Peterson Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants Review – The Good

Hey guys this is Josh with Trillium: Wild Edibles. I wanted to bring you guys a video review, of the Peterson Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Eastern and Central North America. I’ve only seen one video review on this guide and it was pretty good, but I wanted to mention a couple extra things that review didn’t cover. So first we’re going to go into some of the Pros and Cons about this book. Then after that we’re going to go into why I still recommend this book. Regardless of those pros and or cons. So without further adieu let’s get into the video. First and foremost as I already mentioned this field guide is for Eastern and Central North America. That being said, sorry did not mean to bump the camera; That being said, the geographical region of this book is right here. Now this is a good thing because if you’re travelling anywhere in one of these areas there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to be able to find something to eat. As long as you can identify it positively and it’s in this book. Some of the plants stick to these more northern ranges, and some of the plants stick to these more southern ranges. Some only occur in the far south, or the far north. So that’s something to keep in mind. The next good thing about this book is it covers a really large number of plants. See it says here on the back more than three-hundred and seventy edible wild plants plus thirty seven poisonous look a likes are described here. With over four hundred drawings and 70 color photographs, now that’s a really nice feature. to have all in one book a little over an inch and a quarter thick. This is a really nice lightweight book that covers lots of plants as you can see. It has quite a bit of detail, in the sense of drawings. As well as variety and that’s a really good thing because it gives you a better chance of wherever you are in eastern and central North America you’re probably going to be able to find, something to eat, as long as you can identify it using this book. The next good thing about this book that I want to go into is it has a really unique way of categorizing the plants to make them a little bit more easy for you to find. See here when and where they occur, now that may give you a few hints. The way it categorizes in the back is two different ways; it does one where it goes through geographical region like Seashores. And for each geographical region it will organize them by season like spring, summer, fall, fall through early spring. Then it will go into the next environment or growing region. This is really really handy if you’ll notice here under each plant it actually lists the page number So let’s say you’re by the Seashore in the Spring, and you find Seaside Plantain; you’d flip to page fourty six and you would compare it to what you see there. That makes it really easy. to find plants you may be looking for. Another unique way of categorizing the plants is by food use. Whether it is candies, or flours, or cooked greens, and it does the same thing; it follows by season and it lists the page number of those plants. So that’s really really handy to have in the back of this book. The next important thing I want to cover about this book and is really nice to have… is it has this really nice index. You can see I’ve outlined quite a few plants. I started outlining plants as I identified them then I eventually just kind of quit because I realized I was going to outline every plant in the book. So I quit doing that. You can see here there’s no more lines. This index is really nice it gives you the page number and it gives the color plate for the color picture. Another nice feature about this book it has a seven inch ruler in the back. It also is measured in centimeters, also has millimeter ticks. It has a pictorial glossary of leaves, this is really nice each picture gives you the botanical term toothed, lobed, stalk less, sessile, axil, wing. So you kinda get an idea of what they are talking about whenever they go into the description of each plant. That’s a really nice feature to have. Also one thing that is worth mentioning in the very front of this book the author goes through ways to use this book and how he lays this book out. This is something that’s very very important to read. It talks about poisonous plants, it gives you a list of poisonous plants and ones that may cause dermatitis, tells you that known fatalities are indicated by an asterisk. That’s something that’s really nice to have as well, and important to pay attention to because he lists these plants as internal poisons in the book, you’re going to find a lot of conflicting information. Some of these plants are very highly medicinal; Goldenseal is one of them. So with that being said let’s get into some of the negative things or the cons of this book.


  1. Excellent review. Josh how did you learn all that you know about edible plants? I saw another video in which you were walking and impressively pointed out a massive massive amount of plants… how did you learn and get to be able to do that? It's very very frustrating trying to learn wild edibles, tho slowly getting better.

  2. Bought this book and I LOVE it , one tip that i have done with mine is I took different colored markers and color coded it on the outside like the Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs and it made it just that much better ! Thanks again for the suggestions and all of your wonderful videos, very helpful 🙂

  3. I love your book reviews bro. I love the Peterson field guides. You can tell that book has been well broken in, in the field. Lol.

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