An important book for a wild food library. Essential if you are from the Southwestern United States. After Gibbons seminal works from 1962 – 1966 many people were inspired to learn and then write about wild foods. Of the many books coming out in the 70’s, Clarke’s stood out. Covering 200 plants, having 46 color photos, and many fairly accurate line drawings, the book tells us of Native American uses, and plant lore in a clear and concise way. For most plants, she gives a recipe or two based on today’s sensibilities, with titles you might see in a modern cookbook. For instance “One Crust Salal Pie”, “Scalloped Squaw Cabbage”, and “Creamed Plantain Soup”. Plants are organized by habitat communities. So all desert plants will be together. Other groupings include wetland plants, Foothill and mountains, Urban and cultivated areas, and ornamentals. And while this organization is typical of field guides, this is not really a field guide for ‘identifying’ plants. Readers from other parts of North America will benefit from the plants she covers in her urban and cultivated areas category. Fifty percent of her plants are found throughout the west. Recommended as a part of a wild food library!
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