Field Guide to the Native Edible Plants of New Zealand
Published by Penguin
THIS is not really a
gardening book and certainly not haute cuisine. However, Native
Edible Plants of New Zealand, with its mine of information about
our heritage, will captivate readers.
There's no doubt that
Andrew Crowe, an award-winning author of more than 30 natural history
titles, is well qualified. The story of how he was inspired to write
the book is almost as intriguing as the revelations about his 190
chosen plants. Suffice to say, it involved some hungry, testing
times in the wild and, at the very least, a couple of knowledgeable
Each entry, most accompanied
by a line-drawing, details the plant's description, where it can
be found, the part eaten, when it's available, its use and other
related plants. You'll find trees, shrubs, ferns, fungi, lichen
and seaweed - most, if not taste-tempting, at least... well, edible.
Some plants are rare
and endangered and, if you want to eat something, be sure you know
what it is and what its qualities are to avoid poisoning yourself.
Crowe defines his work
as a practical guide about what can be eaten as well as a comprehensive
study of early Maori plant foods. It has the hallmark of a useful
pocketbook for anyone "going bush". To anyone with a love of the
outdoors, it's sure to be an interesting read and - who knows? -
a possible life-saver.
see an earlier review of this book
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH