Wild Berries of the West by Betty Derig and Margaret Fuller


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Wild Berries of the West by Betty Derig and Margaret Fuller
This is a high quality photographic guide focusing on the ‘identification’ of wild plants that produce berries. Derig and Fuller are ‘mostly’ their own photographers who provide us with 103 berry photographs, 67 flower photographs, and a few vegetative photographs. There are 20 line drawings to supplement the photographs.

Like most wildflower guides, they focus in on the fruits and flowers, rather than on close-ups of other parts of the plants, but they do a fairly good job of showing at least the leaves and stems surrounding those fruits and flowers. Herbs, shrubs, trees, and vines that produce berries are all included. Derig and Fuller’s photographs are excellent. They often show you both a plant’s flowers and fruits.

Understand that this book is valuable for what it is – an aid to identifying wild berries and flowers. Abbreviated edibility information is included as well as historical information – mostly repeated from other authors’ ethnobotanical studies included in a very useful bibliography. Their book does cover many plants that are rarely found in other identification guides. Most of the focus is on the western half of North America, but at least 1/2 of the plants or their close relatives can be found elsewhere in the country.

Near the end of the book they give 57 wild berry recipes in the following categories: Beverages; Breads (baked goods); Meats and Vegetables; Preserves; Salads and Salad Dressings; Sauces Syrups and Condiments; and Snacks. The explanations in these recipes provide more tips into preparation than you see in the text – improving the value of this book. Recommended for use in combination with other field guides in a western wild food library!

Order a copy from  Amazon