Foraging for wild plants starts in your backyard with foraging for daylilies. These edible plants in the yard are an edible wild food. Today we talk about foraging the young shoots of the common Daylily, which are edible and great in salads. Daylilies are a non-native, and can be an edible invasive plant, especially the common orange daylily, which grows throughout the eastern U.S.
Harvest the young shoots of the daylily for one of the first foraged meals of the spring season. The plants leaves will grow back, just be sure not to whack too many of them if you want them to grow again. If you find the invasive plants in a natural area, like a forest or meadow, its ok to harvest with abandon, in my book. Daylilies belong in your yard, not natural areas. Here is some information on the invasive kinds of daylilies from the National Park Service.
You can eat other parts of the daylily, but for this foraging video, we will focus on the young leaves. We'll talk about harvesting other daylily parts in upcoming videos.
On a tangent, there has been talk of terminology, and that we should not be forarging, but instead wildcrafting. Wildcrafting is fun word, it brings up all sorts of imagery in your head when you say it.
Also there are issues of what and how much of something one should harvest when foraging. On foraging for daylilies, I believe its OK to harvest what you want, as long as its in your yard or you have permission to be where you are, as these are non-native plants in the U.S.
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(runs outside to see if daylily shoots are coming up...) Yes, they are! (just barely) Never tried these before.....they taste like a cross between lettuce, celery, and the texture is like an extremely mild green onion (no pungent or spicy taste). This would be good in any salad, I think. Or on a sandwich. Have you ever fried the blossoms? I want to attempt that this year.
Eric Gunnar Rochow
hi cheri, we are going to make some more foraging videos about daylilies when they flower. sign up for our email newsletter to get our video updates. thx, eric.
Eric, I saw a recipe for Serviceberry pie. Have you ever harvested Serviceberries? I have what I believe are Serviceberry trees in my yard and the birds eat the berries like crazy but I am nervous about trying them but I like anything that turns into pie! How can I found out for sure if these berries are edible?
Eric Gunnar Rochow
hi barb, i'll have to check into service berries, we have winterberries in the yard, which i grow for the birds. thanks for the note, eric.