VOLUME TWO: SHRUBS & BERRIES
With over fifty wild shrubs on Nantucket, do you know which berries are safe to eat? Can you tell a blueberry from a huckleberry? Where do you go to find wild berries, and can you distinguish alien from native species? These are just a few of the things you’ll learn walking Nantucket’s woods and moors with naturalist Yeshe Palmo.
Some of Nantucket’s shrubs are rare, such as the prehistoric broom crowberry and the unusual St. Andrew’s cross. Others are secretive, such as the bog-loving buttonbush whose old name is Honeyballs, and small cranberry, the tastier sister of the larger American cranberry. Some are world-famous medicinals: uva-ursi, sambucus, and aronia. Others are common but often unknown, such as the original sarsaparilla, the perfumed but deadly wild azalea, and the pungent sweet fern.
In this comprehensive guide, discover the edible and medicinal uses of the plants, along with historical notes, old names, and folklore. Learn what makes the ecosystems of Nantucket unique as you delve into the fascinating details of bud, blossom, berry, and bark. Each chapter is an in-depth exploration of the life history of the shrubs and brambles of the Cape and Islands, with detailed text and photographs taken in all seasons, along with the locations on Nantucket where you can go to find the species.
And, as these shrubs are found also on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, southeastern Massachusetts, and beyond, the nature lover can use Nantucket as a living laboratory to learn the names of the plants that they see when they walk in the woods.
Yeshe Palmo’s book, Trees and Shrubs of Nantucket, offers a pathway into Nantucket’s forests and thickets for the beginner naturalist and experienced botanist alike. Much more than just a field guide, this book will help you recognize Nantucket’s common trees, shrubs, and vines, while you learn about the traditional uses and medicinal characteristics of each species. —Kelly Omand, Ecologist/Field Supervisor, Nantucket Conservation Foundation Science and Stewardship Department
Lama Yeshe Palmo learned much of the folklore and uses of wild plants during a childhood spent roaming the woods and growing up under the tutelage of He Who Stands Firm, curator of a popular nature museum. She worked as a naturalist in the Hudson Valley of New York State for over thirty-five years, then trained in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery for fifteen years, before moving to Nantucket in 2011.