September is the time before summer shifts to fall. The cool winds start blowing. Depending on your climate you might spot a few leaves beginning to change.
It’s a great time for long walks and foraging. September also has some of my personal favorite forageables.
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 every one of our readers no matter the zone you live in.
Here’s the September foraging calendar:
Rosehips (Rugosa Rose)
Rosehips (Rugosa Rose) are red to orange in color, oblong or round, often with small wisps of “hair” protruding from the bottom of the rose hip.
You can make great jellies, sauces, syrups, soups and seasoning, and even fruit leather with these. Rosehips grow in hardiness zones 3-11.
Hawthorn Berries (Crataegus)
Hawthorn grow as small shrubs or trees with thorns. In spring it blooms small white flowers. In September the berries begin to turn red but aren’t sweet until the end of the month or the beginning of October.
The leaves are lobed and teeth. Hawthorn berries can be used to make jellies and desserts.
Some even use the berries in an extract for the many health benefits the berries have. Hawthorn berries grow in zones 5-9.
Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)
The leaves are small and slender, alternate and oval in shape, tapering to a point at the tip. The fruits, called sloes, are bluish-black ‘drupes’, often with a waxy coating. The fruit is round, 1cm long, and contains one large stone. They are very sour to taste. The fruit is often made into sloe wine or gin. Sloes are also used to make jam and jelly. Sloes grow in hardiness zones 4-8.
Beech nuts (Fagus sylvatica)
Beech nuts (Fagus sylvatica) grow on beech trees. The bark of the beech is smooth and gray.
The signature beechnut fruit is brown, triangular-shaped nuts covered in spines
They can be used in a similar way to pine nuts, sprinkled on salads and risottos.
They can be eaten raw or roasted in the oven then place between two tea towels and rub to remove shells to eat. The beech grows in hardiness zones 4-8.
Blackberries (Rubus Subg. Rubus)
This prickly shrub grows in woods, hedges, and heaths. It is usually found in a tangled straggly clump, with prickly, toothed leaves that turn reddish green in the autumn.
The berries should be a deep purple-black when picked. The fruit is used in many sweet dishes like pies, jams, and sherbet. The leaf, root, and fruit are used to make medicine. Blackberries grow in hardiness zones 5-9.
Acorns (genera Quercus)
The Acorn’s woody cup may be scaly, smooth, or hairy. Acorns are usually ball-shaped or oval, and some kinds have slight ridges on them.
Mature acorns can be brown, red, or black. Acorns can replace most nuts in recipes like brownies or cookies. Ground acorns can be used in place of cornmeal. Acorns grow in hardiness zone 4-9.
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.
Black Trumpet Mushrooms (Craterellus cornucopioides)
Black Trumpet Mushrooms (Craterellus cornucopioides) look like black trumpets. These mushrooms are vase or bull-horn shaped, and generally black, dark gray, or dark brown in hue.
The underside of black trumpets lack true gills. They may be smooth, crinkled, or have linear groves that vaguely resemble gills, but are actually wrinkles in the mushroom’s surface, rather than separable gills.
They can be used in any mushroom dish, and are considered by many, better tasting than their cousins the chanterelle. Black Trumpet Mushrooms grow in hardiness zones 3-6.
Dogwood (Cornus florida)
Dogwood (Cornus florida) is a spring flowering tree that bears pink or white flowers. In the fall, bright red berries appear at the point where the leaves meet the branches. dogwood berries look like bright scarlet-red grape-like fruits growing in tight clusters.
Others can be purple-black or white.
Some species of dogwood berries can be poisonous so make sure to do your research first. Dogwood grows in hardiness zones 3-7.
Australia lies in Plant Hardiness Zones 7 through 12 with some variations across regions and seasons. The caveat with foraging in Australia is that 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. If you have a license or are on your land you can forage freely.
Queensland Silver Wattle (Acacia podalyriifolia)
Queensland Silver Wattle (Acacia podalyriifolia) has silvery-gray simple leaves that are usually somewhat hairy and relatively short and broad. Its yellow flowers are borne in small globular clusters, with several to many of these clusters being arranged into larger elongated compound clusters.
The flowers can be fried and eaten like dandelions. The bud can be dried and used as a seasoning. Queensland Silver Wattle grows in hardiness zones 7-10.
Native River Mint (Mentha australis)
Native River Mint (Mentha australis) is characterized by having smaller leaves that are common mint with a pungent and minty flavor and aroma.
The delicate spearmint flavor lends the River Mint to being a perfect substitute for other types of mints and is an ideal addition to the Australian native herb garden.
Use as an uplifting, refreshing hot or cold tea or add to jellies, desserts, dressings, or sauces. This plant grows across Australia in hardiness zones 5-10.
The best thing about foraging is you can have a delicious meal that you know where it comes from. What do you all plan to do with your September foraging finds?
The Hidden Food Growing Fence (Video)