Florida Ethnobotany


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The author accomplishes the monumental task of translating the common names of species, which offers insight into plant usage and a glimpse into the culture of each ethnic group or tribe. These common botanical names often demonstrate how individuals fit into their societies and how these societies functioned. Although there have been previous studies of plants used by the inhabitants of Florida, this is the first comprehensive synthesis of this flora-rich region that was so pivotal in the history of New World exploration.

It is easy reading, well illustrated, and packed with an amazing and rich array of information. There is no precedent for Florida Ethnobotany. We are treated to wide-ranging listings and explanations including those of names and uses in the Caribbean and Latin America as well as places as distant as Europe, India, Africa, and the ancient world of Greece and Rome. Austin has even included Native American names and their etymologies from as far away as northwestern Mexico.

Richard Evans Schultes - The Father of Modern Ethnobotany

I like the user-friendly innovation in the lengthy tables of a line drawn across the whole page to separate each entry. The literature cited spans 64 double-column pages, and the index covers triple-column pages.

1st Edition

The bulk of the book is an economic and ethnobotanical flora arranged alphabetically by genus and species. The species accounts treat Florida species with documented uses. There are more than line drawings, many of them original, and 16 pages of color plates, four species to the page. The price is hefty but so is the book. If you have an interest in economic botany and ethnobotany, as well as etymology of plant names, or the history of Florida and the Caribbean, you must have this unique work.

Florida Ethnobotany - CRC Press Book

The result is a comprehensive treatment where comparison can be made between the names and uses of plants by the different peoples of Florida and of neighboring countries. This is a most thoroughly researched work, the contents and use of which will extend far beyond the boundaries of Florida. I particularly like all the information given about the derivation of names and the large number of different local names that exist for each species… This thoroughly researched and well-verified text will be of use to all people interested in plant uses for many years to come.

There is an excellent combination of the locally gathered detailed information with in-depth study of earlier literature about each plant species which has been very rarely seen in the ethnobotanical publications. At the end, an exhaustive Bibliography has been provided to serve as a basis for further ethnobotanical studies followed by over pages of index.

It will be extremely useful and will certainly serve as a model in ethnobotany for researchers, conservationists and forest managers.

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This publication is a must for libraries of institutions engaged in conservation and ethnobiological researches. Learn More about VitalSource Bookshelf. The tour captured my imagination as I considered the possibilities yet undiscovered in the deep rainforests worldwide. Of course, there is no need to travel out of the country, or even the state, to learn about useful native plants.

Plants with interesting historical uses make for great stories along a trail, and help create a connection between the casual observer and the natural world around them.

Florida ethnobotany

Sundews, tiny carnivorous plants found in pitcher plant bogs, use an enzyme to dissolve insect proteins. Native Americans recognized this property and used the plant for skin maladies. Many plants had and still have multiple uses. Holly branches were used for arrows, and the bark for warding off nightmares. Passionflower extract has also been developed into dozens of drugs and supplements for sedation.

Recommended publications

Early civilizations living closer to the land knew many secrets that modern medicine has yet to unlock. Thanks to the ethnobotanists, the field and forest will continue to heal and provide for us for many generations yet to come. Many of the plants listed or referenced can have hazardous or poisonous properties without appropriate preparation or dosage.


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Allergic reactions and prescribed drug interactions may occur, and many unproven rumors exist about medicinal uses of plants.

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Florida Ethnobotany Florida Ethnobotany
Florida Ethnobotany Florida Ethnobotany
Florida Ethnobotany Florida Ethnobotany
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