Colorado has some of the most beautiful wilderness in the country and that wilderness contains some of the tastiest morsels you can find while foraging.
You can incorporate some of these edible plants in your Colorado landscape design. Continue reading to learn about edible plants in Colorado and the feast awaiting in your backyard.
13 Edible Plants In Colorado
Bergamot is an herb often used in teas but it can also be used as a seasoning for meats and other dishes. Bergamot gives these dishes a distinct aroma that adds to their flavor and is particularly enjoyable in Earl Grey teas.
It was also used as a substitute in the period following the Boston Tea Party.
The Cattails plant grows by creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes and they are edible from top to root. You can boil the leaves and the roots and use it as a substitute for spinach and root vegetables.
After removing the spines from the prickly pear, you will have a tasty snack. You can eat the flowers raw in salads or use them as a garnish. The meat of the cactus can also be eaten raw and made into jams and jellies.
It also has numerous health benefits such as weight loss and skin and hair health.
Strawberries are in season during the spring and summer and grow in moist areas, but they are well worth the wait and work it takes to cultivate them. Few plants produce fruit as sweet and delicious as strawberries.
Despite the strange smelling odor in your urine that occurs from processing asparagus, it’s difficult to turn away from this tasty side dish option.
Asparagus can pair well with a ton of different dishes, especially steak. Additionally, expert foragers claim the taste of wild asparagus puts the taste of what you find in grocery stores to shame.
Wild asparagus is perennial, which means you can find it growing in the same spot every year. In Colorado, the best time to go looking for asparagus is in early May, when it grows along the fences of irrigated pasture land.
Learn how to grow asparagus at home with this complete growing guide.
Black and Yellow Morels
If you like mushrooms, the nutty texture of black and yellow morels is just the right snack option for you. These mushrooms are elusive, which makes them coveted by foragers and professional chefs alike.
Forest fires are a constant source of anxiety for Colorado, but these environments provide ideal points of refuge for black and yellow morels.
They are also commonly found at the edge of forested areas where ash, aspen, elm, and oak trees grow. Dead trees and apple orchards can also be prime locations for morels.
If you’ve ever wanted to get revenge on one of the most common types of weeds that plagues your garden yearly, dandelions are both nutritious and delicious.
You can eat every part of the dandelion and it has a spicy taste often compared to arugula and you can use it in soups, salads, or fry them. Some crafty foragers grind up their roots and brew it as a substitute for coffee.
Here is our article on Dandelion Benefits and How To Control in Your Garden.
Wild spinach is spread all across Colorado and you can regularly spot it in populous areas such as Denver. Wild spinach typically grows in alkaline soils, but it closely resembles bindweed, which is not intended for consumption.
You can use wild spinach for pizza toppings, salads, and pastas.
If you live in the semi-arid climate of Colorado, you might not realize that the climate is home to some of the most heavily sought-after fungi for foragers.
Between the elevations of 10,500 ft-11,200 feet isn’t a typical location for mushrooms but that’s where porcini mushrooms flourish. However, the porcini doesn’t grow without a combination of monsoon rains and sustained summer heat so they can be difficult to locate.
You must know the defining characteristics of porcini because its doppelgangers can upset your stomach.
You can locate watercress in Colorado through September and you should look for this spicy green plant near creeks, rivers, and springs. You can also use it as a part of a salad mix due to its arugula-like properties.
It’s a bit stronger than arugula so you won’t need to use as much to season your soup or salad.
Check out our Ultimate Growing Guide on How to Grow Watercress at Home.
Juniper berries, contrary to popular belief, are not just for gin. These berries can do much more than create alcohol. You can find the juniper growing in a variety of settings in Colorado so you should keep your eyes peeled wherever you go.
Woods opening up into a small glade can be the best place to find these berries but you can also find them in deep, dark woods.
Yarrow is either purple, pink, or white and it has blooms that are either round or oval-shaped. Growing to around 20 inches in height, yarrow can be used for ailments such as cramps, fevers, and toothaches.
If applied as a topical solution, yarrow can treat skin itching and rashes, as well as other issues. It can also relieve cramps associated with hormones or shorten the duration of colds or flus.
During these illnesses, yarrow can promote a sense of relaxation. Yarrow’s peppery foliage and bitter leaves and flowers can provide an aromatic flavor to salads and you can use the leaves in any dish as a vegetable while adding it to soups and sauces, simply boiling it or simmering it in butter on the side.
Enjoy these Edible Plants In Colorado
Colorado is home to some of the tastiest plants in the Union and there’s no reason why you can’t start foraging for them and try to implement them into your Colorado landscape.
This is by no means an exhaustive list and you can constantly be on the lookout for your new edible plant garden addition.