2014 Early Summer Wild Foods


Heritage Wildcrafter

Oklahoma Wildcrafting



We have picked about 2 quarts of blackberries so far. I picked about 1/2 gallon of sand plums and more should be ready in the next few days.


I have got dewberries, blackberries not ready yet, cattail pollen flour. Made elderberry syrup, got bergamont, dock seeds and more 🙂


I thought I would share what I have been finding. We have gathered blackberries from a close blackberry patch. Tons of dock seeds. I was able to pick plantain and sand plums yesterday as well and will get more tomorrow. Goldenrod is getting close, too. I am excited. I can also see little soap berries on trees when I drive by. I found a good-sized area of trees I can get them from this year. Excited.


was bit by an assassin bug and I looked up what to use and found out that plantain is good for that. So, I went out and picked some and pressed it with my fingers until it was wet and put it on his bite and placed a band-aid on it to keep it there and a few hours later, the pain and swelling were gone. There is a lot of plantain where I picked the sand plums, so I picked some of that, too. I am in the process of making an oil with yarrow now to make a salve. I have some already and use it for things, but I want to make a salve with it. I plan on doing the same with the plantain. I am excited. This year is the first year we have really known more about this type of thing to where we can use it and I also have a big garden to accompany it.

I love learning new things.



Also called “Orange Mildweed” in addition to the two you mentioned. That’s what my grandmother called it. She ate it when it was very young and steamed it. The seed pods can be eaten also… best boiled in a stew. She used it mostly for bronchitis as a medicinal. You know that deep cough that feels like your whole chest is swollen sort of feeling?




I looked it up though, to check on something as it is blooming at summer’s end… Asclepias tuberosa, and found this interesting tidbit…

“The identified active compounds in milkweeds include a potent class of chemicals known as cardiac glycosides.  It is these chemicals that are utilized by the Monarch Butterfly caterpillars for their own protection.  As they eat milkweed they store the cardiac glycosides in their exoskeleton, making themselves toxic to predators such as birds.”



Also, you don’t want to mix it up with Fewflower Milkweed, Asclepias lanceolata (while you probably won’t find it here in Oklahoma too readily and it likes wetter places than Pleurisy Root which grows in really dry conditions). It is very similar, but you don’t want to eat it without more thorough preparation. When you break a stem on Pleurisy root, it is not milky and the stem is hairy. Fewflower milkweed is milky and not hairy. It also has fewer flowers in total (hence the name)




Even Pleurisy root in large quantities is used as a purgative. It won’t make you “sick” but it will make you throw up (especially leaf tea). For medicine, tea is made from the root.

Hope that helps 🙂



 I have been seeing it all over. I asked an organic gardener what it was one time and she said it was butterfly weed. So, now I know what it looks like. I will have to gather some tomorrow when I am there because that is where I see a lot of it, on their property.

There are a lot of things that say it does not bloom until the end of summer, but I have seen them now.



yes. that is the common name here. My Grandmother used the root for painful breathing, chest colds, bronchitis and pneumonia. She only used the second year root, you will need to mark your plant as it is dug in the fall. It is not advised for the beginner to mess with this unless you have extensive knowledge or have been taught how to use it. I do not recommend eating the seed pod and only the young plant sparingly.  I have limited my use this year so I may share with the monarchs.




Here is the thing with some things my grandmother used, I was not allowed to until I knew everything she taught me, mostly on her time table. I see people just jump in with both feet and go full speed and end up in a wreck. I will tell you pleurisy root is not used on children in my world. We had much better ways for children and safer.  I have detected a little bit of a attitude from some who think I should just teach them everything in a month or so, it does not work that way in my world.



Foraging Web Site may be found at,

This list is for educational purposes only.  Any decision to ingest or use anything you read about on this list is done so at your own risk.

To add to caution, Pleurisy root… not for pregnant or nursing moms… forgot to mention that.



  1. […] 2014 Early Summer Wild Foods […]

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    Submitted on 2014/06/30 at 11:55 pm


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