Edible and inedible parts of plants


Let’s take a look at edible and inedible parts of plants that we typically grow in our gardens and allotments to ensure that we are making maximum use of our crops and avoiding plant parts that can poison us.

As we have become more affluent our tastes have changed and many perfectly edible parts of plants have been classified as food waste. In many instances the parts we tend to throw away are actually more nutritious than the parts we eat. Making better use of them and distinguishing between edible and inedible parts of plants can certainly save us money and reduce food waste.

Here is a list of edible parts of plants that are tasty and nutritious but usually end up on the compost heap or in the bin. We wouldn’t want you to neglect your compost heap, but please consider incorporating more of these edible plant parts into your diet:

  • Cauliflower leaves
  • Pumpkin leaves
  • Radish tops and seed pods
  • Carrot tops
  • Pea shoots
  • Courgette flowers
  • Turnip tops
  • Beetroot leaves
  • Broccoli leaves and stems
  • Broad bean tops, pods and flowers

Here are some poisonous parts of otherwise edible plants to be aware of:

  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Potato leaves, stems and flowers
  • Tomato leaves and stems
  • Asparagus berries


Any other unusual edible plant parts we can add to the list? Any other poisonous plant parts we should be wary of? If anyone has any tips, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment.

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