The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants

The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants

by Department of the Army


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Now outdoorsman and survivalists can own the official US Army guide to edible plants. Whether you are a stranded soldier, a wilderness hiker, or you just want to know which plants growing in your backyard are edible, this is an invaluable resource.

Anyone who has spent serious time outdoors knows that in survival situations, wild plants are often the only sustenance available. The proper identification of these plants can mean the difference between survival and death.

This book describes habitat and distribution, physical characteristics, and edible parts of wild plants—the key elements of identification.

Hugely important to the book are its color photos. There are over one hundred of them, further simplifying the identification of poisonous and edible plants. No serious outdoors person should ever hit the trail without this book and the knowledge contained within it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781602396920
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 06/23/2009
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 154,884
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

The U.S. Department of the Army is headquartered at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and authors The Soldier's Guide, The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants, U.S. Army Ranger Handbook, U.S. Army Hand-to-Hand Combat, U.S. Army First Aid Manual, U.S. Army Weapons Systems, U.S. Army Special Forces Handbook, U.S. Army Guide to Boobytraps, U.S. Army Explosives and Demolitions Handbook, U.S. Army Special Forces Guide to Unconventional Warfare, and U.S. Army Special Forces Medical Handbook.

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The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
klockrike on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I recently picked up a book from the library called The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants by the Department of the Army. Yes, that Army, the US Army and Pentagon are listed on the back page. This is a 'no-nonsense survival aid, {...} an essential guide for serious adventurers and the armchair botanist alike." I thought I would get some interesting information about locally edible and poisonous plants, but the book provided something else, a serious scare. First, the book covers the tropics, subtropics, and temperate zones, but covers very few edible plants from each region. That is OK, even if not great. In the beginning of the book it is stated that you should never eat any plants you can't securely identify to the correct species. Well, well - I would like to see the person that can identify any plant to the correct species based on the photos and descriptions in this book. I can't even see some of the plants in some of the photos. Many of photos are grainy, too dark, and over-tinted in green. And when they couldn't find good photos they resorted to stick figures of the plants, also badly pixelated.The photos of sorghum grains, the only photo used to illustrate this plant, looks like a large bunch of small cockroaches on a tabletop. The description of sorghum, which supposedly is there to help you identify the plant, follows: "There are many different kinds of sorghum, all of which bear grains in heads at the top of the plants. The grains are brown, white, red, or black. Sorghum is the main food crop in many parts of the world." Would you be comfortable with identify a wild plant as sorghum after reading this? I mean, the only real description here is that the seed color can vary and that the seeds are in heads on the top of the plant. It doesn't even say it is a grass! Plant families are only listed for poisonous plants, I wonder why? If you get sick, only then you need to know the family?The mixture of tropical with temperate plants provides some interesting contrasts. Sago palm (with a horrible photo), and sassafras (with a great photo, from the season when the plants have leaves) share one page. Same with prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) and pokeweed (Phytolacca, a plant which actually is very poisonous if raw or taller than 25 cm.)Some information is dangerously wrong. The fish tail palm, which I recently saw in the botanical garden in Stockholm, is edible, but the fruits are toxic and the leaves can give you dermatitis (link)." In this manual, this is a perfectly fine plant without any warning signs at all. Only 17 poisonous plants are listed, and this book is supposedly covering the whole world.Looking through this book I am starting to think it is a joke. Either that, or the American soldiers are much dumber than I thought. The text reads often like an essay by a 4th grader, for example:"Look for sugarcane in fields. It grows only in the tropics (throughout the world). Because it is a crop, it is often found in large numbers."This book is an embarrassment to the US government, US publishers, and botany. The book was published in 2009, and even if it was printed in China (true), I bet the material was provided from the US.Remember that this book is called the "Complete guide..."? It is as complete and useful as the human anatomy chapter of a high school biology book is to a neurosurgeon. As a survival aid, this book is not very helpful, and could even be risky to use for the serious outdoorsman. I also really doubt there are any armchair botanists out there that would enjoy a book with so many botanical faults. I really hope the US Army provides their soldiers with better field manuals than this. There are many more and better books on this subject for those that really are interested in wild edible plants and wilderness survival.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago