A Human’s Guide to Surviving an Alien Invasion: #7 Plants that can be Eaten in The Wild

When faced with the threat of alien invasion, whether in the form of little green men or acidic bacteria, it is the duty and responsibility of every man and woman to do their bit to keep the Human race alive. Your species depends on you! This set of guidelines has been collated by the British Government to help you survive should you find yourself stranded, without power, and staring into the face of danger. Any polite and sporting alien should provide ample opportunity for you to read the correct section in line with the Intergalactic Fair Invasion Treaty (2012), before attacking you. Good luck.

Plants that can be Eaten in The Wild 

Like animals, plants display warning signs when they are poisonous, and it is important to recognise them. These signs include: leaves that grow in a pattern of threes, milky or discoloured sap, grains with spikes, hooks or spurs on their head, leaves or bark with a bitter smell and seeds or bulbs that are in pods. Once it is possible to recognise plants that should be avoided at all costs, many of the others can be eaten, including:


A medium to large sized plant, burdock can be recognised by its big leaves and purple flower heads. The plant’s leaves and peeled stalks can be eaten raw or boiled, even though it is recommended to boil the leaves twice before eating them as they may have a bitter taste. The roots should be peeled and boiled before being eaten.

Field Pennycress

Field pennycress is a weed that is found in most parts of the world, and grows from early spring to late winter. Its seeds and leaves can be eaten either boiled or raw. It is important to ensure that the dirt that the weed is growing in isn’t contaminated before consumption, however, because pennycress absorbs both minerals and toxins from the surrounding soil.


This plant can be identified by the unique structure of the veins on its leaves, which are circular, and its purple flowers. It is most prevalent in the Northern Hemisphere and was a large part of the diet of several Native American tribes. The leaves, seeds, stalk and flowers can be eaten and the plant is a good source of Vitamins A and C. The best time to eat the plant’s leaves is when it is young and they are tender. As the plant matures its leaves become tougher and acquire a bitter taste.

Prickly Pear Cactus

This plant is found near the desert, and is both nutritional and tasty. It bears a fruit which looks like a red or purplish pear, and the plant’s spines should be removed before eating it. The stems of the prickly pear cactus can also be boiled and eaten.


Another weed, purslane grows during the summer and contains many vitamins and minerals. It can be eaten either boiled or raw, but the leaves are best when boiled before consumption as this removes their sour taste.

Sheep Sorrel

This plant is native to Europe and Asia and is commonly found in grasslands, fields and woodlands as it flourishes in highly acidic soil. The stem of the plant can grow up to 18 inches and has a reddish colour. The leaves have a tart flavour, similar to lemon, and can be eaten raw. Sheep sorrel should be consumed in small amounts, as it contains oxalates, which can be dangerous in large quantities.

White Mustard

Found in most areas of the world this plant blooms between February and March. All parts of the white mustard can be eaten, and are known for their high mineral content.

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