Water lily edible, fact or fiction? Les Straud, also known as Survivorman, made famous the water lily to the survival community. In one of his early episodes, he, after consuming the water lily tuber, became ill and promptly vomited the offending culprit.
Many famous sources of literature have deemed the water lily of the genera Nuphar and Nymphaea to be quite edible with proper treatment. Some have advised roasting, baking, stewing, or boiling like a potato. Some sources also offer recipes for stewing lily tubers into various dishes. Others still have said that lily can be made edible by boiling in several changes of water. However, it may surprise many to find out that few of these so called “experts,” have any actual primary experience eating the lily at all, and merely pass along, so called “wisdom,” from other sources.
Worse yet, according to Sam Thayer, author of The Forager’s Harvest, many of the species of Nuphar and Nymphaea, the water lilies, are in fact poisonous.
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