A few notes regarding desert plants:

  • It is illegal to collect plants on most public lands, state parks, and national parks.
  • If you are in a life or death situation and must consume wild edibles, if you are at all in doubt whether or not the plant is edible, do NOT consume it.
  • Remember, the desert biome is extremely fragile and takes a long time to replenish.  The wild plant you pick could take decades, even a century to grow back.
  • In a survival situation, taking the time and calories to collect the amount of plants you would need for nutrition is sometimes not worth it.  Plants in some places are in low supply.  Do not bank on desert plants as any kind of emergency food strategy.

 A few notes regarding this guide:

  • It is illegal to collect plants on most public lands, state parks, and national parks,  so this is not a habit or hobby I can support or condone, and in most situations, I actively discourage it.
  • This is a general, basic guide for some found edible plants in the Mojave and should not be used as any kind of science or even as your main guide.  A more extensive field guide is recommended.
  • This is general information and if you decide to consume any wild edibles, you do so at your own risk. If you begin feeling at all sick, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Since one can survive for many days without food, it is best to avoid plant life unless one has made a hobby of edible plants and can always identify the safe species.


To be on the safe side, any plants with the following characteristics should be avoided and definitely not consumed:

  • Any plant excreting a white sap or milk.
  • Any plant bearing white berries. Red berries are only okay to eat about half of the time, so please be sure it is not poisonous.
  • Any mushrooms or fungi unless well-educated about them.

The following plants are NOT safe plants:

Nightshade, Locoweed, milkvetch, rattleweed, jimsonweed, coral bean, Turpentine bush, mistletoe.