leaves

Forage plant species of the European Mediterranean

Following is a list of wild flora species, or horta, which are traditionally collected and eaten throughout Greece and the European Mediterranean, and beyond. I will continue to update this list and provide links to species pages with more extensive information. 

The Mediterranean basin has a long and multifaceted cultural history and harbors a high biodiversity. Despite the increasing attention and studies on the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, no studies thus far have incorporated data related to the consumption of the many species of wild greens that make up such an important part of traditional diets throughout Greece, S. Spain and S. Italy.  Leoniti et. al argues that the "culinary use of wild gathered weedy greens evolved together with the neolithization process, since this offered the necessary ecological niches for them to thrive, thereby enriching and securing the diets of European agriculturalists."

 

FLORA

 

ALLIACEAE

Allium neapolitanum

 

AMARANTHACEAE

Amaranthus blitum

Salicornia europea

 

APIACEAE

Caucalis (bur chervil, kafkalithra)

Foeniculum vulgare (marathon, wild fennel   

Tordylium apium (Mediterranean hartwort) kafkalida

Scandix pectin veneris (shepherd’s needles, myroni)

 

ASPARAGACEAE

Muscari comosum

Asparagus officinalis

Asparagus acutifolius

Asparagus stipularis

 

ASTERACEAE

Carduus argentatus ssp. acicularis

Chichorium intybus – radiki

Taraxacum officinale - radiki, Dandelion

Helminthotheca echioides

Lactuca scariola - milk thistle, prickly lettuce, petromaroulo

Scolymus

Sonchus oleraceus - sowthistle, zohos

Tragopogon (yellow salsify, tragopogon)

Urospermum picroides (agriozohos)

Silybum marianum

 

BORAGINACEAE

Borage (boratzi)

 

BRASSICACEAE

Capsella bursa-pastoris

Eruca sativa

Sinapsis alba (white mustard, sinapi)

Lepidium sativum (kardamo)

Hirschfeldia incana (mustard greens, vrouves)

 

CACTACEAE

Opunitia ficus-indica

 

CAPPARACEAE

Capparis spinosa

 

COMPOSITAE

Picridium vulgare – pikralida, galatsida

 

DIOSCOREACEAE

Tamus communis (Avronies, Black bryony) 

 

GERANIACEAE

Erodium cicutarium (redstem stork’s bill, kalogeros

 

LAMIACEAE

Salvia officinalis

Tymus vulgaris

Origanum vulgare

 

LILIACEAE

Ornithogalum umbellatum (grass lily, star of Bethlehem)

 

MALVACEAE

Malva sylvestris (blue mallow)

 

MYRTACEAE

Myrtus communis

 

OXALIDACEAE

Oxalis pes-caprae

 

POLYGONACEAE

Rumex obtusifolius (lapatho) 

 

PORTULACACEAE

Portulaca oleracea

 

RESEDACEAE

Reseda alba (rezda, white upright mignonette)

 

ROSACEAE

Rubus fruticosus

 

SOLANACEAE

Solanum nigrum (styfno)

Scolymus (golden thistle, askolymbrus)

 

URTICACEAE

Urtica dioca – tsouknida

 

VITACEAE

Vitis vinifera

 

 

FUNGI

 

Lactarius delisiosus

Lycoperdon perlatum

Cantharellus cibarius

 

Centaurea calcitrapa ssp. angusticeps, Centaurea hyalolepis, Ceratonia siliqua, Cichorium intybus, Crataegus azarolus, Crataegus monogyna, Crithmum maritimum, Cynara cardunculus, Cynara cornigera, Cynara scolymus, Echinops spinosissimus, Eruca sativa, Eryngium creticum, Eryngium glomeratum, Ficus carica, Foeniculum vulgare, Gundelia turnefortii, Laurus nobilis, Limonium sinuatum, Malva parviflora, Mentha pulegium, Mentha spicata, Muscari comosum, Myrtus communis, Nasturtium officinale, Notobasis syriaca, Onopordum bracteatum, Onopordum cyprium, Origanum dubium, Origanum majorana var. tenuifolium, Portulaca oleracea, Pistacia lentiscus, Pyrus syriaca, Rosmarinus officinalis, Scolymus hispanicus, Scolymus maculatus,  Silene vulgaris, Silybum marianum, Sinapis alba, Sinapis arvensis, Sonchus oleraceus, Taraxacum cyprium, Taraxacum hellenicum, Thymus capitatus,  Ziziphus lotus