Getting to Know Important Herb and food plant families

Note: the list in each Family is not a complete list, but each list gives some of the familiar edible plants and medicinal herbs, and also lists some of the toxic and poisonous plants to be aware of in these families.

This information on Self Sufficiency is provided free from Isabell Shipard’s Self Sufficiency book.
…  … have been used to indicate omitted text.
Please see Isabell’s book on how to be self sufficient

 How can I be prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods?  for full text.

Self Sufficiency Book Commendations

Poisonous plants are noted with an * after the plant name. Plants in a particular family may have similarities in leaves, flowers, seed capsules, food or flavouring uses, and medicinal properties.

Mushroom Plant, King of Bitters

Grain Amaranth, Tampala, Mukunuwenna,
Sambu Lettuce, Purple Mukunuwenna,

(Formerly known as Liiaceae)
• Symbol – purity, purifying plants
Garlic, Leek, Chives, Shallots, Onion, Tree
Onion, Society Garlic

(Formerly Umbelliferae family)
Flowers and seed heads have ‘umbrella’
• Symbol – Protection
Angelica, Anise, Arracacha, Ajowan,
Asafetida, Cnidium, Carrot, Celery,
Celeriac, Chervil, Coriander, Thai
Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Caraway, Parsley,
Gotu Kola, Fennel, Lovage, Mitsuba, Sweet
Cicely, Parsnip, Rock Samphire, Poison

Calamus, Coco Yam, Taro, Monsterio

(Formerly Compositae family)
Daisy flowers and sun lovers
• Symbol – Harmony
Artichoke (Globe and Jerusalem),
Calendula, Camomile, Golden Rod,
Coltsfoot, Curry Plant, Chrysanthemum,
Chicory, Lettuce, Cardoon, Burdock,
Dandelion, Cornflower, Echinacea,
Elecampane, Endive, Everlasting
Daisies, Feverfew, Chop Suey Greens,
Marigold, Mouse Ears, St. Mary’s Thistle,
Southernwood, Milk Thistle (Puah),
Mugwort, Eclipta, Emelia, Pyrethum,
Stevia, Tansy, Sweet Fruit Root, Sunflower,
Bellis Perennis, Cobblers Pegs, Groundsel,
Tarragon, Sweet Tarragon, Toothache
Plant, Blessed Thistle, Wormwoods, Yarrow

Comfrey, Borage, Forget-Me-Not, Lungwort

(Formerly Cruciferae family)
Flowers are in shape of a cross
• Symbol – Sacrifice
Cauliflower, Mustard, Kale, Cabbage,
Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Radish, Cress,
Turnip, Rocket, Watercress, Horseradish,
Wasabi, Money Plant, Maca, Flickweed,
Shepherd’s Purse

Cucumber, Zucchini, Pumpkin,
Watermelon, Rockmelon, Choko,
Chilacayote, Bitter Melon, Pie Melon,
Squash, Snake Gourd, Flour Gourd,
Loofah, Long Bean, Gourds

Cassava, Sweet Leaf Bush, Star
Gooseberry, Petty Spurge* Phyllanthus,
Queensland Asthma Weed*, Candlenut,

(Formerly Labiatae family)
Plants have lip-shaped flowers and square
• Symbol – Devotion
– Action – soothing, tonic properties
Mints, Thymes, Basils, Sages, Chia,
Oregano, Marjoram, Savory, Rosemary,
Skullcap, Lavender, Self Heal, Lemon
Balm, Betony, Chinese Artichokes,
Motherwort, Woundwort, Perilla, Catnip,
Calamint, Cat’s Whiskers, Bergamot,
Mother Of Herbs, Bugle, Alehoof,
Pennyroyal, Hyssop, Patchouli, White
Horehound, Ratala/Inula, Hottentot,
Germander, Plectranthus / Coleus

Bay, Avocado, Cinnamon, Sassafras,
Camphor Laurel*
Legume / Fabaceae Family
(Formerly called Leguminosae)
Now divided for convenience Into
3 Sub-Families:
– Caesalpiniaceae
Includes Legumes like Tamarind, Carob,
Bauhinia, Cassia,
– Mimosaceae
Includes Sensitive Plant, Wattles, Icecream
– Fabaceae
(Many of the food legumes)
Alfalfa, Fenugreek, Lentils, American
Ground Nut, Peanuts, the many Bean
varieties that we use as food, Peas,
Chickpeas, Caterpillar Plant, Jicama,
Kudzu, Binko, Lupin, Licorice, Mellilot,
Butterfly Pea, Indigo, Pigeon Pea, Pinto
Pea, Guar, Red Clover, Rice Beans,
Mucuna, Vegetable Hummingbird Tree,
Senna, Crotalaria, Gidee-Gidee*, Tree
Lucerne, Bush Lucerne, Tephrosia, Derris,
Goat s Rue, Leuceana, Sturt Desert Pea,
Cancer Bush / Sutherlandia

Aloe species, Lily-of-the-Valley, Daly Lily,
New Zealand Flax

Drumstick Tree, Phantom Tree

Allspice, Clove, Eucalyptus, Culinary
Myrtle, Brazilian Cherry, Indian Hill
Gooseberry, Midyim, Cedar Bay Cherry,
Jambolan, Nutmeg, Grumichama, Lilly Pilly,
Bottlebrush, Jaboticaba, Guava, Lemon
Myrtle, Rose Apple, Feijoa, Malay Apple,
Melaleuca, Wax Jambu, Leptospermum

Greater Celandine, Poppy

Peppercorns, Betel Leaf,
Betel Pepper, Kava

(Formerly known as Gramineae)
Wheat, Barley, Rice, Oats, Rye, Bamboo,
Palmarosa, Vetiver Grass, Lemon Grass,
Native Lemon Grasses, Vanilla Grass,
Corn, Incense Grass, Citronella Grass,
Reed Canary Grass Job’s Tears, Zebra
Grass, Job’s Tears

Buckwheat, Vietnamese Hot Mint, Tade,
Rhubarb, Turkey Rhubarb, French Sorrel,
Sheep Sorrel, Docks
Purslane, Leaf Ginseng, Jade

• Symbol – Love
– Herbs and fruits good for the heart
Rose, Hawthorn, Nectarine, Strawberries,
Blackberries, Raspberries, Native
Raspberries, Agrimony, Salad Burnet,
Meadowsweet, Ladies Mantle, Potentilla,
Cinquefoil, Avens, Apples, Pear, Quince,
Almond, Peach, Cherries, Apricot, Prune
(and all in the Prunus genus)

Curry Leaf Tree, Bael Fruit, Rue, Lemon,
Orange, Mandarin, Wampi, Pummelo,
Grape Fruit, Elephant Apple, Lime,
Australian Finger Lime, Boronia, Kaffir
Lime, White Sapote, Kumquat

Brahmi, Rau Om, Paulownia, Black Mullein,
White Mullein, Brooklime, Speedwell

Tomato, Potato, Capsicum, Chillies, Indian
Ginseng, Goji Berry, Eggplant, Cape
Gooseberry, Native Gooseberry, Chinese
Lantern, Pepino, Duboisia, Udder Plant*,
Mandrake, Henbane* Tobacco*, Datura*
Jimson Weed* Shoofly Plant*, Native
Tomato, Black Nightshade, Belladonna*,
Duboisia, Kantikari, Devil’s Apple* Tamarillo

Salad Mallow, Jute, Linden, Grewia

Lemon Verbena, Vervain, Valerian, Chaste
Tree, Corn Salad, Aztec Sweet Herb,

Sweet Violet, Heartsease, Pansy

Gingers, Cardamom, Galangals, Turmeric,
Kenchur, Chinese Keys

… … omitted text, please see How can I be prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods? for full text.


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