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Columbines School of Botanical Studies

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About Plant Lists and Botanical Surveys


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The Plant Lists from the Pacific Northwest Page contains plant lists and economic botanical surveys generated from the Columbines School of Botanical Studies Apprenticeship Program. Herbalists, botanists, and wildcrafters alike may find these useful. The plant lists run from April to June. Most are from the Cascade Mountains in Oregon, USA. I have intentionally removed site specific locations, but have included the general ecosystem and elevations. You may be able to apply this information to similar ecosystems in your area. These lists are arranged by plant families. The specific listings include:

Latin Names: This is the best way to identify a plant.

Common Names: Common names are a poor way to identify a plant, as there are three "Spring Beauties" in my area, all unrelated except that they bloom in the early spring. I have a tendency to make these names up, but in these lists I use the most "common" common name for my area, or at least my favorite one.

Uses: These are hard to sum up in one or two words. Edible is difficult to define. If it tastes bad no matter how you cook it, is it edible? If it's poison raw, but edible cooked? What if it's poison unless soaked in lye and then boiled to remove the lye (olives)? What if it tasted bad, gives you the runs and makes you throw up, but will not kill you? Poison is also hard to define. Remember, the difference between poison and medicine is dosage. Some of the plants listed as poison may be used by clinical herbalists as medicine. Some foods are poisonous if ingested in large quantities. These one or two word descriptions are only a reference, please check further resources for more complete information.

Animal Interactions: I'm a botanist, and the animal names may be in error.

Key: (unless otherwise stated)
L- Leaf
B- Bud
F- Flower
UFr -Unripe Fruit
Fr- Fruit (Fleshy)
S- Seed
Sen- Senescent (Identifiable dead stems or leaves)

The plant lists may include highlights from the class trips. They generally are only one line reminders for those in the apprenticeship, but they may be of value to some.

Economic botanical surveys run from July to September and are arranged by uses. These lists include identifiable plants of use, even when not in flower. Once again, it is difficult to place plants in just one category, as many plants have multiple uses. Drop dosage toxic medicinals are NOT included in these surveys.

Food:

Alteratives: includes diaphoretics and diuretics, and a catch-all for herbs used for infections.

Aromatic/Bitters

Astringents

Calming Herbs: a general category including nervines, antispasmodics, tranquilizers, sedatives, and any misc. "calming" herb.

Pain (see Calming Herbs): There are quite a few drop dosage medicinals that would fit into this category.

Demulcents, Emollients: soothing to the skin or mucuous membranes.

Misc.: other interesting herbs that do not fit into the other categories.

Topics of Botanical Interest: may include plants that are not useful but interesting.

Animal Interactions

These lists are by no means complete, and errors can occur. Feel free to write me if you have any questions or complaints. You may copy and distribute this information freely, but please ask me if you wish to use it for teaching purposes.

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