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Edible And Medicinal Plants Of Canada Field Guide

September 21, 2021
Last Updated: March 1, 2024

Edible and Medicinal Plants of Canada is a very handy field guide you can use to identify edible and medicinal plants when hiking, camping or even in your own backyard, and does a great job helping to easily identify all sorts of useful plants, shrubs, trees and more. While highly detailed, please note is should be used only as a general guide, as some plants are similar to poisonous ones and each plant has different life stages that may not be detailed in the descriptions given. This book does however, provide a warning if there is a chance of this, or if you must prepare the plants to avoid a toxin before ingesting.

The book starts off with a pictorial guide to easily identify a plant by its flowers or leaves without knowing any other particular identifying features.  The rest of the book is broken down into species, and then growth form such as trees, shrubs, vines, herbs, sedges and grasses and ferns.  The Latin name is also given to help differentiate plants if you only know it by a local or colloquial name.

For each plant there are a very good colour photos and a description of which parts used for food and how to prepare it.  The medicinal properties are also explained along with steps on preparing the plant for use. A section also follows which describes other interesting uses for the plant ( e.g. making dyes) or its historical or First Nation’s uses.

A detailed description on identifying parts of the plant is also provided i.e. dimensions, colour, leaf serration, berries and more, as well as warnings if the plant contains toxins and how to prepare the plant safely.

When I've been using Edible and Medicinal Plants of Canada in the field I found it quite easy to identify a variety of species using the provided info.  If you are a beginner I suggest starting off with the pictorial guide at the beginning of the book to narrow down the plant you are trying to look up, and always make sure you have positively identified a plant before consuming it in any way.

You will be surprised at how many plants you have walked by, previously unaware of its medicinal potential and edibility and also increase your chances of survival if you ever find yourself in such a situation. Edible and Medicinal Plants of Canada will be sure to add a fun and interesting aspect to any outdoor activity.

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