Very common in shady lanes. I find it not worthwhile. It has a pleasant garlic smell when bruised, but this does not survive when eaten and it has a not pleasant additional taste. Nor is the texture particularly appetising.
A beautiful garden plant with various colour (red, orange, green) foliage. It is not particularly tasty and the texture is fine, though nothing special. We use some young leaves as decorative addition to salads but tend to leave it as a garden ornament.
Sea beet is the ancestor of all of the cultivated beets, including beetroot, sugar beet, swiss chard. Although the leaves of all of the cultivars can be eaten, somehow none of them is quite as good as a really good wild sea-beet (with the exception of swiss chard, which equals the wild parent).
Beta vulgaris is a member of the Chenopodiaceae - which include the goosefoots, oraches, spinach, glassworts - many of which are also edible and good.
Oilseed rape is very easily recognised. However - the young greens, before the flower has opened make an excellent cooked vegetable, probably the nicest 'spring greens' of all. It is also an excellent addition to spring salads - it has a mild, pleasant cabbagey flavour. It has its own page! It's also good for kimchee
A common garden weed. It's not very large so is easily overlooked, but the leaves have a pleasant peppery tase, like watercress so (if enough can be gathered) make a nice addition to salads. It is one of the earliest plants to appear in spring.
In some parts of the country cuckoo flowers are very evident in spring. The leaves (if you can gather enough of them) have a pleasant cress-like taste and are a fine addition to salads. Propagation details and more photos in the link.
The common garden valerian can be used in salads: it's not a particularly notable taste but the young shoots are a good texture and start growing when other salad crops are in short supply. The commercial corn salad is a close relative: common valerian, to my taste, is just as good.
Many members of the chenopodaceae are edible, some very good. Good King Henry seeds are available from seed merchants. Fat hen is a very common garden weed. However it's a very good spinach substitute (use the leaves, young stalks and the young flower heads) so we let it grow to a suitable size before weeding out for the cooking-pot! The young leaves are also of a pleasant texture raw and make a good addition to a salad.
Possibly an acquired taste, but one I find quite pleasant. My wife does not, so we don't use it, but it can be added to salads. Rock Samphire is an umbellifer and is no relation to marsh samphire and is a totally different flavour.
Hops are quite common and the young shoots (the top two or three nodes) may be snapped off and steamed to make a fine vegetable. A sort or poor-man's asparagus! One wild vegetable we seek out eagerly when it's in season.
An increasingly common plant which is found on many roadside verges.
Balm has been cultivated and there are now different flavours. It's not a particularly good textured plant, but a small amount of Lemon balm can make a nice addition to a salad. We find it a particularly good mix with garden mint.
Ordinary garden mint is a hybrid between water mint and (mostly) spearmint. The mint family hybridises very easily and water mint is one on the parents. Water mint is very common and is quite edible although its flavour does not compare well with the cultivated hybrids. There are many other mints - all of them can make a useful addition to a salad, some tastier than others.
A wild herb that we grow in our garden and would not be without: as a basis for a spring salad, the young shoots (both leaf and flower) with their stalks are hard to beat.
In fact the whole plant can be eaten - the roots can be cooked, as can the leaves. We tried both and would not bother again: the roots are hard to dig up, difficult to clean and do not taste good when cooked. But that's simply our opinion
Sweet cicely looks very much like cow parsley, but is a paler green leaf, a denser white flower and is a much less straggly plant, so very decorative for a garden. Be aware that the poisonous hemlock looks very similar - though once you have smelled sweet cicely, you could not confuse the two.
A common enough herb, but it has a lot more uses than you may be aware of. Try the fresh young growing tips chopped up in a salad - they are not as tough as you may have thought. Or try roasting your lamb joint on a bed of rosemary - that's common enough, but the crisp rosemary leaves, fried in lamb fat are absolutely delicious!
There are several plants of the Rumex group (which also includes the Docks) that are acidic and can be eaten as 'sorrel'. Several of them are sold as herbs and are well worth cultivating for salads - especially if you have children!
A family of woody perennials or annals inhabiting salt marshes. Many of them are so similar they are difficult to differentiate.
Samphire is picked from the marshes and is sold in the English marshes. It's a plant that if pleasant to eat raw as you walk through the marshes, having a mild, salty flavour. Cooked and served with melted butter it is delicious - the flesh of the slightly older plants slides easily off the somewhat woody inner stalk as you suck it.
Once a seaside plant, over the last 30 years or so I have observed it spreading along roadsides in East Anglia and elsewhere - no doubt because of the salting of the roads - so that it is now a common roadside plant, even in Cambridgeshire. Makes a very tasty seasonal vegetable: preparation detail included.