4 Edible Plants Growing Wild In Delray Beach

South Florida is the only subtropical environment in the entire United States. While our summers are hot, buggy, and a little tough to deal with, our natural environs provide a resplendent opportunity for life to teem. While we don't recommend aimlessly foraging throughout your neighborhood, we do want to share with you, a new Delray Beach homeowner about what plants may be found right in your backyard that isn't so bad to try!

Please Note: Be smart when eating wild plants. Wash thoroughly, and ensure complete identification. We are not responsible for any mistakes made when foraging and consuming wild plant life in Delray Beach.

Enjoy at your own risk!

florida betony

Florida betony

Florida Betony is a native weed that spread to others states in the 1940s. It is also known as rattlesnake weed, thanks to the rattle-like tuber that its root resembles. The plant grows 1-2 feet tall, with a hairy stem and white to pink flowers. This is a very widespread weed that is the bane to many homeowners, but if found, enjoy the root as an edible portion! When de-weeding your garden, you'll be pleased to learn there's value to your stomach, not just your garden. The root is crunchy and firm, most often compared to waterchestnuts. Be wary when consuming that these are thoroughly washed, as they grow in areas and are privy to be sprayed by herbicides.

Edible Portion: The segmented underground root.

beautyberry

Beautyberry

Beautyberry is aptly named. One of the most recognizable plants found almost everywhere, their bright, almost fluorescent purple berries are mistaken for being poisonous. While beautyberries aren't the most delicious fruit when eaten raw, with an astringency to their flavor. However, when canned and preserved as a jam, they join the seagrape as one of the least palatable, but most preservable fruit in wild South Florida. They have a mild flavor, compared to a cross between muscadine grapes and apple jam.

Edible Portion: The bright purple berries

wild growing pecan

Pecans

While the pecan is most associated with North Florida and Georgia, pecans do grow between Miami and Pensacola. With over 8,500 acres of managed land in North Florida, finding a wild pecan tree in Delray Beach would be a true gift from above. Pecan trees can grow as much as 25 feet in under 7 years! If cultivated in South Florida, especially with the salt in the air, limestone bedrock, and sweltering heat, ensure the pecan is well-irrigated. Just imagine having backyard pralines. We can only dream. 

Edible Portion: The nut within its shell.

maypop flower

Maypop

Maypop, more commonly known as Passion Flower, is one of the best sources of pollen in the wild. These bright, multilayered flowers feature numerous stunning visuals, and are often a great source for home landscaping. Not to be confused with passion fruit, its not so distant cousin, the fruit of a passionflower is packed with seeds and shaped like an egg. The pulp is sweet, used frequently for juices and jams, with one of the most sweetly and intensely scented signatures found in our natural surroundings.

Edible Portion: The ovoid-like, bright green fruit.

For more Delray Beach nature and wildlife - see below...

Venomous & Predatory Animals In Delray Beach | 4 Aquatic Activities In Delray Beach

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