Both American Indians and the pioneers knew and used many different plant species-for food, fibers, medicine, tools, and other purposes. This unique book is a guide to identifying more than 220 such plants. But it goes much further-it also tells the reader how to prepare, cook, and otherwise use them. Some of the dishes for which recipes are given have won culinary prizes. All have been tested not only by the author but also by her students and by journalists-who have been uniformity surprised and impressed.
The plants are organized by habitat communities. Description, photos, drawings, and distribution information are given. Where poisonous look-alikes exist, they too are illustrated. Much fascinating information about Indian uses of native and introduced species is included.
The author emphasizes conservation considerations; the aim of the book is to educate the reader about intriguing uses of the plants, and to tell how to gather and use the most palatable and abundant species without damaging the environment.