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Edible Plants native to Austin and Central Texas  RSS feed

 
Anne Miller
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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bee dog food preservation greening the desert hunting toxin-ectomy
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  This is a excellent article about edible plants that are native to Austin and Central Texas.  Most of these plants can be found in the Hill Country also.  These are also pictures and the scientic names.

Edible plants native to Austin, TX
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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A few more which I didn't see mentioned in that article:  Canada Onion is our favorite onion for taste, although it is only available during cool parts of the year and goes completely dormant and disappears from view in the Summer.  The immature pods of Devil's Claw are edible, but need to be picked quite young before they get tough.  They're a little like a slightly bitter okra.  Cedar Elm produces huge quantities of seeds which can be cooked and eaten as a green vegetable.  They're also edible when mature but I haven't tried them that way yet.  Buffalo Gourd produces seeds which are delicious roasted, like pumpkin seeds.  The flesh of the gourd is very bitter though so you have to be careful to clean the seeds well.  Sotol has an edible stem that needs to be cooked for a long time. 

Devil's Claw taking over my garden:
P1060356.jpg
[Thumbnail for P1060356.jpg]
 
Anne Miller
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Posts: 730
Location: USDA Zone 8a
48
bee dog food preservation greening the desert hunting toxin-ectomy
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Do you have thistle?  I think it grows all over Texas.  I just find out that it is edible.  I am trying to learn all about edible plants in case I get hungry enough to try eating them.

http://www.ediblewildfood.com/search-results.aspx?s1=thistle

I'm not sure if the article mentioned stinging nettle, we have it here.

I have a couple of stories about Buffalo Gourds.  I have allows called them sticky melons.

We built a deck where the steps ended about where a sticky melon had been growing.  Right where you step down the ground would always have an indention that we keep filling in with dirt.  Then the indention got a lot bigger and DH wondered what was going on.  I told him that the sticky melon root was decomposing.

I bought a gas range that was supposed to be new as it was only used about a month by a young couple that had broken up.  It looked new.  When we took the top off it was full of sticky melons, not a few but as many as could be crammed into that space.  They had all dried out and the only thing that was left was the rind and seeds.  I can only guess that the young man was mad and filled the stove as a joke due to the smell of the melons.
 
Tyler Ludens
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We mostly have non-native Thistles and we've sometimes eaten the leaf ribs as a cooked vegetable. 

I've tried to get stinging nettle to grow in my garden but so far no luck! 

The big root of Buffalo Gourd is supposed to contain edible starch, but I think the trouble of digging it up would not be worth the starch in it..

I've been cleaning loads of Cattail out of my little garden frog pond where I stupidly planted them.  They took over completely!  We've eaten them occasionally but I don't think they're particularly tasty and are somewhat fussy to prepare.  But they do have the advantage of growing easily if you have any kind of pond or tub of water.
 
Anne Miller
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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bee dog food preservation greening the desert hunting toxin-ectomy
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These are quotes from the link I posted:

Some of our local native plants also have edible flowers. Any red Salvia flower is good to eat and we have four red ones native to the Austin area: Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii), Scarlet Sage (Salvia coccinea), Cedar Sage (Salvia roemeriana), and Big Red Sage (Salvia penstemonoides). Autumn Sage is a common landscaping plant so it should be easy to find, but be sure and choose plants with red, pink, or orange flowers. Autumn Sage comes in many varieties, but only those with flowers in the warm color range will be sweet. Salvia leaves can also be dried and used like culinary sage. A Salvia species native south and west of Austin, Blue Shrub Sage or Mejorana (Salvia ballotiflora), has long been used in this way.

here is another fruit that is delicious but that I hesitate to mention because of its spines: Prickly Pear. There are two main local species: Plains Prickly Pear (Opuntia macrorhiza) and Cactus Apple (Opuntia engelmannii). The late summer fruits can be delicious, tasting kind of like watermelon, but the spines are dangerous. You must not only remove the large, visible spines, but also the almost invisible ones called glochids. This is best done by singeing the surface of the fruit over a flame and then peeling all the skin off. Prickly Pear fruits were prized by indigenous people. The pads are edible and nutritious, too, known as nopales and nopalitos and often sold in Latin American markets, but they must be handled with extreme caution when preparing your own.

A common native plant often used in gardens is Turkscap (Malvaviscus arboreus). One of its Spanish names is Manzanilla, because it has an edible, thumbnail-sized fruit that is red and tastes sort of like apples, appearing in late summer. You’ll see these growing wild all over town.
 
jeff bankes
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This is growing all over our yard right now. (January)
It taste pretty good.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Yes!  We have it also, it seems to love the recent weather.  It had no trouble surviving the hard freeze.

 
Anne Miller
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We don't have any henbit.  About the only thing growing now that I knowis edible is plantain, though I have not tried it.

http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/08/plantin.html
 
jeff bankes
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Anne Miller wrote:We don't have any henbit.  About the only thing growing now that I knowis edible is plantain, though I have not tried it.

http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/08/plantin.html




I like to eat the plantain seed sprout things. They are tasty.
 
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