA

General Posts, Identification

We had a great time going on a wild edibles walk with students of Pittsburgh’s SCA (Student Conservation Association.)
We knew we wouldn’t find any along the south side river trail, so we brought along some beautiful sky-blue chicory, which is in bloom all along the roadsides and all over the city these days.
We sampled herbal tea which had chicory in it, and discussed it’s use as a coffee substitute (drying and roasting the roots.)

(You can read more about chicory in my article in Natural News here.)

We did have some great finds along the south side trail that day, including:

  • Dandelion
    dandelion leaf rosette

    dandelion leaf rosette

  • Burdock
  • Garlic Mustard
  • Purslane - delicious succulent plant, high in omega fatty acids
    Purslane - High in Omega Fatty Acids

    Purslane - High in Omega Fatty Acids

  • Lamb’s Quarters - delicious “wild spinach” (please sign up for our newsletter (top right) for lots more info about lambs quarters!)
  • Japanese Knotweed
  • Mugwort
  • Staghorn Sumac (which we all sampled the sumac lemonade we had made for them, see previous post.)
    Staghorn Sumac - we soaked the red clusters in water for a lemony drink

    Staghorn Sumac - we soaked the red clusters in water for a lemony drink

  • Poisonous Crown Vetch - the variety Penngift was made in Pennsylvania, to plant along the highway to prevent soil erosion…with limited results. The soil continues to erode, and while cows and other ruminant can safely eat the plant, which is high in nitroglyceride, it is poisonous to horses and other non-ruminants. It spreads very easily as well.
  • Wild Carrot - which, though edible, we do not eat because of it’s similar appearance to the very deadly Water Hemlock and Poison Hemlock
    Queen Anne's Lace/Wild Carrot

    Queen Anne's Lace/Wild Carrot

  • Mullein - an herb which benefits the lungs, and often smoked by Native Americans for that purpose
    First Year Mullein basal rosette

    First Year Mullein basal rosette

  • St. John’s Wort - an herb used to treat depression
    St. John's Wort

    St. John's Wort

Here are some pictures of what the kids and adults of the SCA:

walking and talking with folks of the SCA

walking and talking with folks of the SCA

Pittsburgh Student Conservation Association

Pittsburgh Student Conservation Association

Finding Garlic Mustard Under The Trees

Finding Garlic Mustard Under The Trees

Reviewing what we'd identified

Reviewing what we'd identified

If you’d like more information about scheduling a wild edible walk for your group, please visit our wild event page. Or you can call Melissa at (412) 381-0116, or email to

~ Melissa Sokulski, Herbalist
Food Under Foot


Virtual Wild Edible Walk Part 2

General Posts, Herb, Identification, Medicinal

Let’s continue our summer wild edibles walk.

Here’s another of my favorite herbs to find: Mullein. The flowering plant is the second year (mullein is a two year plant, like Burdock.)



We collect and dry the fuzzy soft mullein leaves, the tea from which is excellent for the lungs. Those beautiful yellow flowers can be steeped in olive oil for an excellent ear oil to use in cases of ear aches (safe on animals, as well.) We often mix mullein oil with garlic oil to use as drops in the ear.

Here is the beautiful Milkweed in bloom:



Monarch butterfly chrysalises can be found on milkweed plants. Some people find the catepillar eggs early in the season and collect the leaves of the plant, feeding the catepillars throughout the year (milkweed leaves, of course) and will hatch a monarch butterfly to release in the summer!

The flowers smell like lilacs. Some people steam the flowers to eat.

Finally we have the very delicious black raspberries, whose season is nearly done here in Pittsburgh.

black raspberries

black raspberries

In this picture I am demonstrating that the underside of the raspberry leaves are white, as opposed to blackberries, (which will ripen later), which are green underneathe.

Of course, you’ll also still find dandelions blooming, chicory flowering, burdock and thistles in purple bloom…it’s just gorgeous out there. I’ll post more pictures and let you know what we’re up to!

We’d love to hear what you’ve been doing as well! Any new finds, recipes, tinctures, or oils? Please let us know!!

~ Melissa