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Table 1 List of the wild food plants used in the study area

From: Wild food plants traditionally consumed in the area of Bologna (Emilia Romagna region, Italy)

Botanical name RFC Botanical family English common name Italian common and/or folk names Parts of the plant used Culinary use Medicinal use (preparation and administration)
Achillea ptarmica L.* 0.03 Asteraceae sneezewort achillea flowers salads  
Allium schoenoprasum L.* 0.03 Liliaceae chives erba cipollina leaves flavouring  
Allium ursinum L.* 0.03 Liliaceae wild garlic aglio selvatico bulbs flavouring  
Asparagus acutifolius L. 0.15 Asparagaceae wild asparagus asparago selvatico/asparagina shoots salads, pan-fried  
Bellis perennis L.* 0.03 Asteraceae common daisy margheritina young leaves salads  
Borago officinalis L. 0.08 Boraginaceae starflower borragine leaves salads, pancakes, pies  
Calamintha nepeta L.* 0.03 Lamiaceae lesser calamint nepetella leaves salads  
Calendula officinalis L.* 0.03 Asteraceae common marigold calendula flowers salads  
Capsella bursa pastoris L.* 0.03 Brassicaceae shepherd’s-purse borsa del pastore young leaves salads  
Castanea sativa Mill. 0.10 Fagaceae chestnut castagno fruits fresh fruits  
Cichorium intybus L. 0.38 Asteraceae wild chicory cicoria selvatica/ radećć, radećć cavdagn young leaves salads, pan-fried  
Clematis vitalba L. 0.51 Ranuncolaceae traveller’s joy vitalba/vizeibra shoots salads, pan-fried, omelettes, mixed vegetables  
Cornus mas L. 0.05 Cornaceae cornelian cherry corniolo fruits rural snack, liqueurs  
Corylus avellana L. 0.05 Corylaceae common hazel nocciolo fruits fresh fruits  
Crataegus azarolus L.* 0.03 Rosaceae azarole azzeruolo/lazaren fruits rural snack  
Crataegus monogyna Jacq. 0.15 Rosaceae common hawthorn biancospino/spen bianc fruits, shoots, leaves rural snack Relaxing, insomnia and heart problems (flowers infusion)
Crepis sancta (L.) Babc. 0.15 Asteraceae hawk’s-beard radicchiella/ciocapiat young leaves salads, pan-fried Diuretic and laxative (food)
Crepis vesicaria subsp. taraxacifolia (Thuill.) Thell. 0.77 Asteraceae beaked hawk’s beard radicchiella/strecapugno young leaves salads, pan-fried, omelettes, pasta dough Depurative, refreshing, blood cleaning, diuretic, laxative (cooking water, food)
Diplotaxis tenuifolia L. (DC) 0.38 Brassicaceae wall rocket rucola selvatica leaves salads  
Fagus sylvatica L.* 0.03 Fagaceae common beech al fasoli (fruits) fruits rural snack  
Ficus carica L. 0.05 Moraceae common fig fico fruits fresh fruits  
Foeniculum vulgare L. 0.13 Apiaceae wild fennel finocchio selvatico stems (I), leaves (II), seeds (III) liqueurs (I), flavouring (II, III), mixed vegetables (I)  
Gentiana lutea L.* 0.03 Gentianaceae great yellow gentian genziana roots liqueurs  
Humulus lupulus L.* 0.03 Cannaboideae common hop luppolo shoots pasta sauce  
Juglans regia L. 0.10 Juglandaceae walnut noce fruits liqueurs, fresh fruits  
Juniperus communis L. 0.15 Juniperoideae common juniper ginepro fruits flavouring, liqueurs  
Laurus nobilis L. 0.10 Lauraceae bay laurel alloro leaves flavouring, liqueurs  
Lippia citriodora Kuntze 0.08 Verbenaceae lemon verbena erba luigia leaves liqueurs Swelling trauma (decoction)
Lonicera caprifolium L. 0.08 Caprifoliaceae sweet honeysuckle caprifoglio/ligabôsc shoots salads  
Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill* 0.03 Rosaceae European crab apple melo selvatico fruits fresh fruits  
Medicago sativa L.* 0.03 Fabaceae alfalfa erba medica/spagna leaves salads, mixed vegetables  
Melissa officinalis L.* 0.03 Lamiaceae lemon balm melissa, erba limone leaves flavouring  
Mentha spp. 0.13 Lamiaceae mint menta leaves flavouring, liqueurs Digestive (decoction)
Mespilus germanica L. 0.05 Rosaceae medlar nespolo fruits fresh fruits  
Morus spp. 0.05 Moraceae mulberry mora fruits fresh fruits  
Papaver rhoeas L. 0.05 Papaveraceae field poppy papavero/rosetta young leaves salads, pan-fried, mixed vegetables  
Portulaca oleracea L. 0.05 Portulacaceae purslane portulaca leaves salads, liqueurs  
Primula spp. 0.10 Primulaceae primrose primula flowers (I), leaves (II) salads (I), rural snacks (I), pasta stuffing (II)  
Prunus avium L. 0.05 Rosaceae wild cherry ciliegio selvatico fruits fresh fruits  
Prunus cerasifera Ehrh. 0.10 Rosaceae myrobalan plum mirabolano/rustican fruits rural snacks  
Prunus cerasus L. 0.05 Rosaceae sour cherry amareno/visciole fruits (I), leaves (II) fresh fruits (I), liqueurs (II)  
Prunus laurocerasus L. 0.05 Rosaceae lauroceraso lauroceraso/lauro fruits liqueurs  
Prunus spinosa L. 0.28 Rosaceae sloe prugnolo selvatico/prugnól, spini, strozchi fruits rural snacks, liqueurs  
Punica granatum L.* 0.03 Punicaceae pomegranate melograno fruits fresh fruits  
Pyrus pyraster Burgsd 0.05 Rosaceae wild pear pero selvatico fruits fresh fruits  
Robinia pseudoacacia L. 0.21 Fabaceae black locust acacia/acâg flowers pancakes, rural snacks  
Rosa spp. 0.28 Rosaceae dog rose rosa selvatica/pizzincul (fruits) shoots (I), fruits (II), flowers (III) rural snack (I, II), jams (II, III)  
Rosmarinus officinalis L. 0.13 Lamiaceae rosemary rosmarino leaves flavouring, liqueurs Digestive (decoction); decongestant (fumigations)
Rubus spp. 0.31 Rosaceae wild blackberry rovo/râza fruits (I), shoots (II) fresh fruits (I), liqueurs (I), jams (I), rural snacks (II)  
Rumex acetosa L. 0.15 Polygonaceae sorrel acetosa/êrba brossca leaves rural snacks  
Ruscus aculeatus L.* 0.03 Ruscaceae butcher’s broom pungitopo shoots pan-fried  
Salvia pratensis L. 0.10 Lamiaceae meadow clary salvia selvatica leaves salads, flavouring, omelettes, liqueurs Digestive (decoction); female genital problems (infusion); toothpaste (fresh leaves)
Sambucus nigra L. 0.21 Adoxaceae elderberry sambuco fruits (I), flowers (II) jams (I, II), pancakes (II), liqueurs (II) Antirheumatic (food: jam)
Sanguisorba minor Scop. 0.05 Rosaceae salad burnet pimpinella/pampinela leaves salads  
Satureja hortensis L.* 0.03 Lamiaceae summer savory santoreggia leaves flavouring  
Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke 0.26 Caryophyllaceae bladder campion silene rigonfia/strìdel, ciucchett young leaves salads, pan-fried, pasta sauce, pasta dough, omelettes  
Sonchus asper L. (Hill)/Sonchus arvensis L. 0.33 Asteraceae sow thistles grespino/frabbs young leaves pan-fried, salads Depurative, diuretic, laxative (food)
Sorbus domestica L. 0.13 Rosaceae seviceberry sorbo fruits fresh fruits  
Tanacetum balsamita L.* 0.03 Asteraceae costmary erba di santa Maria leaves liqueurs  
Taraxacum officinale Weber 0.77 Asteraceae swines snout tarassaco/piscialet young leaves salads, pan-fried, omelettes, mixed vegetables Depurative, refreshing, draining, diuretic (food, cooking water)
Thymus spp. 0.08 Lamiaceae thyme timo leaves flavouring  
Trifolium pratense L.* 0.03 Fabaceae red clover trifoglio dei prati flowers rural snacks  
Urtica spp. (dioica, urens) 0.74 Urticaceae nettle ortica leaves pasta stuffing and dough, salads, omelettes, mixed vegetables Refreshing, kidney problems, mineralizing (food, cooking water); hair strength, shine, dandruff (cooking water); anti- arthritic (fresh leaves rubbed on the body); insecticide (leaves macerated in water)
Valerianella locusta L. (Laterrade) 0.41 Valerianaceae lamb’s lettuce valerianella/grassagallina leaves salads  
Viola spp. 0.08 Violaceae violet viola flowers salads  
Vitis vinifera L. subsp. Sylvestris (Gmelin) Hegi 0.13 Vitaceae wild grape vite selvatica fruits (I), shoots (II), leaves (III) fresh fruits (I), rural snacks (II), mixed vegetables (III)  
  1. Folk Italian names are written in italics.
  2. Roman numbers indicate the correlation between the traditional culinary use and a specific part of the plant.
  3. *indicates plant species mentioned by a single informant.
  4. RFC: Relative Frequency of Citation Index.
  5. Medicinal use: in brackets the way plants or parts of it are prepared and administered to give the mentioned therapeutic effect.