March: Wild edibles

This is a list of wild foods that can be foraged in the UK during March.

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Disclaimer: There are wild plants and fungi in the UK that are poisonous. Do not eat any wild edible that has not been positively identified. All edible mushrooms must be cooked. Do not use this site as your only source of information. Check the law before picking any wild plant. Nothing on this site is meant to encourage you to break any laws.

Jack by the hedge
Alliaria petiolata

Photo by O. Pichard

Jack-by-the-hedge is a common annual or biennial. Its name is indicative of its tendency to grow along hedge banks. Its taste and smell bears resemblance to garlic, earning it the alternative name ‘garlic mustard’. Evidence suggests it was used as a spice as far back as 4100 B.C.E. making it one of the oldest known spices to have been used in Europe.

Where to find it:

  • Hedge banks
  • Waysides
  • Woodland


  • Small white flowers
  • Light green leaves
  • Up to 70cm tall

To eat:

Chopped up leaves can be added to salads and sauces. As a sauce it can be used to accompany meat or fish.

Stinging nettle
Urtica dioica

by Uwe H. Friese, Bremerhaven 2003

Stinging nettles have historically been used as food, medicine and used to make fibre. Its high in protein and iron and its taste is similar to spinach. ‘Urtica’ is derived from the Latin word for sting, whilst ‘Dioica’ is derived from Greek, meaning ‘of two homes’.

Where to find it:

  • Hedge banks
  • Field edges
  • Woodland
  • Wasteland


  • Heart shaped leaves
  • Covered in stinging hairs

To eat:

During and after its flowering stage, nettles can form crystalline particles called cystoliths. These cystoliths can taste bitter, and can also irritate the urinary tract. For this reason it’s best to harvest nettles when young, particularly during late February to early June. Nettles can be wilted over a fire and consumed like marshmallows. They can be added to soups or its leaves can be dried and strained to make tea.

Velvet Shank
Flammulina velutipes

Photo by Archenzo

Unlike many other mushrooms, Velvet shank is one of the few mushrooms that survive through the winter, making it hard to miss-identify. ‘Flammulina velutipes’ translates roughly to ‘little flame with velvet legs’. Velvet shank is said to have anti-cancer properties.

Where to find it:

  • Standing dead trees, particularly Beech, Ash, Oak and Elm
  • Rotting wood


  • Bright orange caps
  • Up to 10cm across
  • Velvety stem

To eat:

Remove the skin from the cap as it is difficult to digest. Stems are generally considered too tough to eat. Always cook the mushroom. Can be used in soups and stews.