Search Your Garden, Allotment and Waste Places & Discover My February Foraging Plants. Forage For Food When The Plot Is Bare!

Winter may still be holding on, but the days are getting longer, there’s already a whisper of spring in the air, and with it, a delicious opportunity for foragers. February may seem like a barren month, but nature has hidden some tasty treasures waiting to be discovered. This month’s list is surprising long. Enjoy my February Foraging Plants.

Before I harvesting any of these plants please read the BEWARE note at the end of the article. And respect nature and the countryside.

I’m going to start with a list of the ones many people will recognise.

Common February Foraging Plants

February Foraging Plants - Alexanders

Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum): I say this one is common, and it is near the sea as it loves slat laden breezes. Elsewhere you might now know it. It’s a biennial beauty, also known as horse parsley, that packs a punch of pungent flavour similar to angelica and parsley. Its succulent stems are the star of the show, perfect for steaming, boiling, or tossing in butter. Leaves and flowers add a delightful touch to salads. Look for it along coastlines and hedgerows from February, with peak season in late March and April. Remember, lookalikes exist, some are toxic, so be cautious and consult a guide before eating it.

I’ve written several articles on Alexanders and it was a common veg plant in many gardens until the late 1700s. .

Chickweed (Stellaria media): Don’t underestimate this common “weed”! Chickweed boasts a surprising amount of vitamins and minerals and offers cleansing and healing properties. Its delicate leaves add a delightful peppery kick to salads, dressings, and pestos. You can even blend them into homemade pesto or use them to brighten up fish or chicken dishes. Find it year-round in waste ground and gardens, but February marks the start of its prime season.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): This ubiquitous plant, literally meaning “lion’s tooth,” lives up to its name with its jagged leaves. But don’t let its spiky exterior fool you, every part of this bitter beauty is edible! Young leaves add a peppery touch to salads and sandwiches, while flowers elevate risotto and omelets. Unopened buds become delicious capers, and the roots even transform into dandelion coffee. Be adventurous and explore the culinary possibilities of this common treasure.

Dandelions are great February Foraging Plants

Dandelions are another plant I’ve written articles on. Follow the link for details on dandelions.

Nettles (Urtica dioica): Don’t let their sting deter you! Nettles are an ancient food, rich in iron, vitamins, and minerals. New growth emerges as early as February, offering tender tips perfect for picking (with gloves, of course). Their earthy flavour shines in soups, stews, and even nettles and potato soup.

Sweet Violet (Viola odorata): These fragrant flowers have adorned perfumes and creams for centuries, and now they can grace your kitchen too! The sweet aroma adds a charming touch to crystallized flowers, milk puddings, and even homemade sweets. Early spring bursts with these delights, so keep an eye out in open habitats, hedges, and woods. Remember, responsible harvesting is key to ensuring their continued survival.

Personally I dislike the smell and taste of violets. But many love it.

Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum): Also known as ramsons, this native bulb brings a burst of garlicky goodness to the table. Its leaves and flowers boast a milder flavor than cultivated garlic, making them perfect for pestos, sauces, and even sandwiches. Find it carpeting damp woodlands and hedgerows from February, with peak season lasting until early May. Embrace the pungent aroma and transform your dishes with this delightful wild ingredient.

More February Foraging Plant

There are loads more here, please excuse the fact I’d added less detail .. maybe I’ll add more another day.

Ash (Fraxinus excelsior): While the leaves and bark aren’t palatable, the winged seeds, known as keys, offer a surprising treat. Roast them like nuts for a slightly bitter and crunchy snack.

Bittercress (Cardamine spp.): Peppery leaves brighten up salads and sandwiches. Enjoy them raw or cook them briefly to soften their bite. Look for their white or pink flowers in damp areas.

Burdock (Arctium spp.): The young, tender roots can be peeled, chopped, and roasted for a sweet, potato-like flavor. Avoid larger, woody roots.

Cat’s Ear (Hypochaeris radicata): The rosette of dandelion-like leaves adds a mild, dandelion-esque flavour to salads. Young flower buds can also be pickled or boiled.

Cleavers (Galium aparine): Yes, those sticky hitchhikers! Young shoots and leaves offer a sweet, cucumber-like taste. Enjoy them raw or cooked.

Crosswort aka Smooth bedstraw (Cruciata laevipes): These tiny rosettes have a peppery kick. Add them raw to salads or use them as a garnish.

Daisy (Bellis perennis): Not just pretty to look at! Tender young leaves have a slightly bitter flavor and can be added to salads or cooked like spinach. The petals add a decorative touch.

Dittander (Lepidium latifolium): Peppery leaves pack a punch and work well in salads, dips, and sauces.

Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria): While considered a weed by some, young leaves and stems have a mild celery-like flavor and can be enjoyed raw or cooked.

Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea): These creeping leaves have a minty or lemon flavor and can be used in salads, soups, and teas.

Hazel (Corylus avellana): The male flowers, appearing early in the year, can be fried or added to soups and stews for a nutty flavor.

Honesty (Lunaria annua): Although the seeds are poisonous, the young, fleshy roots can be peeled and boiled for a turnip-like flavour.

Hottentot Fig, one of my February Foraging Plants

Hottentot Fig (Carpobrotus edulis): Succulent leaves have a salty, lemony taste and can be eaten raw or used in salads and stir-fries. Though South African in origin these succulents have established themselves in some southern coastal areas. The flowers are usually pink, but sometimes light yellow.

Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna): These bright yellow-flowered plants offer edible flower buds and young leaves. Cook the leaves briefly to remove their bitter edge.

Mallow (Malva sylvestris): Both leaves and flowers are edible. Leaves have a mild flavor and can be enjoyed raw or cooked, while flowers add a decorative touch to salads and desserts.

Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria): The fragrant roots offer a sweet, almond-like flavor. Peel and roast them for a unique snack or grind them into flour.

Navelwort (Umbilicus rupestris): These fleshy leaves have a slightly salty flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked.

Nipplewort (Lapsana communis): Like dandelion, the young leaves have a mild, dandelion-like flavor and can be used in salads or cooked like spinach.

Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium): Although the leaves are slightly bitter, the bright yellow flowers have a sweet, citrusy flavor and can be used in jams, jellies, and syrups. Often grown as a decorative garden plant.

Orpine (Sedum telephium): Thick, fleshy leaves can be cooked like spinach, but be sure to remove the tough outer skin.

Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare): Young leaves have a peppery flavour and can be added to salads. The flower petals make a pretty garnish.

Primrose (Primula vulgaris): Sweet, floral-flavoured flowers add a delicate touch to salads, desserts, and cocktails. Young leaves can also be cooked like spinach.

Red Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum): Similar to nettles, young leaves have a slightly stinging flavor but can be enjoyed raw or cooked like spinach.

Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber): Peppery leaves add a kick to salads. The bright red flowers make a vibrant garnish. Another one that’s often grown as a garden decorative.

Rough Hawkbit (Leontodon hispidus): Young leaves have a dandelion-like flavor and can be enjoyed raw or cooked.

Saxifrage (Chrysosplenium spp.): These early-blooming plants offer peppery leaves that can be added to salads or cooked like spinach.

Scurvygrass (Cochlearia spp.): Packed with vitamin C, peppery leaves are a great addition to salads.

February Is a great month for foraging so many plants. But be careful what and where you pick. Get landowners permission, don’t harvest rare plants. Respect nature. Lastly, be very careful when foraging and ensure you are certain of the ID before eating.

Beware.  Some wild plants are poisonous so please note that you should be absolutely certain  you have identified a plant correctly before consuming it.  Plants can also prompt allergic and other negative reactions so, before eating any quantity, ensure you are not sensitive or allergic to plants you don’t have experience of eating.  

If in doubt don’t eat them.  None of the following should be taken as advice that plants are safe to eat  Please always get professional advice before consuming or handling unknown or unusual plants. 

Tag: February Foraging Plants

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