Wild Edible Plants of California: Volume 1 (The Essential Forages)

Wild Edible Plants of California: Volume 1 (The Essential Forages)
Wild Edible Plants of California: Volume 1 (The Essential Forages)

A state of significant plant diversity, California is home to more species than any other. Weather, elevation, and latitude all play parts in the region’s floristic dynamism. For the wild edible plant enthusiast, this means a variety of sustaining forages are to be had, however, found in one place, most are not. With Wild Edible Plants of California (Volume 1), the reader has access to a concise publication, instructing not only on the where, but too, the what and when of California’s wild edible bounty.

Covering the state’s most essential forages, preference has been given to plants that are abundant and/or have more caloric/nutritional/traditional value than other edibles. In other words, a non-sustaining obscure leafy green is not equal to a calorically dense/nutritious root or seed. WEPCA is built around plants of the latter category. Also, to the relief of readers, the title embodies a no-nonsense to-the-point style and steers clear preachy pontifications and off-topic discussions.

Well-suited for the backpack, cargo-pocket, or glovebox, the publication’s form is a 64-page booklet. Over 160 color photos and a state/county location image for every profile assists the reader in plant identification. Aside from the main focus of how to use and prepare each wild edible, additional sections include medicinal uses (if applicable), cautions, and special notes. A sustenance rank, choice edible part/ season indictor, and general index all serve to increase the publication’s usefulness.

Plant List: Agave, Amaranth, Beargrass, Biscuitroot, Bitterroot, Black Nightshade, Blackberry, Bluedicks, Bracken Fern, California Hazel, California Walnut, Cattail, Chia, Chokecherry, Cholla, Currant, Desert Lily, Elder, Fan Palm, Gooseberry, Ground Cherry, Hollygrape, Indian Plum, Indian Rice Grass, Ironwood, Lambsquarters, Madrone, Manzanita, Mariposa Lily, Mesquite, Miner’s Lettuce, Mulberry, Nettle, Oak, Paloverde, Panicgrass, Pellitory, Pennywort, Pinyon Pine, Prickly Pear, Raspberry, Redbud, Salal, Salsify, Serviceberry, Thimbleberry, Tuber Starwort, Tule, Western Spring Beauty, Wild Gourd, Wild Grape, Wild Onion, Wild Rose, Wild Strawberry, Wolfberry, Yampa, Yellow Nutsedge, and Yucca.

Volume 2 will cover the state’s supplemental wild edibles and poisonous plants.

Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Lincoln Town Press; First edition (June 1, 2021)
  • ISBN-10: 1736924109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1736924105

and…printed and bound in the USA.

Cyperus esculentus var. leptostachyus | Yellow nutsedge | Edible Uses

View photos of the edible plant Cyperus esculentus var. leptostachyus (Yellow nutsedge), profiled in the Wild Edible Series: California (Volume 1) and Texas.

A passage from Wild Edible Plants of California:

Yellow nutsedge (like nearly all Sedge family plants) has 3–ranked leaves and 3–angled stems. Use these characteristics to help distinguish it from look–alike grasses.

A passage from Wild Edible Plants of Texas:

Yellow nutsedge produces small (size–variable) edible tubers (tuberiferous stolons). They are easy to gather
with a trowel due to the plant’s tubers not being far below the surface.

Rubus ursinus | California blackberry | Edible and Medicinal Uses

View photos of the edible and medicinal plant, Rubus ursinus (California blackberry), profiled in the Wild Edible Series: California.

A passage from Wild Edible Plants of California:

When ripe, Blackberry fruit (not an actual berry but a drupe) are dark purple to black, and usually smaller than store–bought. They are sweet, mildly tart, and delicious when gathered from a healthy and well–hydrated specimen.

Calochortus splendens | Splendid mariposa lily | Edible Uses

View photos of the edible plant, Calochortus splendens (Splendid mariposa lily), profiled in Wild Edible Plants of California (as Calochortus spp.).

A passage from Wild Edible Plants of California:

From the flowers and stems to the root bulbs, the whole plant is edible. The flowers and stems/leaves are eaten without killing the plant. They are pleasant and have a mild nutty flavor.