The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Category Archives: Bushcraft & Wilderness Survival

Wild Greens for the Community Herbalist: Sow Thistle

Wild Greens for the Community Herbalist: Sow Thistle

Botanical Name: Sonchus oleraceus Family: Compositae Common Names: Sow Thistle Primary Characteristics for Field ID: The flower closely resembles a dandelion. The leaves are whorled. An annual. Part Used for Food: The leaves and tender portion of the stems Habitat in Which it is Found/ Harvesting Season/ Special Considerations: This plant likes disturbed soil so… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Amaranth

Plant Profile: Amaranth

Botanical Name: Amaranthus retroflexus is very common and 60+ spp. worldwide Family: Amaranthaceae Common Names: Pigweed Primary Characteristics for Field ID: Leaves are lanceolate and alternate along the main stem. Stems are red. Part Used for Food: Fresh leaves and young tips of stems. Older leaves and stems are either bitter, stringy or fibrous. Cultivated… Continue >>>

Apiaceae for Herbalists

Apiaceae for Herbalists

The common names for the Apiaceae family are either the carrot or parsley family. The old family name was Umbelliferae; some books still show this and occasionally botanists still use this older name out of habit. This is an *extremely* important family to know. One reason is that it has abundant herbs, spices and foods.… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Wild Mustard

Plant Profile: Wild Mustard

Botanical Name: Sisymbrium irio Family: Brassicaceae Common Names: Wild Mustard, London Rocket Southwest Habitat: Between 1,000’ and 7,500’ – the growing season depends on the elevation. While not native to North America, it is widespread and commonly found in disturbed soil. This is a plant found along trails during Sonoran winter hikes, under juniper trees… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Poison Hemlock

Plant Profile: Poison Hemlock

Whether foraging for greens or wildcrafting herbs, knowing the few toxic plants in one’s environment is essential. Poison hemlock is a potentially deadly plant that is frequently encountered in the forests and meadows of northern Arizona. This article and collection of photos is meant to help you identify this plant in your outdoor explorations and… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Chenopodium album

Plant Profile: Chenopodium album

Botanical Name: Chenopodium album Family: Chenopodiaceae Spinach, beets, chard and quinoa are also in this family Common Names: Goosefoot, Lambsquarters Primary Characteristics for Field ID: The leaves are in the shape of a goose’s foot which helps with the field ID for a non-botanist. Part Used for Medicine: Fresh leaves and fresh tips Habitat in… Continue >>>

Latest Courses

10 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2020

10 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2020

Many people begin using herbs in small steps – something for sleep, a cold or maybe a headache. As one continues on the herbal path of independent study, information is pulled from many sources. After a few years, this person begins to identify as an herbalist and continues to increase both the learning and use… Continue >>>

Rocky Mountain Herbal CampOut

Rocky Mountain Herbal CampOut

This is the itinerary for the optional field study trip offered to students enrolled in the Foundations of Herbal Medicine program for 2020. Photos from previous trips can be seen on Facebook here. More details will be shared at the first class meeting in February. Students are responsible for food, lodging (camping or hotel) and… Continue >>>

Educational Resources

Plant Profile: Mullein Leaf – Flower – Root

Plant Profile: Mullein Leaf – Flower – Root

Mullein has specific uses for its leaves, flowers and roots. This Plant Profile includes all three plant parts and some of the many uses for Mullein. Botany: Verbascum thapsus (Scrophulariaceae) Common Names: Mullein Southwest Habitat: Mullein loves disturbed soil and is one of the first plants to move into a burned area. It is often… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: St Johns Wort

Plant Profile: St Johns Wort

  Botanical Name:
 Hypericum spp. H. perforatum is most commonly used in herbal medicine. The species commonly found growing in northern Arizona is H. scouleri. Family:
 Hypericaceae Common Names:
 St. John’s Wort Primary Characteristics for Field ID: H. perforatum has tiny holes in the leaves that are visible when held up to the light, hence… Continue >>>

10 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2020

10 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2020

Many people begin using herbs in small steps – something for sleep, a cold or maybe a headache. As one continues on the herbal path of independent study, information is pulled from many sources. After a few years, this person begins to identify as an herbalist and continues to increase both the learning and use… Continue >>>

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