Edible plants

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This article is all about edible plants that can be found in Southwest British Columbia.


It is best to buy a field guide that offers better descriptions of the plants and has pretty pictures to look at as well. Lone Pine publishes several good field guides for identifying plants and fauna, buy the coastal plant book for the Vancouver region.
Black Huckleberries
Black Huckleberries are easy to mistake for blueberries unless the two are present side by side. They tend to ripen earlier in the year the blueberries. Black huckleberries have a shiny surface whereas real blueberries are a more matte powdery blue colour.
Wild blueberries are way better than anything you can get in the store. Usually they are a bit smaller, but look generally the same. High bush and low bush varieties exist, and all are edible. They like sunlight, and tend to be more abundant on south facing slopes. Wild blueberries ripen quite late in the year, and are usually best in and around September.
Red Huckleberries
Red Huckleberries are found in lower elevations on the Coast. They are ripe when fully red. They taste similar to Black Huckleberries.
Salal berries
The berries of the salal plant were a major food source for BC Natives. They are not as sweet as many other eddible berries.
Salmon berries
These berries look like an orange raspberry, but colours vary from yellow to dark red. They grow on tall thorny bushes that are similar in appearance to blackberry bushes. Salmon berries are usually among the first berries to ripen in the spring. At lower elevation, they start to come into season in June.
Saskatoon berries
Thimble berries
Thimble berries are similar to raspberries, but they are smaller and have a finer structure. They are very delicate and relatively rare on the Coast but often plentiful in the Interior.
Five leaved bramble berry
Short shrub that has 5 leaves and one small red berry per plant, abundant from low to mid elevations.
Tall monocot, arising from a single stem, leaves long and broad arising from the base of the plant, flower is brown and encircle the stem at the top in a sausage type shape. The inside of the base of the stem is edible early spring and the pollen from the flower can also be used as a flower substitute. Found in wet areas.


There are many varieties of both edible and poisonous mushrooms that grow in BC. Make sure you know what you are eating! A great pocket guide for mushrooms is All the Rain Promises and More... by David Arora Examples of edible mushrooms: Oyster mushrooms Chantrelles Chicken of the Woods

External Links and References

Edible wild plants at Wikipedia