Wild Food Plants Fieldguide
Australian Wild Food Plants: Fieldguide is THE fieldguide to have, especially if you are in the southern or eastern states where most of us live. It details 180 plants with perfect colour photographs, distribution map, habitat, common and Latin names, Field notes and Uses all sprinkled with some interesting cultural history. Very robust and easy to use. Essential for any bush rambler!
Quick review: This is THE reference field guide for south eastern Australia where most of us live. A compact but surprisingly comprehensive (180 plants) field guide written by one of Australia's top Naturalists, Tim Low. The book is divided by habitat into Seashore, Freshwater, Rainforest, Open Forest and Arid Zone plants which is the most useful way to find plants in the bush. Each species has a colour photograph, Latin name, other common names, Field Notes, Uses, some cultural history and also a distribution map.
Good Points: Surprisingly comprehensive, Most relevant to the south eastern states and cool climate areas, makes an educational read by itself, Robust, resilient and well bound (believe me, mine has had a lot of torture over the last 5 years and is still in one piece!). Simple language for everyone to understand. Beautifully published & good Latin & common name index.
Not so Good Points: Very hard to fault however because some plants range between habitats they can be hard to find in the book but the index makes up for that.
Overall: Essential for anyone with an interest in the bush and also native foods, will help you identify those fruits, nuts and flowers that are edible and those which are not also serves as an introduction to the natural history of our native foods.
From the back cover:
"Australian Nature Fieldguide: Wild Food Plants of Australia" is the fieldguide edition of Wild Food Plants of Australia. It is presented in a concise, convenient form to facilitate quick and ready reference in the field. Tim Low has provided a truly reliable guide to our edible flora, making identification easy. Thus it is a perfect companion for bushwalkers, naturalists, scientists and with an emphasis on wild food cuisine, gourmets.
Low describes more than 180 plants - from the most tasty and significant plant foods of southern and eastern Australia to the more important and spectacular inland and tropical foods. Distribution maps are provided with each description plus notes on how these plants were used in the past and can be used today.
Beautifully illustrated with colour photographs and line drawings there is also a guide to poisonous and not-poisonous plants, and information on introduced food plants, the nutrients found in wild food plants, on bush survival and how to forage for and cook wild food plants.
Tim Low is one of Australia's leading nature writers and a superb photographer. He regularly contributes to the magazines Australian Natural History, Nature and Health and Simply Living. He is the author of several books, most notably Bush Tucker and more recently Bush Medicine.