Foraging can be a bit confusing. When I first started I was hunting Morels in August, when they grow in April/May. If you’re new to this a calendar for foraging isn’t exactly available.
The Lost Herbs has decided to remedy that by putting out a monthly foraging guide. This month we’re covering July foragables. In July we think of hot dogs, fireworks, and pool days. But July is also a great season for hiking and foraging. Bring a fun foraged side dish to your next barbeque with this list of foragables in your zone.
The USDA Hardiness zone Map is an attempt to divide the country into zones that give us some idea of whether certain plants can be grown in any given area. The primary piece of data used to delineate the zones is the average annual winter temperature experienced in that area. This could just be a list of forageables but the temperature varies so much across the U.S.A.
The Lost Herbs want this to be a list for everyone of our readers no matter the zone you live in.
Lamb’s Quarters are incredibly nutritious herbs that many think of as a “weed”.
They are high in fiber, and protein and are loaded with both Vitamins A and C. Lamb’s quarters are also high in manganese, calcium, copper, and have a bit of iron, and are high in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium album) grow in hardiness zones 3-10.
Chanterelle mushrooms are a bright yellow-orange with a flat cap. Chanterelle mushrooms are one of the best-tasting wild mushrooms. Chanterelle mushrooms are a good source of riboflavin, copper, and vitamin D. Chanterelle (Cantharellus) grows in zones 4-9.
*Be careful of look-a-likes such as Jack-o-Lanterns which are highly toxic. They are orange all the way through while Chanterelle’s are white inside.
Purslane leaves are succulent and grow in an alternate fashion on the stem which is thick and reddish in color.
It is one of the few vegetables that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important to support healthy arteries and can help prevent strokes, heart attacks, and other forms of heart disease.
In fact, purslane has the highest-recorded levels of omega-3 fatty acids of any land-based plant. Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) grows in hardiness zones 6-10. *Be wary of its look-a-like Spurges; they are poisonous. Spurges exude white latex when broken.
Wild Plums grow on deciduous shrub-like trees. The small round fruits are approximately 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter and are a deep maroon to ruby red when fully ripe. Wild plums contain vitamin A, beta carotene, and potassium. The plums can simply be eaten fresh as a raw snack, but are usually cooked. Wild Plums (Prunus americana) grow in hardiness zones 3-8.
Garlic Mustards are easy to spot. They have unique deep green triangular leaves with distinct venation.
Garlic mustard greens are very nutritious as they have substantial amounts of vitamins A, C, E, and some B vitamins.
They also contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, selenium, copper, iron, and manganese as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) grows in hardiness zones 6-8.
Oyster mushrooms are a common fan-shaped fungus that grows in shelf formation.
They are named oyster mushrooms after their white oyster-shaped caps.
Oyster mushrooms include minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and selenium.
They also have smaller amounts of folate, vitamin B6, and thiamin. Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) grow in hardiness zone 3-8.
Elderberry Flowers grow in white umbels about six inches or so in diameter on the elderberry shrub. The flowers bloom in the very first weeks of July. Elderberry flowers can be used in tea to treat sinusitis, colds, and constipation. Elderberry Flowers (Sambucus) grow in hardiness zones 3-7.
The leaves, stems, bark, and roots of the plant are toxic
While all of these are located in America, we don’t want to leave our overseas readers out of the loop. Countries like Canada and Australia are also abundant with delicious plants.
Canada’s weather aligns more with the United States and many of the plants above can grow in Canada’s ecosystem. Canadians can use the hardiness zones to apply to their regions.
Here’s a short list of foragable plants you can find in the Canadian summer month of July.
Red Huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium) is a good source of Vitamin C and many prefer their flavor over cranberries.
The bush is easy to identify in summer when the bright red berries are noticeable.
Leaves are glossy green on top and lighter in color underneath.
Red Glasswort (Salicornia spp.) has jointed stems ranging in color from bright green to deep red. The leaves are scale-like formations along with the segments of the stem.
The efficacy of Salicornia herbacea against oxidative stress, inflammation, diabetes, asthma, hepatitis, cancer, and gastroenteritis have been reported.
Saskatoon Berry (Amelanchier alnifolia) grows as a shrub to small trees, 6 to 12 feet tall with oval leaves, white flower clusters, and bluish to blackberries. Each 100 g of fresh berries contains 203 mg potassium, 65 mg calcium, 32 mg magnesium, 26 mg phosphorus, and 1.2 mg iron.
Australia lies in Plant Hardiness Zones 7 through 12 with some variations across regions and seasons.
The caveat with foraging in Australia is it is completely illegal without a permit. Without the 104$ permit, you can be fined anywhere from 10,000 to 110,000 dollars depending on where you foraged.
July is also winter for Australia so the foraging will not be at its peak for many plants. If you have your license or it’s on your private land here’s some awesome plants to find!
Wild Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) forms a loose head of large green or blue-green leaves often with wavy edges and/or purple tints. It is rich in vitamin B6 and folate. Wild Cabbage is also high in fiber and contains powerful antioxidants.
Dandelion (Taraxacum) is a flowering weed with a bright yellow flower and distinguished sharp leaves. Dandelion greens are high in vitamins A, C, E, and K and also provide the mineral calcium.
Sowthistle (Sonchus) Sow thistle usually has many bright yellow flowers sprouting out on each stalk. It is rich in essential fatty acids and minerals and nutrients like zinc, manganese, copper, iron, calcium, and fiber.
With this list, you can bring a delicious wild plum pie or dandelion salad to your next barbeque. Comment below your favorite forages for July and subscribe to our email list to keep up with next month’s foraging guide.
You may also like: