June is an amazing month to go foraging as it’s light early in the morning and you also have beautiful long evenings, perfect for a walk in the countryside.
There are lots of plants to forage for in June, but as you’ll see the picking season for the plans varies and stretches beyond June into July and August. I’ve also added my favourite foraging recipes for the plants you pick, to give you an idea how you can use them in the kitchen.
I’ve included my favourite plants to pick in detail, but as ever I’d recommend to buy a pocket guide to take with you for your walk, so that you can easily identify your plants.
Elder (Sambucus Nigra)
One of my favourite plants to pick include elderflower as there are so many uses for them. Make sure that you pick your flowers well away from any busy roads, as it’s best to use the flowers unwashed to get the most of their delicate flavour.
What to pick
- Flowers (late May to mid June)
- Pick when flowers are completely open (morning/mid morning)
- Best used fresh, but can be dried, stored and then used later
how to use
Cordial, wine, tea, jelly, fritters, omelettes
Lime Tree (Tilia Cordata)
I’ve always used to pick the lime flowers during school holidays at my grandmother’s farm house as we had a large lime tree just outside the barn. These days I find my lime trees in mixed forests or parks. The flowers have a faint aroma of honey and are great to make tea with.
What to pick
- Flowers (June, July)
Easy to preserve by drying and using in the winter to make tea.
how to use
Add fresh flowers to baking or salads. Tea
Dog Rose (Rosa Canina)
Wild rose might not be the prettiest of the roses, but it’s the fragrance we are after here! It’s best to pick the flowers when they are just about to fall off (i.e. don’t pick the flower buds), this is when they have the strongest fragrance.
Use the petals straightaway or dry for later use. To dry your petals, make sure that you dry them in shaded and well ventilated area. Place them on plain paper sheets (natural if possible) and space them out so that they don’t touch.
Move around every day until fully dried. This could take about 2-3 days in colder environment, but if it’s hot your petals could be dried within 24 hrs. Store in unbleached paper bags placed in sealed containers to keep your wild rose petals fresh for few months.
What to pick
- Petals (June, July)
How to use
Add fresh petals to salads, desserts, decorate cakes. Add fresh petals to flavour jelly, syrup, make traditional sweets like Turkish Delight. Dry petals can be used to make tea or to add to sea salt baths, scrubs or home cosmetics. Also can by crystalised and uses as decorations for cakes or puddings.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum)
Honeysuckle has a strong sweet, honey like scent, which means you only need a few flowers to infuse your food. Only pick flowers that are fully open and don’t pick any berries as these are mildly toxic.
What to pick
- flowers (June to September)
how to use it
Use the fresh flowers to infuse puddings, jellies, cordials. Other uses include tea, sorbets or vinaigrettes.
Sweet violet (Viola odorata) starts flowering typically in the late winter or early spring and carry on flowering until the early summer. Sweet violets prefer shady spots, such as the edges of woodlands, near hedgerows, and in gardens or lawns.
Sweet violets can be crystallized and used as edible decorations, and they make a pretty garnish sprinkled over salads, omelettes, cakes, and desserts. They can also be used to make jellies, simple syrups. Medicinally, violets have been noted for their potential cardiovascular benefits, and both the leaves and flowers are packed with vitamin C.
Wild burdock (Arctium lappa) is a biennial plant that is commonly found in North America, Europe, and Asia. It typically grows in waste places, along roadsides, in vacant lots, and at the edges of fields and woodlands.
Burdock has large, broad leaves and distinctive flower buds that can easily stick to your clothing as you walk by. Foraging for burdock is best done in the first year of the plant’s growth when the leaves are large and the root is tender. It’s the root of the plant that’s most commonly used, and it should be harvested before the plant flowers in its second year.
The root of the burdock plant is edible and can be peeled, sliced, and eaten raw in salads, or cooked in soups, stews, and stir-fries. Burdock root has a crisp texture with an earthy, sweet flavour reminiscent of lotus root or celeriac.
In terms of health benefits, burdock root is rich in antioxidants and has been used traditionally as a natural remedy for improving skin conditions. Burdock root also works as a source of inulin, a prebiotic fiber that aids digestion and improves gut health. It also contains flavonoids, which may contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties. Traditional healers have recommended burdock root to fight the common cold, sore throats, and other ailments.
Red clover (Trifolium pratense) that has distinctive pinkish-purple flowers. It thrives in meadows, fields, and grassy areas, as well as along roadsides and in open woodlands. The flowers can be used to make a sweet-tasting herbal tea, added to salads or other dishes as a garnish.
Red clover contains isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens that may help with menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. It’s also used in traditional medicine to treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum), also known as Robert geranium, is a flowering plant from the Geraniaceae family, native to Europe, including the UK, and parts of Asia and North America. It is easily identified by its small, pink flowers, deeply lobed leaves often tinged with red, and reddish stems, all of which emit a distinctive musky odor when crushed.
Traditionally used in herbal medicine, it is believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. The leaves and flowers can be foraged and used in cooking, adding a unique, spicy flavor to dishes, or applied topically as a natural insect repellent. The plant can be also used to make natural dyes.
The pignut (Conopodium majus) is a tasty and nutritious plant that grows in shady deciduous woodlands, along hedgerows, and meadows throughout Europe and parts of North America.
You can often find it under beech, oak or hazel trees. Look for the delicate white flowers in spring to locate patches. Tubers grow 10 cm below ground, a gardening tools are useful to gently dig them up.
Pignut tubers have a crisp nutty flavor reminiscent of chestnuts or hazelnuts. Eat them raw as they are or toss into stir fries, roast, or grind them to use as a gluten free flour. Young spring shoots and leaves can be also used in salads.
Pignut tubers are high in dietary, vitamin B magnesium and are traditionally used as a digestive aid and to treat cough.
Other plants that are in season in june
Borage, Brooklime, Carrageen, Chickweed, Cleavers, Cow Parsley, Dandelion Flowers & Root, Dog Rose, Elderflower, Fairy – Ring Champignon, Fat Hen, Common Gorse Flowers, Hawthorne Leaves & Blossoms, Laver, Mallow Leaves, Wild Mint, Morel, Nettle, Primrose, Prunella, Rosemary, Sea Beet, Shaggy Ink Cap, Sorrel, St George’s Mushroom, Sweet Cicely, Sweet Violet, Tansy Leaves, Herb Robert, Watercress, Wild Fig, Wild Garlic, Wild Strawberry, Yarrow, Rosebay Willowherb Plant, Broom, Burdock Leaves, Chicken of the Woods, Chamomile, Common Comfrey, Common Poppy, Common Sorrel, Crow Garlic, Dead Nettle, Field Rose, Garlic Mustard, Grey Mullet, Good King Henry, Goosegrass, Ground Elder, Hawthorn Leaves, Hogweed, Hop Shoots, Wild Horseradish, Japanese Rose, Meadowsweet, Milk Thistle, Perennial Wall Rocket, Pignut, Pollack, Red Clover, Red Goosenut, Sheep’s Sorrel, Silverweed, Spearmint, Spear Shaped Orache, St George’s Mushroom, St Johns Wort, Wild Cabbage, Wild Cherries, Wild Chicory, Wild Fennel, Wild Marjoram, Wild Rocket Leaves, Wild Rose Flower, Wild Thyme, Pigeon, Wood Sorrel.
Monthly wild food calendar
This blog post was originally written on 11 June 2020 and last updated on 10 February 2024