Not every person in your fantasy world is going to be getting their meals from the local tavern, and the most common way of adding calories and vitamins to a diet is foraging for edible plants. Flowers, leaves, bark, berries, fruits, and roots have edible varieties, some of which have been altered by the ever present field of magic that surrounds us.
As a warning for adventurers out there (I suppose the barbarians can get someone to read it for them?) I have included, and amended, this list of warning signs for plants that SHOULD NOT be eaten.
- Milky or discolored sap
- Spines, fine hairs, or thorns
- Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods
- Bitter or soapy taste
- Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley-like foliage
- “Almond” scent in the woody parts and leaves
- Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black spurs
- Three-leaved growth pattern
- Awakened Woods
- Any plants anywhere near a Dryad’s home
That’s not to say that any plant not showing these signs is perfectly safe to eat, especially in a world where vengeful druids and dryads are around every forest clearing. Use your best judgement. Here are a few magical edible plants you can include in your fantasy world or game.
This entirely edible plant grows along rivers and lakes in thick bunches. Unlike real life cattails, however, Stephen’s Cattail is a bit more literal. When threatened, these plants whip around as if they were the tails of annoyed or angry cats. They aren’t very dangerous, but can give you a serious bruise if you were to fall into a bunch of them.
Nothing is really different from the real world counterpart to Pennycress. It is well known, however, to suck up any and all minerals found near its roots, so those that grow in contaminated soil could become very ill. Do not eat these near wizard towers, graveyards, alchemy shops, or Dwarven forges.
A very tasty plant whose seeds taste of pepper, Fireweed possesses a hidden danger. Its famous seeds, used often in Dwarven and Gnomish cooking, are incredibly flammable and will explode if left too long near a fire.