More Native Plants You Can Eat
Elderberries: Native throughout much of the United States and Canada, they are pollinator magnets. The flowers eventually sprout into clusters of small red or dark purple berries that are gobbled up by birds and mammals. Though inedible to us when raw, cooked elderberries make a tangy pie, wine or jelly.
Wild Grapes: Few native fruits rival the wildlife value of wild grapes, which not only provide food but also nesting places for many birds in their tangled vines. Native to every contiguous U.S. state and from Nova Scotia west to Manitoba in Canada, wild grapes typically are smaller but much more flavorful than cultivated varieties. Two prized species are the northern fox grape, source of the famous Concord variety, and the scuppernong, a native of the South that can survive scorching temperatures and produce as much as 30 pounds of fruit yearly. The rampant vines can smother trees, so grow them on an arbor.