Scientific Name(s): too many to list
Abundance: plentiful
What: "stringy" strands.
How: boiled, stewed
Where: water
When: spring, summer
Nutritional Value: carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins.
Dangers: must be boiled, globular algae are toxic.

Strands of long, edible algae found in a stream.

Clumping algae like this should be considered toxic.

Algae can be found in both running and still waters exposed to some sunlight. It will usually be clinging to rocks or other ridged surface such as logs and turtles. Only the stringy type is edible while globular, gooey forms are dangerously toxic.

Unlike many tasty salt-water seaweeds, freshwater algae can be unpleasant to eat and is generally considered to be a survival food eaten when little else is available. It is best finely chopped and then added to other soups, stews, curries or other sauces where it will be simmered for a long time. Cooking it in this manner will help break it down into more digestible matter. Algae can be dried first and then crumbled into the aforementioned sauces.

Warning: Algae must be cooked to kill any aquatic pathogens which can make you very sick.

Buy my book! Idiots Guide Foraging covers 70 of North America's tastiest and easy to find wild edibles shown with the same big pictures as here on the Foraging Texas website.

Privacy Statement

I use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit this website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.