The information is great, but the organization is lacking.. At least for my uses.
I bought this book becuase I wanted to learn the edible plants of texas,both as a reference to browse, and as a book to look up plants I've located in it....
It is organized for netiher. If you already know a plant by scientific name, or common name then you can easily look up the plant in the index, but if not it's something of a task.
The plants are alphabetical, no big suprise there... but the sketches are few, and the color plates are all in a center section of 16 pages and 4 plants each... I sincerley doubt (although I have not counted) that all the plants are represented. The color plates dont' have page references so to find the detail information, you need to go back to the index again.
So as i said, if you already know the plants by name, it's fine to look them up in. But if you want to browse through to find aplant you see, or
look it up by characteristics... it's not terribly useful. If you want to browse through to familiarise yourself with the flora... again.. not useful.
Again in summary, Information good, organization, poor for my uses.
I was very disapointed in the usefulness of the book itself.
I have been interested in edible plants in Texas since attendng a class this March given by a member of Texas Agricutural Extension Service where we foraged for our lunch after class, in the woods. This book is so extensive, includng recipes (I'm a cook), I found a lot of nutritious. medicinal plants in my backyard's weeds this spring. I was prompted to want to forage more.I would recommend it to everyone who wants more information than just the books for use by campers. I also have Edible Wild Plants by Peterson, which I also like, that has photographs and drawings but is not as extensive as Ms. Tull's book. Texas loss is Alaska's gain!
This book has no redeming value as a guide for anything other than natural dyes. It is poorly illustrated, relying on description rather than photographs except for a few color plates that are poorly organized and of dubious value. The information on edibility and other usefulness is limited, often speculative and not to be relied on.
I found this book in my local library, and knew I couldn't live without it. As a beginning spinner and yarn dyer, I found the information that the authoress provides invaluable. I especially enjoyed the step-by-step dyeing instructions, and the categories of the table of contents: toxicity is so NICE to know right away!
Overall rating: 2 stars Plant identification: 2 stars Plant uses: 3 stars Picture type(s): black & white drawings, color photographs Usefulness for Texas: 4 stars Who will find it useful: novice to experienced foragers in Texas.
Notes: I really wanted to love this book but is very disorganized and doesn't cover many edible plants. The author does include some Texas plants that other more general plant guide skip, such as buffalo gourds. The book's drawings are pretty good but its photographs are small and not very useful for positively identifying plants. A large part of the book is devoted to plant fibers and dyes, but it does also include recipes. Buy it if you are serious about foraging in Texas, but be aware that only a small portion is devoted to wild edible plants. It's medicinal information, when included, is strewn through the description of plant's uses rather than clearly marked. There is no way to look up what plants can be used for a particular injury or illness. The main benefit of this book is that it does include several plants that aren't usually found in plant guides for other parts of the country. This book does not include a dictionary of the medical terms it uses.
I was so looking forward to receiving this book! The title led me to believe it was exactly what I was needing. Alas, not so! This book is crammed with somewhat random information and might be very appealing to those looking for help with natural fibers and dyes, but I wanted details on edible and medicinal wild plants of Texas and this book is a very poor reference guide for that purpose. An appalling lack of photographs and only average black and white line drawings make it almost useless as an aid in field identification. It is not well organized from a practical standpoint and only if you already know the name of the plant (why would I need such a book if I already knew?) is it easy to find. Directions for harvest and use are sketchy, at best. Sadly I must say I do not recommend it.
I bought this book because I am interested in dyeing yarn with plants. I have found it an invaluable introduction to plants for dyeing but it is also a good basic guide to various uses of Texas plants. I am new to Texas and this book has enabled me to investigate and learn about the natural plant life of the Southwest. The information on dyeing and edible plants is in depth enough to allow for experimentation. It has recipes for preparing wild plants that I would never have imagined eating --like the prickly pear cactus pad.
The dyeing section introduced me to solar dyeing, a technique I had not heard of before. I have experimented a little with the technique and it works really well, especially for dyeing with tree clippings because the solar fermentation breaks down the bark.
A non-native who knows nothing about Texas plant life needs a basic fieldguide with pictures in order to identify the plants to be used but Tull's book provides much, much more.