ONLINE FORAGING COURSE
Will I be able to forage the plants from the course in my neck of the woods?
We designed the course for a variety of climates covering a wide geographical area, including most mild-temperate regions within North America, Europe, and southern Australia. If you live in the tropics, subtropics, or an extremely cold or arid climate, the course will NOT be useful. (Consider our Herbal Medicine Making Course instead.)
For North America, the Foraging Course is specifically geared for USDA Growing Zones 4-8. Check here to see what zone you live in. (If you live outside the U.S., find out the lowest average annual temperature for your area, and then calculate your USDA Zone based on that temperature.)
If you live in a mild-temperate climate in North America, the majority of the plants we cover throughout the course will likely be found in your area, either in cultivation or as wayside plants around human habitation. That said, it’s important to note that not ALL of the plants covered in the course will be growing in your area (unless you live in the southern Appalachians or Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S., in which case 90% or more of the plants will likely be growing in your region).
We cover 21 medicinal and edible plants in great detail. We believe the course is highly useful even if you only have 15 of those plants growing in your area or a short distance away. That’s because the program gives a solid foundation in foraging by covering botany, plant identification, herbal preparations, and foraging ethics and safety. Many of the plants covered are important medicinal herbs, and useful to learn about even if they don’t grow in your area. Additionally, we give cultivation details so that you can grow the herbs in your garden or yard (if environmentally appropriate) and get to know them that way!
If you’re still not sure if you can forage the plants we feature, consult local herbalists, wildcrafters, agricultural extension agents, and botanists and ask if those plants grow in your area. A local field guide will also be useful to check against the list below. If you’re still not clear, drop us a line, and we’ll give you an honest opinion about whether you will benefit from this course.
If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll have an extra year to earn a certificate, since the modules are arranged by season.
If you live in North America, click the links below to see if our featured plants grow in your area. You don’t need to have every plant on the list growing nearby, but you’ll want to have the majority of these present in your general region. Note that some of the plants covered may not show up on the map for your area, but may still be growing regionally as planted ornamentals or localized weeds. Rose, mimosa, yarrow, daylily, bee balm, raspberry, and blackberry are prime examples. If you live in Europe, search by scientific name (using the list below) here.
Introducing our all-star lineup of wild herbs:
meet the Online Foraging Course Botanical Starlets!–
Short Guide to the Color Keys:
Green, blue, hot pink, or aqua = Present in state or province
Brown, yellow, orange, or red = Not present or rare
Please be aware that these maps list distribution by state or province; plants may not be distributed evenly throughout the state or province and thus may not be growing in your immediate vicinity. To search for any existing U.S. county maps, visit here.
- Bee balm or wild bergamot – Monarda didyma and Monarda fistulosa
- Burdock – Arctium minus and Arctium lappa
- Chickweed – Stellaria media
- Cleavers – Galium aparine
- Creasy greens or winter cress – Barbarea verna and B. vulgaris
- Dandelion – Taraxacum officinale
- Daylily – Hemerocallis fulva
- Elderberry – Sambucus nigra
- Garlic mustard or Jack by the hedge – Alliaria petiolata
- Goldenrod, all species – Solidago spp.
- Honeysuckle, Japanese – Lonicera japonica
- Lamb’s quarters or fat hen – Chenopodium album
- Mimosa – Albizia julibrissin
- Mullein – Verbascum thapsus
- Nettles – Urtica dioica
- Purple dead nettle – Lamium purpureum
- Raspberry and blackberry, all species – Rubus spp.
- Rose, all species – Rosa spp.
- Violet, most species – Viola spp.
- Yarrow – Achillea millefolium
- Yellow dock – Rumex crispus and R. obtusifolius