How to Identify Fibre Plants
by Christa Clay
There are far more than eight ﬁbre plants available to us here in BC, but the Fibreshed Field School focused on hemp, daylily, nettle, ﬂax, milkweed, dogbane, cedar, and ﬁreweed. Some are native, others introduced, some common, others more tricky to ﬁnd, but they all have their own stories and deﬁning characteristics. All of these materials are of cultural signiﬁcance to the Indigenous
communities. Harvesting and using these plants means participating in the global culture of resource extraction, and requires intimate engagement with ecosystems which are sometimes fragile. This is something to research, to talk about, and to be mindful about. A good rule of thumb is to tread lightly, never take more than 1/3 of what you see, and to use everything that you harvest. Be mindful of the seasons, the location, and the intentions you have. Have a plan, be respectful, and be kind.