The Great Outdoors Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who love outdoor activities, excursions, and outdoorsmanship. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I know I could just carry a bottle, but scavenging is much more fun. What is a good source of vitamin C in the wild? Have spruce needles really got enough?

share|improve this question
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Pine needle tea is a good solution which is available year round in areas where pines grow. Do be careful to identify properly, and take care to not guzzle the stuff down... too much is bad for you. However this is the easiest to find and pine needle tea has a ton of vitamin C.

Dandelion greens are plentiful in many areas and good for vitamin C, though I detest the flavor.

Chicory is a decent source, though I find it to be too easy to misidentify.

share|improve this answer

All types of berries are your answer here! Pretty much any (edible) variety contains a large amount of vitamin C - blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries for instance. (Blackberries and raspberries seem to be especially prevalent at the right time of the year here in the UK.) And they're tasty too.

Of course, it goes without saying if you're not 100% sure what a plant is then don't risk eating it.

share|improve this answer
In the States where I am (Rockies) I rarely see more than the occasional berry in the wild. The best option out here is rose-hips, but that is usually a fall/winter option. Delicious and nutritious (just scrape out the fuzzy insides)! – Greg.Ley Apr 28 '12 at 16:40
In most areas berries have a pretty short season, limiting their use. – Russell Steen Apr 30 '12 at 20:23

Scurvy Grass Sorrell has leaves rich in Vitamin C, and got its name from sailors travelling round Cape Horn who would eat the leaves to avoid scurvy.

It tastes pretty good, despite what the Wikipedia page says, but I'm not sure how widespread it is outside South America.

share|improve this answer
Same genus different species: the common wood sorrel ( has a nice, refreshing sour-ish taste, easy to pick and to recognize, and it is also rich in Vitamin C – Akabelle Jun 19 '15 at 8:08

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.