The fruits of these plants may be eaten with no preparation, or they may be dried or cooked in some other familiar way (such as in a pastry). Fruit is often used to prepare jelly.

If fruit is to be eaten raw, consider washing it first, especially if it is found in an area in which pesticides or herbicides are used.

To dry fruit, cut out seeds and stems, slice into pieces, and lay out on a tray. Either place fruit outdoors (not in direct sunlight and shielded from insects) for 7-10 days, or place in the oven for 6-24 hours at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Plants in this guide that have edible fruit

Berberidaceae - The Barberry Family
While Barberries are better cooked and sweetened, they are a viable trailside snack
Japanese Barberry
Caprifoliaceae - The Viburnum Family
Maple Leaf Viburnum

The small berries have little meat, but are quite stasty when fully ripe.

Ericaceae - The Heath Family
Berries extremely sweet (often as sweet as cultivated berries). An excellent trailside snack, fresh or dried.
Sweet Low Barberry
Rosaceae - The Rose Family

Fruits vary in color and flavor, but most are juicy and tart. Darker fruit tend to be sweeter.

Black Cherry

Wild cherries are not always adequately sweet on their own, but they are palatable.

Domestic Apple

Flavor is slightly more tart than cultivated apples.


The outer pulp of the hips* can be eaten raw. This is especially useful to remember, as they often stay on the plant through winter.

Vitaceae - The Grape Family
Wild Grape

Excellent right off of the vine, although perhaps not as sweet as common domestic grapes.

Except where specifically noted, all text, photographs, and drawings copyright Chris Bersbach and Lisa Leombruni 2002. No part of this page may be reproduced without the express permission of the authors.