2016 Silver Nautilus Book Award Winner
History, literature, and botany meet in this charming tour of how humans have relied on plants to nourish, shelter, heal, clothe, and even entertain us. Did you know that during World War II, the US Navy paid kids to collect milkweed’s fluffy white floss, which was then used as filling for life preservers? And Native Americans in the deserts of the Southwest traditionally crafted tattoo needles from prickly pear cactus spines. These are just two of the dozens of tidbits that Tammi Hartung highlights in the tales of 43 native North American flowers, herbs, and trees that have rescued and delighted us for centuries.
Tammi Hartung is the author of Cattail Moonshine & Milkweed Medicine, Homegrown Herbs, and The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener. She has been growing and working with herbs for more than 40 years and is a frequent teacher and lecturer. She and her husband cultivate more than 1800 varieties of herbs, heirloom food plants, and perennial seed crops on their organic farm in Colorado.
Panayoti Kelaidis represents Denver Botanic Gardens in educational, professional, and promotional endeavors as an expert in horticulture, science, and art. He has traveled to South Africa on seven occasions over the last twenty years. He is the recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s 2009 Liberty Hyde Bailey Medal and the 2000 Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal from Swarthmore College.
— Dr. Rosita Arvigo, DN, founding director, Arvigo Institute
"Visually exquisite! The expansive information includes ethnobotanical aspects of how plants are integrated into the fabric of our lives. I have learned many new uses for some of my old herbal friends. Everyone should have this on their shelf."
— Trish Flaster, executive director, Botanical Liaisons, LLC
"From agave to yucca, these wondrous stories tell of diverse uses for our most important wild plants."
— Kelly Kindscher, Kansas Biological Survey senior scientist and author of Echinacea: Herbal Medicine with a Wild History