Arthur Haines

Teaching experience:  Over 20 years
Primary region:  New England


Website:  Arthur Haines

Website pages include his philosophy, list the types of learning experiences which can be facilitated, provide a schedule of events and give details for ordering the following book.


Ancestral Plants

Written by Arthur Haines
Copyright 2010
Published by Anaskimin

Ancestral PlantsTable of Contents includes:

  • Introduction to Using Wild Plants
    • How to Use This Book
    • Format of Pages
  • Food
    • Collecting Protocols
    • Identification
    • Safe Collecting and Consumption
    • Methods of Collecting
  • Medicine
    • Guidelines for Plant Medicine
    • Herbal Actions
    • Routes of Administration
    • Phytochemical Classification
  • Food
  • The Plants
    • Trees
      • Abies balsamea (balsam fir)
      • Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
      • Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
      • Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
      • Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
      • Fraxinus americana (white ash)
      • Juglans cinerea (white walnut)
      • Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)
      • Prunus serotina (black cherry)
      • Quercus rubra (northern red oak)
      • Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
      • Thuja occidentalis (northern white cedar)
      • Tilia americana (American linden)
      • Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
    • Shrubs
      • Amelanchier laevis (smooth shadbush)
      • Comptonia peregrina (sweet-fern)
      • Crataegus macrosperma (large-seeded hawthorn)
      • Empetrum nigrum (black crowberry)
      • Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
      • Myrica gale (sweet gale)
      • Rhododendron groenlandicum (Labrador-tea)
      • Rhus hirta (staghorn sumac)
      • Ribes cynosbati (eastern prickly gooseberry)
      • Rosa virginiana (Virginia rose)
      • Rubus allegheniensis (common blackberry)
      • Rubus idaeus (red raspberry)
      • Salix discolor (pussy willow)
      • Sambucus nigra (black elderberry)
      • Vaccinium angustifolium (common lowbush blueberry)
      • Vaccinium macrocarpon (large cranberry)
      • Viburnum dentatum (smooth arrowwood)
      • Viburnum nudum (wild raisin)
    • Lianas
      • Vitis riparia (river grape)
    • Herbs
      • Aegopodium podograria (bishop’s goutweed)
      • Allium tricoccum (wild leek)
      • Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane)
      • Arctium lappa (great burdock)
      • Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
      • Atriplex acadiensis (maritime orache)
      • Brassica nigra (black mustard)
      • Caltha palustris (yellow marsh-marigold)
      • Cardamine diphylla (two-leaved toothwort)
      • Chamaepericlymenum canadense (Canada dwarf-dogwood)
      • Chamerion angustifolium (narrow-leaved fireweed)
      • Daucus carota (wild carrot)
      • Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
      • Erythronium americanum (American trout-lily)
      • Eurybia macrophylla (large-leaved wood-aster)
      • Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed)
      • Gaultheria procumbens (eastern wintergreen)
      • Hemerocallis fulva (orange day-lily)
      • Heracleum maximum (American cow-parsnip)
      • Hesperis matronalis (dame’s-rocket)
      • Hylotelephium telephium (purple orpine)
      • Impatiens capensis (spotted touch-me-not)
      • Lactuca canadensis (tall lettuce)
      • Lathyrus japonicus (beach vetchling)
      • Leucanthemum vulgare (ox-eye daisy)
      • Maianthemum racemosum (feathery false Solomon’s seal)
      • Matricaria discoidea (rayless chamomile)
      • Matteuccia struthiopteris (ostrich fern)
      • Mentha canadensis (American wild mint)
      • Mitchella repens (partridge-berry)
      • Nabalus trifoliolatus (three-leaved rattlesnake-root)
      • Nuphar variegata (bullhead pond-lily)
      • Nymphaea odorata (white water-lily)
      • Oenothera biennis (common evening-primrose)
      • Oxalis montana (northern wood-sorrel)
      • Persicaria maculosa (Lady’s-thumb smartweed)
      • Plantago major (common plantain)
      • Polygonatum pubescens (hairy Solomon’s seal)
      • Pontederia cordata (pickerel-weed)
      • Pteridium acqulinum (bracken fern)
      • Raphanus raphanistrum (wild radish)
      • Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel)
      • Rumex crispus (curly dock)
      • Sagittaria latifolia (common arrowhead)
      • Salicornia depressa (common glasswort)
      • Sium suave (water-parsnip)
      • Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod)
      • Sonchus arvensis (field sow-thistle)
      • Stellaria media (common stitchwort)
      • Suaeda maritima (herbaceous sea-blite)
      • Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
      • Trifolium pratense (red clover)
      • Trillium erectum (red wakerobin)
      • Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)
      • Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
      • Urtica dioica (stinging nettle)
      • Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
      • Viola cucullata (blue marsh violet)
      • Zizania palustris (northern wild rice)
    • Vines
      • Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog-peanut)
      • Apios americana (common ground-nut)
      • Smilax herbacea (carrion-flower)

Review:  The book’s subtitle provides a good summation: “A Primitive Skills Guide to Important Edible, Medicinal, and Useful Plants of the Northeast – Volume 1.”  As noted in the introduction, Haines states: “I will stress here and elsewhere in this book that YOU MUST READ ALL OF THE INTRODUCTORY MATERIAL (sections 2-5).  I deliberately omit a glossary so that people will not simply start using this book without understanding what I am trying to accomplish with this reference (and how it will be accomplished).  The introductory sections lay out the necessary vocabulary and explain the format of the book.  Further, they provide an understanding of why various facts and observations have been included in different discussions and why some information you may have read elsewhere is excluded.”

Each plant’s possible uses include:  edible, tea, medicinal, cordage, fire building, basketry, archery, dye, mordant, lubricant, hafting material, smoking mixture and repellent.  The plant is accompanied by at least two, and as many as four, color photographs which clearly illustrate significant identifying parts of the plant.  While describing the plant, explaining its uses and noting its phytochemical components, Haines also compares the species with other species in the genus.  He emphasizes the use of a plant’s scientific name — while providing synonyms for those scientific names — over the plant’s common name(s).  Some readers may also be interested to learn of which specific Native American tribes found the plant to be useful.   The final section of the book is a multi-page chart of Edible Plant Collection Dates.

Available from:  the author

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