Identification Guides

We’ve put together quite a few identification guides to help you when foraging for plants, mushrooms & seaweeds.

These guides can be used to help you develop and are best used alongside some hands-on learning which we can help you with on one of our wild food and foraging courses.

The information provided below is made to act as a guide, when foraging for yourself you are ultimately in control of what you do and eat. Remember to only eat what you’re 100% certain of.

If there are any extra guides you’d like to see made or updated then please let us know by getting in touch here.

If you'd like to learn more why not join us on a Foraging Course

We Cover Plants, Trees, Mushrooms and Seaweeds and run throughout the UK

Use the search bar below to search for something very specific you’re looking for and it will display everything we have linked to that. For example I’m looking for information of Douglas Fir – if I type it in below I’ll get identification guides, recipes and any other posts linked to it.

Or you can use the tabs below to see our entire catalogue of just identification guides. They are separated into: Plants & Trees, Mushrooms & Seaweeds. These are arranged in Alphabetical order and there are quick links at the top of the guides to look for something specific a bit more clearly. We truly hope that they’re useful to you 🙂

  • All
  • acorn
  • clover
  • Daisy
  • Dandelion
  • Garlic Mustard
  • Hairy Bitter Cress
  • Hawthorn
  • Herb Robert
  • nettle
  • oak
  • plantain
  • sea kale
  • Sea leek
  • sea radish
  • Sticky Weed
  • Sweet Chestnut
  • wild garlic
  • Willowherb

1 Dandelion Identification (Taraxacum officinale )

Dandelion Botanical Name Taraxacum officinale Known Hazards Dandelion root tea is sometimes taken to increase people’s appetite, what it also does is release sugar into the blood, so as a diabetic it is worth keeping this in mind if you’re planning to drink dandelion root tea. Those with very sensitive…

1. Identify Broad Leaved Plantain

How to Identify Broadleaf plantain  Edible Scientific Name: Plantago major Family: Plantaginaceae Also known as: White man’s footprint  Habitat: Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to Spain, northern and central Asia. Grassland, roadsides etc, a common weed of lawns and cultivated ground, on neutral and basic soils. it…

1. Identify Clovers

Common Name: Clover Latin Name: trefoil spp Season: March – August Could be Confused with: Could be confused with Wood Sorrel or other Clovers, i.e. white confused for red clover when not in flower, the only thing to be mainly wary of that grows in a similar habitat is Birds…

1. Identify Oak Trees

How to Identify the English Oak Tree Edible Scientific Name: Quercus robur Family: Fagaceae. Also known as: English oak, pedunculate oak. Habitat: English oak is a very common tree, especially in Southern England. Description:  A large deciduous tree, growing up to 30-40 metres when fully grown, with distinctive round-loped leaves. Identifying Features:…

1. Identify Sea Kale

How to Identify Sea Kale  Edible Scientific Name: Crambe Maritima  Family: Brassicaceae Also known as: Crambe. Habitat: Some coastal regions of the Black and Baltic Seas and North western Europe, but absent in the Mediteranean.  It grows above the tide line, preferring sandy or shingle beaches Description: Crambe maritima is…

1. Identify Sea Leeks

How to Identify Sea Leek Edible Scientific Name: Allium ampeloprasum Family: Amaryllidaceae Also known as: Wild Leek, Sea Leeks Habitat: It is thought to have been introduced to Britain, and is fairly uncommon so should only be picked if a large patch is found. It likes sandy or stony seaside…

1. Identify Sea Radish

How to Identify Sea Radish Edible Scientific Name: Raphanus Maritima Family: Brassicaceae or Cruciferae Habitat: Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia to the mediteranean and Black sea. It grows on the coast line, preferring sandy and stony shorelines just above the driftwood line.  Description: Raphanus Maritima is a BIENNIAL growing 0.8…

1. Identify Sweet Chestnuts

How to Identify the Sweet Chestnut by Fez   Edible Scientific Name: Castanea sativa Family:  Fagaceae Also known as:  Spanish chestnut or just chestnut Habitat: Sweet chestnut is native to southern Europe, western Asia and North Africa. It is thought to have been introduced to the British Isles by the Romans and…

1. Wild Garlic Identification (Allium Ursinum)

How to Identify Wild Garlic Edible Botanical Name Allium Ursinum Known Hazards Reports of toxicity if eating sacks full, but such outcomes no doubt apply to many foods eaten to excess. Could be confused with The leaves could potentially be confused with both the poisonous leaves of Lilly of the…

10 Things to Forage in your Garden

Foraging doesn’t only take place in the wildest places you can imagine – there’s a wilderness in everyone’s gardens, balconies or even on your lunch break walk.  Go out into your garden and have a look around, even if you’ve got a concrete heaven for a garden, I can guarantee…

  • All
  • Amanita
  • amethyst deceiver
  • bay bolete
  • beefsteak fungus
  • birch polypore
  • boletus
  • chicken of the woods
  • Daisy
  • Dandelion
  • death cap
  • destroying angel
  • Garlic Mustard
  • giant polypore
  • Hairy Bitter Cress
  • Hawthorn
  • Herb Robert
  • Morels
  • mushroom
  • nettle
  • silver birch
  • Sticky Weed
  • Willowherb

10 Things to Forage in your Garden

Foraging doesn’t only take place in the wildest places you can imagine – there’s a wilderness in everyone’s gardens, balconies or even on your lunch break walk.  Go out into your garden and have a look around, even if you’ve got a concrete heaven for a garden, I can guarantee…

Giant Polypore Mushroom

Giant / Blackening Polypore / Summer/ Autumn / Edible   Botanical NameMeripilus giganteus Also Known asBlackening Polypore, Black-staining Polypore Range and DistributionThis fungus is common across Europe, Scandinavia and Russia and is also recorded in Turkey and Iran. A similar species, Meripilus Sumstinei, grows in North America.  HabitatThis fungus grows…

Identify Amethyst Deceiver Mushrooms

Amethyst Deceiver/Summer/Autumn/Edible Scientific NameLaccaria amethystina FamilyHydnangiaceae HabitatThis mushroom, common in temperate areas of Europe, Asia and the Americas’ grows in deciduous as well as coniferous forests. I find them mostly with beech or oak. It appears in late summer through to early winter. DescriptionThis is quite a changeable mushroom and can appear different depending…

Identify Bay Boletes

Bay Bolete/Mushroom/Autumn/Edible Scientific NameImleria badia  FamilyBoletaceae HabitatFairly common in the UK and Europe, also found in the USA. We find this mushroom mostly growing with spruce and pine but it also sometimes grows with beech and oak. DescriptionThe common name refers to the colour of the cap which is a…

Identify Beefsteak Fungus Mushroom

Beef Steak Fungus/ Autumn/ Winter/ Edible Common namesBeef Steak, Ox Tongue Botanical nameFistulina Hepatica Meaning of botanical nameFistulina, refers to the underside of this mushroom and its separate small tubes or pores. Hepatica means it’s liver like.  Known hazardsNone know  Could be confused with..Inonotus hispidus, the Shaggy Bracket ( which…

Identify Birch Polypore

 Birch Polypore /All Year/ Medicinal/ Edible     Scientific NameFomitopsis betulina FamilyFomitopsidaceae Also known asRazor Strop Fungus. HabitatBirch polypore grows primarily on birch trees, and has no look-alikes.  DescriptionA large bracket develops from a small white spherical swelling on the side of dead or living birch trees. Very common in…

Identify Black Morels

Black Morels/Spring/ Edible   Scientific NameMorchella elata FamilyMorchellaceae HabitatEurope, including Britain, temperate regions of Asia, North Africa, North America. They grow in varied habitat –  Fields, hedgerows, open woodland, clearings and waste ground and burnt ground. They often turn up in fresh wood chippings put down as mulch in gardens,…

Identify Chicken of the Woods Mushroom

Chicken Of The Woods/Summer/Autumn/Edible Common NamesChicken of the woods, sulphur polypore, giant canary fan Botanical NameLaetiporus sulphureus Meaning of Botanical NameLatiporus is derived from the Latin words Laet, meaning bright or pleasing and Por meaning pores. Sulphureus relates to the bright sulphur colour. Translating to bright and pleasing pores of…

Identify Death Cap

Death cap / Summer/ Winter/ Deadly Common Name Death Cap None Edible Deadly Toxic!! Botanical Name Amanita Phalloides Meaning of Botanical Name Phalloides referes to the shape of the young mushroom emerging from its egg sack. Family Amanitaceae Known Hazards DEADLY, this mushroom contains amotoxin, which in the first 6-12…

Identify Destroying Angel

Destroying Angel/ Summer/ Autumn/ Deadly poisonous Common NameDestroying Angel Botanical NameAmanita virosa Meaning of Botanical NameVirosa referring to its strongly sweet sickly unpleasant smell FamilyAmanitaceae Known HazardsDEADLY, this mushroom contains amotoxin, which in the first 6-12 hours after eating cause severe gastric upsets, those symptoms pass and the consumer is…