Can you eat that? 6 Edible Wild Plants That Grow in Texas

The laws in Texas could change very soon when it comes to a certain edible plant, and I mean marijuana. But right now there are six edible wild plants in Texas that are growing freely, and you can eat and enjoy them without thinking that you’re going to die. Isn’t it fun?

How many plants are growing in your garden right now that you could eat? Of course, you don’t want to put anything on your plate. That’s a good way to get yourself a trip to the hospital or worse. Mark Vorderbruggen, the founder of the Foraging Texas website, offers hands-on classes on foraging (which Cheatham likes to call “rapid weed feeding”), and these are the best way to start. She recommends going with someone who has experience with edible plants (no, not THAT!) or joining a class to learn how to identify safe plants.

With those words of caution in mind, here’s a short list of Texas plants you can add to your menu.

1) chickweed

Scope: Statewide

How to eat it: Mix into a pesto or add to smoothies

The plant usually appears in late winter and early spring and is like spinach. If you add it to a smoothie, it will make it slightly creamy. The Central Texas Gardener site recommends using it in a pesto recipe.

2) Piquin Chile

Range: Central and South Texas

How to eat it: In a sauce or jelly

This is the official (and only) pepper of the native state of Texas. It grows well in both sun and shade. Most of the hot peppers sold in grocery stores are in the same family as the pequin pepper, including the jalapeno. You may have one in your garden right now.

3) blackberry

Range: Central, eastern, and northern Texas

How to eat it: Fresh off the vine, baked in a patty or cooked in a jam

It looks like a blackberry because, under the microscope, it’s the same thing. Wild blackberry bushes grow everywhere in Texas, even along the side of the road. Watch out for the thorns if you pull them out!

4) horehound
Range: Central and West Texas
How to eat it: Prepared in tea or boiled into a sweet

Horehound is a member of the mint family and a great natural remedy for a sore throat or cough. You can brew the leaves to make tea with a flavor described as a cross between root beer and licorice.

5) medlar

Range: Statewide, especially South Texas

How to drink it: Fresh, canned or as a liquor

Loquats are cold tolerant easily and grow throughout Texas in late spring and early summer. They taste similar to an apricot, and the loquat liqueur has an amaretto flavor.

6) Yaupon Holly

Range: eastern and central Texas

How to eat it: Brewed into a tea

Yaupon can be made into a drink like green or black tea. During World War II rationing, the government promoted it as a substitute for coffee and tea. Yaupon holly grows best in sandy soil.

10 Easy Things to Grow in Your Texas Garden

Whether you’re a hobbyist, novice, or pro, these plants are easy to grow in any Texas garden.


The 20 Best Restaurants Central Texans Want To Visit Temple

A while back, I asked the good folks at Temple if they could imagine a good restaurant to fill the lot on North General Bruce Drive where the soon-to-be-razed Long John Silver’s stood.

This was before it was announced that a Dutch Bros. Coffee location would open there (which was one of the places I predicted as a contender in our article).

So now Dutch Bros. is open at that location, but the responses to my survey were interesting because they paint a picture of how diverse Temple’s population is. People recommended some familiar restaurants with locations in the surrounding area, but also some I’d never heard of.

These are the top 20 survey results. Let’s see what the good people of Temple are up to!

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