DIY Herb Field Guide

I've been planning this for awhile, but this year I've finally made my own DIY herb field guide.
It includes the herbs and plants that grow here on Oak Hill as well as others that grow in the "neighborhood". Each entry has a photo of the plant in one or more stages, the location in which it grows, the plant's description and uses, and any cautions. Some plants have enough information to fill more than one page.

Make your own field guide of edibles, medicinal plants and wildflowers.

The descriptions are written in "plain English" so that I don't have to remember that a "peduncle" is a flower stalk, or that "glabrous" means smooth or hairless.

Because I've "written" it myself, it is completely customized to this area and our needs. The pages could be laminated for easy use in the field and pasture, or kept in page protectors and stored in a binder. I'm leaning towards page protectors so I can add notes to the pages as needed.

How to make your own field guide of edible and medicinal plants in your area.

I think this will be a multi-year project that I'll add to as I learn more about herbs and am able to identify more plants in our area. Medicinal and culinary herbs that I add to the garden will also be added to the binder. It would also be a good place to keep instructions for making infusions, tinctures and so on.

I'd love to hear any suggestions you might have for this project. Please leave a comment.

Remember, before using this or any herb, please research it fully. 
You are responsible for your own health. 

Other posts in this series:
Woolly Mullein
Wild Onions
How to Harvest Yarrow
Curly Dock
DIY Herb Field Guide

This post has been shared at some of my favorite Blog Hops.


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  1. I think this is a great idea and I would like to apply something similar for native plants around my area. One thought that came to mind would be to include a photo of the plants in seedling stage. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Seedling photos would be an excellent addition, thank you for the suggestion!

  3. I don't have any suggestions, but I did want to thank you for all the information that you post. I can honestly say that everything I know about plants, I have learned from you. I love driving down the road and being able recognize the wildflowers and "weeds". Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Cindy, that's so sweet of you! I'm glad you recognize them now.

  4. Excellent idea, Kathi! I keep my wild edible id book with me, but there is no room for I really need to try this!

  5. GReat idea! This would be helpful, to not have to flip through multiple big field guides when I forget what something is!

  6. Debra2:33 PM

    Do you take the pictures yourself or find them online? What is a good site to go to to get a plant in different stages? If anyone is interested in doing wild edibles as a class this site has a curriculum for that

    DD ( I found you from Frugally Sustainable)

  7. What an awesome idea! I would love to learn more about medicinal uses for herbs. I think it is so interesting.

  8. Lisa and Sarah, the nice thing about this is that you only need to lug around the pages that apply to where you live, so it's much lighter and every page applies! Of course, when you find something new you'll need those official guides too. :-)

  9. Tammy at - medicinal herbs and their uses are fascinating, but can be overwhelming. I started learning about just one or two herbs at a time - and took notes. :-)

  10. Debra, I take the photos myself. Some field guides have poor photos that I have trouble decyphering, so I can take close-ups of the parts that I want to see. Even a point and shoot or a cell phone camera would work if that's all you have.

    I googled "Oklahoma wildflowers" to find sites to use for identification purposes; try using your state.

    Thank you for the URL for the wild edible site.

  11. What a wonderful idea! I could see doing this for other plants in my garden as well! thanks so much for sharing on The Home Acre Hop! On The Home Front

  12. This is a wonderful project and a great resource. Great idea!

  13. This is something that I really need to do. We have a lot of weeds growing on our property that I really can't identify.

  14. I just found your page, Im excited to follow you. Ive just got into harvesting different weeds for health. I have been wanting to put together a book for my area as well:)
    Thank you, Heidi

    1. I'm so glad you're here, Heidi! Nice to meet you! I hope you'll find encouragement and information here.


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