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Home Bushcraft Wild Food Foraging for Pignuts - Learn how to forage for wild food

Foraging for Pignuts - Learn how to forage for wild food

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Learn how to find Pignuts!


I thought it about time I made a contribution to foraging (other than pictures of stuff I've found and eaten) so here goes - the humble pignut! Or, to give it its show name - conopodium majus


What does a pignut look like? Well - like this:


Now pictures and drawings are one thing but knowing is another. Note the umbellifer (multiflowered parasol) type flowers. These are really tiny - probably each flower only 1 or 2mm. Also check the leaves. These are the dead give away from most other umbellifers


More than anything, these leaves remind me of fennel - very very fine and feathery. The whole plant is much lower and smaller than other umbellifers - maybe a foot tall and very slender.

Note the single fine stalk disappearing into the ground


Pignuts are not protected but, perhaps even more than berries or leaves (since digging is involved) you should seek the landowners permission to gather them. As in all (non survival) foraging - take sparingly and leave plenty to regrow for next year.

Okay, brush away the leaf litter with your hand. Then you need to dig. A small trowel if you carry one or a stick whittled to a chisel shape are useful here

Start from a distance away and work towards where the stalk enters the ground. The nut is almost always off to one side - but there's no knowing which side!

Scrape carefully towards the stem and follow it - it will kink and curve so go careful


Eventually you will come to the nut - it looks like this


Wash clean or peel with a sharp knife and enjoy. They really are a very pleasant taste!

As with all wild foods - be very sure of your identification before eating!

Comments (5)
5 Tuesday, 12 February 2013 15:06
Queen Ann's Lace wont kill you
4 Sunday, 22 January 2012 18:14
Ben Hunter
does the cow parsely have a nut as well? theres plants tht look like them around here and my i.d skills aren't really the best
3 Friday, 22 January 2010 21:52
cow parsely is much larger and looks more like a fern compared to pignuts
2 Tuesday, 05 January 2010 00:49
NOT to be confused with Cow Parsley eh?
1 Thursday, 22 October 2009 23:14
woah kinda looks like queen ann's lace thats around here in the US, just that its edible and queen ann's lace can kill you :)

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UK Wild Food - Jan

Listed here are Wild Foods that should be available in parts of the UK in January.

Daisy leaf

Gorse flower
Greater Plantain
Ribwort Plantain
Buck's Horn Plantain (coastal)
Scurvy Grass
Sea beet
Sea Radish
Pennywort (particularly good at the moment)
Alexanders (very good at the moment)
Chirvil (be very careful , as Hemlock Water-Dropwort is starting to sprout now and looks very similar, but is deadly poisonous!)
Sea Purslane
Rock Samphire (still usable, but a bit over now, coastal)
Rose Hips
Common Sorrel
Ivy-Leaved Toadflax
Wood sorrel
Three-cornered leek

*These are just some of the wild edibles you will find in the UK this month.

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