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84
Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rockies
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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2004
The first thing you notice about this book is its wonderfully sturdy construction. It is well made, ready to withstand some time in the woods with you!

Next you will notice that it is color coded. The tree section is green, shrubs orange, herbs burgandy etc. Within each section the plants are divided by families.

Each plant has at least one very good color photo. Most of them have two or three! Many also have illustrations. Some of the plants are covered in one page, others take two.

A typical page is: Top of the Page: Mint Family Herbs

The mint family is a two page spread with three nice photos. It says "Wild Mints Mentha spp." Then FOOD: These plants can be eaten alone as greens, raw or cooked. . . The next paragraph is MEDICINE: The active medicinal ingredient, menthol has been shown. . . OTHER USES: These aromatic plants were hung in dwellings as air-fresheners, and they were also crushed. . .

DESCRIPTION: Glandular-dotted perenials, smelling strongly of mint. . .The Description section also included info on where the plant is likely to be found. In a colored box at the bottom of the page WARNING: Wild mint and spearmint are high in pulegone, which stimulates the uterus. . .

Each plant includes information on poisonous look-likes if any, but there is also a full section on poisonous plants.

The book also includes a glossary and an index.

Because it is difficult for any one field guide to have EVERYTHING you are looking for, I like to use this book alongside Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide by Elias and Dykeman. I also really like Linda Kershaw's other book Plants of the Rocky Mountains.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
For the basics on this great book, see Leslie Nelson's review -- it's spot on in describing its many strengths. I know nothing that touches it for Rockies edible & medicinal plants. Its pictures make gathering the most common plants quite easy, at least for someone used to identifying flowers, trees, bushes & other plants. Though for some plants, and if you're not used to identifying plants, I'd recommend getting a few other books for confirmation, such as Guennel's Guide to Colorado Wildflowers: Mountains (Guide to Colorado Wildflowers. Vol 2. Mountains) & Kershaw's "parent" wildflower book, Lone Tree's Plants of the Rocky Mountains. If you're not sure on identification, another couple of books often help. For your area -- mine is Colorado -- you might go to your local National Forest bookstore or a State Park bookstore. If you're actually planning to use these plants medicinally (which I do), you might want something like Phyllis Balch's Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies, which has no pictures, but has a lot more data on uses, limitations & warnings.

I live on Pikes Peak and, during the season -- maybe April/May through October/November, I gather fresh greens, berries, bark, leaves, etc. on many, if not most days. I was raised with a grandmother who, back in Illinois, did much the same, which is how she helped feed a family during the Great Depression, 10 years before I was born. So I'm the "semi-serious" gatherer, who moved from Grandma to Euell Gibbons's Stalking The Wild Asparagus 35 years ago. (I learned to graze quite well, thank you, on the South Side of Chicago, much to the amusement & amazement of my friends.)

As a start to playful or semi-serious gathering in the Rockies, this book cannot be beat. It helped me adjust from my midwestern gathering to gathering in my new home. It added to my knowledge of which medicinal plants here were available & useful. Although always, ALWAYS follow the rule: If you're not SURE, never put it in your mouth!

But I have some minor (really minor) complaints: the book is weak in how and, especially, when to gather & prepare. For example, it talks about fireweed as a tea, both flowers & leaves, but it doesn't say whether this works with dried leaves & flowers or only fresh. And while the flower season is short, so any gathering time is obvious, when is the best time to gather the leaves -- young as they first come up or late in the season, after the flowering? Another minor complaint -- the book has a lot of Eurasian plants, whose uses are better documented, of course, and which are readily found in disturbed & more urban. But then it lacks any information on many really basic & common flowers, like, for instance, wild geraniums. (Infuriatingly, Kershaw does discuss, briefly, the uses of geraniums in her more general book -- VERY briefly.) For collecting & preparing medicinal plants, I'd use Michael Moore's Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West (see my review). For collecting & preparing edible plants in this area, I'd recommend H. D. Harrington's Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains (see my review). These are good and, if you find yourself getting serious, probably needed next steps.

However, there's no doubt, this is absolutely the book to start with. By all means -- semit-serious, playful or casually interested -- buy the book. You'll love it!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2004
The book has colour photographs for every plant listed, and all of the species are grouped according to family, for easy reference. Suggested preparations, identifying features and safety precautions are included for every plant in the book. There is a very important section on poisonous plants that every hiker/mountaineer should read. traditional Native medicinal uses are also listed.
I take this book everywhere I go.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2014
Living in Idaho, most of these plants are native to my area. Not all but most. This is my favorite book to take with me on hikes or backpacking trips, lets me identify so many flowers and shrubs that I never knew could do things to the human body.

I highly recommend this book to anyone in the rocky area who wants to learn more about the plants in the area. It's great and easy to read, even for people with little to no plant knowledge! The bright colored pages make it SUPER easy to identify, plus the book will tell you if two plants look similar and how to differentiate the two.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2007
We've used this book on every occasion we've been either hiking and camping and that is quite a lot. We've found all sorts of edibles that we normally wouldn't have eaten.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book to replace one I had passed on to a young kid who wanted to learn more about his Rocky Mountain environment. I have owned this book for four years and found it to be the most educational book about edible and medicinal plants that are found in the Rocky Mountain region. The color illustration helps immensely. Any person who is inspiring to spend time in the Rocky Mountain back country should own this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2008
I bought the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rockies book when we moved to the Rocky Mountains and it has been indispensable. It is a well written reference guide with lots of information about each plant and great color photos to help you identify them. A must for anyone wanting to learn how to safely harvest wild foods in the Rockies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2013
The book is very informative and very easy to find what you are looking for. The book is very well made using plastic like pages that should hold up well in your backpack.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2012
When I got this field guide my expectations were quite low as I'm an older man and usually can't see the graphics very well in these things. Man, was I surprised to see big, bold, full color photos of the plants with detailed written information that ANYONE could use to find the exact plant and know with certainty that they hadn't made a mistake! Many thanks to Lone Pine Publishing, Linda Kershaw and Amazon for this EXTREMELY useful guide that I very much look forward to using this hiking season!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have really enjoyed this book a lot. I am very satisfied with the text and pictures. This book doesn't have a key so you have to know the name of the plant you are wanting to look up to find info about it.
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