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A Selected List of Comestible Plants and Animals of Northeast China

Northeast China has a rich natural environment, home to many species of plants and animals. Human communities living in this region over the centuries have discovered the nutritional value of this indigenous flora and fauna. Hunting, fishing, gathering, and farming developed as important means of livelihood and as activities with profound social and cultural meanings. This list includes plants and animals that have been used in foods, beverages, and medicines. It illustrates the ecological diversity of Northeast China and the unique connections between people and the natural environment that has been sustained through the production and consumption of foods and beverages that make use of these indigenous elements.



1. Chinese names are only given in characters. For the pronunciation of the names, please refer to reliable translation programs for Mandarin (Standard Modern Chinese), Cantonese, and other Chinese languages.

2. Items on this list are organized in alphabetical order. Items with multiple English names are ordered according to the most common term, with the subsequent names in alphabetical order. Multiple Chinese names for one item will be organized by alphabetical order of the Hanyu Pinyin romanization of the characters. If two or more Chinese names have the same Hanyu Pinyin romanization, they are organized with the more common name preceding the less common names.

3. Items with “Chinese” or other place-based modifiers as the first part of their names will be ordered by the second part, such as [Chinese] cabbage being treated as “cabbage”.

4. Items differentiated by non-place-based modifiers but belonging to the same genus will be separated and organized in alphabetical order.

5. Latin binomials are only given for some but not all entries, because some English and Chinese terms have multiple Latin binomials associated with them instead of definitive one-to-one matches.

6. Multiple Latin binomials for one item will be organized in alphabetical order.

7. Only the genus is given for some items that include several species.

8. Items with the same Chinese or Latin binomials but with English names differentiated by non-place-based modifiers are treated as the same entry.

9. This list includes both plants and animals that were eaten in the past but not commonly eaten now and also those that have been eaten in both the past and present.

Plants (Flowers, Fruits, Grains, Grasses, Herbs, Legumes, Nuts, Vegetables)
Animals (Amphibians, Birds, Fishes, Mammals)
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