Ireland lost one million souls to hunger and disease during the potato famine and another million to immigration. But that’s not all, says Peter Wyse Jackson, PhD, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden and the George Engelmann Professor of Botany at Washington University in St. Louis.
Ireland also lost its connection to the many plant species that sustained its people throughout the centuries.
Wyse Jackson has recovered much of that history in his book “Ireland’s Generous Nature: The Past and Present Uses of Wild Plants in Ireland” (2014), a comprehensive and engaging look at Ireland’s 900 native species and their surprising uses. Wyse found that one-third of Ireland’s native flora possessed medicinal qualities and that 100 species are edible.
Read the full story in The Source: More than the potato: Rediscovering Ireland’s rich history of wild plants