Where to pick mushrooms, berries and edible plants

Northern Sweden's natural landscape is an abundant source of wild food. From the dense forests to the sprawling meadows, the opportunities for foraging are immense. This guide provides a comprehensive insight into foraging in northern Sweden.

Chanterelles are the Rolls Royce of mushrooms.

Chanterelles are the Rolls Royce of mushrooms.

Foto: Kallestad, Gorm

Engelska2023-08-15 15:01


Foraging is an ancient practice, and in the vast wild landscapes of northern Sweden, it becomes a soulful connection to nature. The ethical gathering, correct identification, understanding of the environment, and culinary exploration can turn this hobby into a rewarding and sustainable connection with nature.

Identifying Mushrooms

You should not attempt to forage mushrooms, with the intent of eating them, without extensive knowledge and reliable image-based guides, due to the risks of misidentification. Those new to this hobby should either attend lectures on the subject or accompany experienced foragers during their initial trips. For safety's sake just stick to these three types. Eating the wrong mushrooms can be fatal. You should also check this website for more information on which mushrooms are safe.

Chanterelles (Kantarell)

Chanterelles are the Rolls Royce of mushrooms.

Golden-yellow and aromatic, chanterelles are often found in hardwood and coniferous forests during the summer and autumn months. They have a distinctive trumpet-like shape and a delicate, slightly peppery taste.

Porcini (Karljohan)

Porcini, or karljohan mushrooms. Big and meaty.

Known for their thick stem and large brown cap, porcini mushrooms are found near pine and birch trees. Their meaty texture makes them a favorite in various culinary dishes.

Pale hedgehog mushroom (Blek taggsvamp)

Pale hedgehog mushroom (Blek taggsvamp), thebest of the hedgehog class of mushroom.

Taggsvamp encompasses a family of mushrooms, but only a select few are sought after for consumption. For instance, Blek taggsvamp is renowned for its pleasant taste and holds the title of being Hälsingland's "landscape mushroom." It has teeth-like thorns on the underside. However, the “thorns” are soft and will fall off when you touch them.

Berries in Northern Sweden

Northern Sweden offers a colorful array of berries, each with unique flavors and health benefits.

Cloudberries (Hjortron)

Wonderful, sweet-sharp cloudberries. Northern Sweden's finest berry.

These rare golden berries thrive in northern Swedish bogs and marshes and are rich in Vitamin C.

Lingonberries (Lingon)

When transformed into a jam or syrup, lingonberries pair well with wild game, red meat, fish, and a wide range of desserts and cocktails.

A common sight in pine forests and heaths, lingonberries are celebrated for their tart flavor and antioxidant properties. Best cooked with sugar, to tame that bitterness.

Blueberries or bilberries (Blåbär)

Bilberries are dark blue treasures found in forests, often near mossy areas. They are delicious and packed with nutrients.

Wild Strawberries (Smultron)

Smultron: wild miniature strawberries!

Wild strawberries are tiny and intensely flavorful. Look for them along trails and clearings.

Raspberries (Hallon)

These popular red berries are found in clearings and edges of forests, often in sunlit areas. They're a summertime favorite.

Cranberries (Tranbär)

Found in bogs, these tart red berries are used in a variety of culinary delights, from jams to juices.

Edible plants and herbs

Northern Sweden's meadows and forests are home to many edible plants and herbs. Let's explore some.

Wild Garlic (Ramslök)

Wild garlic, milder than the cultivated type.

Wild garlic can be found in damp woodlands during spring. Both the leaves and flowers are edible, and they offer a mild garlic flavor.

Nettles (Brännässla)

Nettles grow in rich soil, often near human habitation. Young nettles are excellent for soups, but gloves are needed when picking due to the stinging hairs on the underside.

Sorrel (Syra)

Sorrel, or syra, great in salads.

This herb, found in meadows, has a tangy lemony flavor and can be added to salads and soups.

Dandelion (Maskros)

Almost everywhere, the young leaves are edible and rich in vitamins. They add a slightly bitter note to salads.

Chickweed (Våtarv)

Chickweed, or våtarv - another good salad staple.

A common plant, chickweed is tender and makes a tasty addition to salads and soups.

Lady's Mantle (Daggkåpa)

Ladies' Mantle, or daggkåpa. The whole plant is edible, but the young leaves are best when fresh in salads, or in other dishes, such as pesto.

This beautiful plant has a mild flavor and can be used in teas and salads.

Fireweed (Mjölkört)

Some call fireweed the asparagus of the north!

Found along roadsides and fields, the young shoots can be cooked as vegetables - some call fireweed the asparagus of the north. The flowers are also edible.

Seasons and climate

Understanding the seasons and climate in northern Sweden will help you plan your foraging expeditions.


Spring is the time for wild herbs such as wild garlic and dandelions. The landscape comes alive with new growth.


Summer in northern Sweden is a forager's delight, with a wide array of berries, including raspberries, strawberries, and bilberries.


Autumn is mushroom season, with varieties such as chanterelles and porcini at their peak. The forests are filled with these fungal treasures.


Although a challenging time for foraging, some wintergreen plants and roots can still be gathered, but mostly it's a time to enjoy preserved goods from previous seasons.

Where to forage

The varied ecosystems of northern Sweden each provide unique foraging opportunities.


Northern Sweden's forests are abundant in mushrooms, blueberries, lingonberries, and raspberries. Various species of trees, mosses, and lichens add to the diversity.

Wetlands and bogs

These areas are great for finding cloudberries, cranberries, and bog myrtle. Bogs are unique ecosystems with acidic soil, providing specific growing conditions.

Meadows and clearings

Look for wild herbs, dandelions, and strawberries here. Meadows are filled with wildflowers, providing visual delight and opportunities for herbal foraging.

Coastal areas

Seaweed and maritime plants can be found along the coast. Seaweeds are rich in minerals and can be used in salads, soups, and as seasoning.

Alpine zones

Higher altitudes offer some unique alpine plants. The weather here can be unpredictable, so proper planning is essential.

Culinary exploration

Foraged food is not just about sustenance; it's about flavor and culinary creativity. Here are some ways to enjoy your finds:

Traditional dishes

Embrace local traditions by preparing dishes such as cloudberry jam, chanterelle soup, or nettle pie.

Preservation techniques

Learn to dry, can, and freeze your finds to enjoy them year-round.

Incorporate into everyday cooking

Use foraged herbs, berries, and mushrooms in salads, soups, teas, and more. Explore and create your recipes.

Other issues

Ethics of foraging

Being an ethical forager means taking only what you can use and leaving nature as undisturbed as possible.


Avoid over-harvesting. Always leave enough plants or mushrooms behind to ensure they can continue to reproduce.

Respect wildlife

Consider the needs of wildlife, and leave enough for them to feed on as well.

Avoid endangered species

Know the endangered species in the area and avoid picking them.

Leave no trace

Adhere to principles that ensure you leave no negative impact on the environment.

Safety and precautions

Foraging involves some risks. Knowing how to manage them is crucial for a safe experience.

Foraging with experts

If you're new to foraging, consider joining an expert-guided tour. Learning from experienced foragers can be invaluable.

Avoid unknown species

Never consume anything you can't identify with certainty. "When in doubt, leave it out" is a wise mantra to follow.

Harvest away from polluted areas

Stay away from roadsides or sprayed fields, as plants can absorb pollutants.

Ticks and other hazards

Wear protective clothing and check your body after foraging for ticks. Be aware of other potential hazards such as uneven terrain and weather changes.

Det myckna regnandet under maj gör att kantarellerna kan bli rekordtidiga.
Det myckna regnandet under maj gör att kantarellerna kan bli rekordtidiga.