"Traditional Herbs for Winter Interest -- Books and Links"

Sources of Information on Herbology

As newsletter editor for the Friends of the Medicinal Herb Garden (Seattle), I have often had to look up background material for an event, verify the spelling of a species, or find illustrations for articles. This page lists some of my favorite sources, in print and online.

Who is Powell's?

Powell's Books

Useful books

Bailey, L . H ., et al . Hortus Third. New York: Macmillan, 1976.
Standard horticultural reference for the major species used in gardening and landscaping.

Bailey, L . H . Manual of Cultivated Plants. New York: Macmillan, 1949.
Botanical key to identifying the species "most commonly grown in the continental U.S. and Canada." Out of print now, but used copies are still worth scoring if you intend to get serious about plants. Features that make this technical reference helpful to non-botanists are the glossary and illustrations of technical terms.

Buchanan, Rita, ed. Taylor's Guide to Herbs. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1995.
Popular reference and ID guide to over 400 herbs, with 260 color photos.

Hobbs, Christopher. Vitex -- The Women's Herb. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1986.
Brief and accessible survey of the use of Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus) in treating gynecological disorders. Other booklets by the same author look at Echinacea, Ginkgo, Milk Thistle, Ginseng, and Valerian.

Lockhart, Gary. Natural Earth: The English Standard Reference on Herbal Substances -- Volume I: The Herbal Center of Healing. Anchorage, AK: Earthpulse Press, 1998.
A detailed survey of the literature of herbology, from the 17th century on. This work compiles and indexes (for the first time, in many cases) a wealth of minutiae and references in formerly obscure pharmacopoeias. The presentation is in an anecdotal style accessible to lay readers.

Murray, Michael, N.D. The Healing Power of Herbs. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1995.
Written by a naturopath who has gained respect from many medical practitioners as well as from alternative authorities. Summarizes academic and clinical research on more than 30 popular herbs, with lengthy bibliographies.

Ody, Penelope. The Complete Medicinal Herbal. London: Dorling Kindersley, 1993.
Pictorial treatment of 120 herbs and instructions for making your own preparations.

Phillips, Roger, and Nicky Foy. The Random House Book of Herbs. New York: Random House, 1990.
Color photographs of over 400 species, with information on their origins, natural history, and associated folklore.

Pojar, Jim, and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Redmond, WA: Lone Pine, 1994. (In Canada as Plants of Coastal British Columbia.)
A field guide to over 790 species native to the region. Plenty of color photographs to aid in identification. Notes on Native American uses of many of the plants are included.

Reader's Digest. Magic and Medicine of Plants. Pleasantville, NY: Reader's Digest, 1986.
An older book useful for its history of herbology, plain language botany info, instructions for herbal crafts and preparations, recipes, and full-color illustrations of almost 300 plants.

Weiss, Gaea and Shandor Weiss. Growing and Using Healing Herbs. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 1985.
Gives an overview of the history of herb use and explanations of eastern and western concepts. Good coverage of growing and drying methods, and of making your own syrups and poultices. Graceful line drawings accompany descriptions of seventy species.

Good deals:
Used and new books from Powell's.

Favorite links

Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethno-botanical Databases. Agricultural Research Service.
An extensive database of ethnobotanical information. Query options allow you to search for plants having particular medicinal, food, or phytochemical qualities; or to find all the uses associated with a particular species.

Medicinal Plants of Native America Database
Based on a two-volume compilation originally published in 1986 by the Museum of Anthropology of the University of Michigan. You can browse or query it by plant name or taxon, tribe name, plant use, or researcher's name.

GardenWeb's database of plant images and data, compiled by GardenWeb and its members. Constantly expanding.

Plants for a Future
UK-based databse of over 7000 species which have edible, medicinal or other uses. Provides taxonomic details, plant characteristics, reputed uses, and bibliographies.

USDA, NRCS. 2001. Plants Database, Version 3.1
You can search this database by common or scientific name to find photographs, distribution maps, scientific classification, and other information for plants that are native or naturalized in the U.S.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden New York Metropolitan Flora Project
A database with photographs and reading lists concerning plants grown in the New York metropolitan area.

University of Delaware Botanic Garden
Descriptions and images of the trees, shrubs, conifers, broadleaved evergreens, and small flowering trees in the collection.

The Time/Life Plant Encyclopedia online resource seems to have been discontinued. If you know of an updated URL for it, please contact me at ruthpett@earthlink.net and I'll list it again.

Dictionary of Botanical Epithets
Alphabetical listing of latin words use in botanical names and their meanings.

American Botanical Council
The Publishers of the HerbalGram make available on-line some of the content of their many publications, including excerpts from their Herb Reference Guide, the German Commision E Monographs, and their Botanical Booklet Series. Good collection of links also.

National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs
Learn about the work of this Ohio research facility, and the species they are working to save.

Southwest School of Botanical Medicine
Bisbee, AZ. Extensive collection of plant images and photographs, including expert pen & ink drawings by Mimi Kamp.

Kohler's Medicinal Pflanzen
(Originally published 1887, Gera, Germany.) Missouri Botanical Garden. Beautifully illustrated German herbal.

David Winston, Herbalist
Site includes articles and .pdf versions of many out-of-print texts on medicinal botany.

Features the complete text of A Modern Herbal by Mrs. M. Grieve (originally published 1931), a lengthy compilation of botanical and pharmacopoeial information known at the time, on more than 800 species. Site also has many articles on alternative therapies.

GardenWeb Forums
Herbs, herbalism, herb exhange, flower crafts, native plants, organic gardening, seed saving, kitchen gardens, heirloom plants, and market gardening are among the dozens of topics that Internet users can discuss here.

The Gardening Launch Pad
One the most extensive collections of gardening links available. "Herbs" is one of over 90 topics covered.

Large collection of links to both commercial and non-profit gardening sites, organized by topic.

Quality World Garden
Large collection of links to sites on gardening tips.

Good assortment of articles and bulletins from the West Virginia University Extension Service.

Winterizing the Herb Garden
A bulletin from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service; with links to other information on growing and harvesting herbs.

Pacific Northwest Gardening
Fun site full of articles and resources for Northwest gardeners.

Two Rainy Side Gardeners
Good source of articles and links pertaining to gardening in the maritime Northwest.

KUOW Weekday: Gardening
Gardening notes from Carl Elliott, summarizing his weekly Wednesday radio talk on KUOW.

Gardening with Ciscoe
Fun site by Ciscoe Morris, the host of KIRO radio's weekly gardening show. Look in the Archives for "Plants," "Bugs," and "Secrets to Success."

Washington Native Plant Society
Information about the society's activities, information and resources for gardeners, and links to local chapters' websites. Includes 6 pages of plant photographs.

King County Noxious Weed Control Program
Information and photographs to help you identify the plants that shouldn't be there.

Brockman Memorial Tree Tour
A wonderful UW resource -- interactive map and guide to identifying the trees on campus.

And in case you missed it on the other pages:
University of Washington Medicinal Herb Garden
The locale that inspired the website you're now reading. The MHG's official site features over 150 color photographs, and an online tour.

©1999, 2000 by Ruth Pettis


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