Useful Wild Plants of NJ

I have decided that it’s time that I write up a guide to the useful and edible plants my family and I rely upon year after year so that others may learn from our experience.

Nature is abundant in edibles that are generally neglected. Very few people think about eating berries they find on the side of the road, or cooking up wild nuts to make cookies or acorn bread, and most of the time when asked I find that the general response is either “I had no idea that was possible,” or “I’m afraid I’ll poison myself.”

Where you do need to exercise some caution, I’m compiling information about my own personal experiences with the following categories:

Berries & Fruit

  • Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)
  • Black Raspberries (Rubus occidentalis)
  • Blackberries (Rubus cf. fruticosus)
  • Dewberries (Rubus cf. aboriginum)
  • Rose Hips (Rosa spp.)
  • Virginia Strawberries (Fragaria virginiana)
  • Wineberries (Rubus phoenicolasius)


  • Cattails (Typha spp.)
  • Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
  • Reeds (Fragmites spp.)


  • Cattails (Typha spp.)
  • Giant Foxtail (Setaria faberi)
  • Reeds (Fragmites spp.)


  • Dandelion (Taraxacum spp.)
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva)
  • Reeds (Fragmites spp.)
  • New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)
  • Cattails (Typha spp.)



  • Acorns (Quercus spp.)
  • Walnuts (Juglans spp.)


  • Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva)
  • Reeds (Fragmites spp.)
  • Cattails (Typha spp.)

Always be sure to consult field guides as well. My information can only help *so* much, and I cannot be held responsible for its use or misuse.

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