Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Plant ID Project: Frostweed, White Crownbeard, Verbesina virginica

Frostweed, Verbesina virginica, or Crownbeard, Virginia Crownbeard, Iceplant.....hello, friend!   Score another point for the plant identification project!
Driving down the highways this time of year, there are huge stands of this plant to be seen here and there.  The opposite bank of our backyard swale is full of these, and pollinators love love love them!  Many thanks to Craig at the Florida Native Wildflowers blog for helping us positively identify this plant.  The ones we see have winged stems.

Here are two really nice links with more information about Verbesina:

Wildflowers of the United States
Hawthorn Hill Native Wildflower and Wild Plant Nursery

Similar to the Statice flower that's put in flower arrangements a lot, the stem of the Frostweed has papery "wings" extending down the main stalk.  It also reminds me of the "wings" of the Winged bean pod.  Identifying the flowers was not as difficult as the rest of the plant, since most pictures I found online showed up under the name White Crownbeard and had no wings on the stem, or had leaves that were lance-shaped with no "oak leaf" type look to them (I really need a course in botany...I lack the correct descriptive terms, alas!)

Hooray for learning the name of another familiar wildflower "face"!

And now to knock a few more off the list...the hunt continues :-D

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Please Please Don't Vote

...if you are the caller in this video.  I laughed sooooo hard...

I wonder if she's a politician??? heeheehee.....

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Blender Broke

.....oh bother!  Bother the cheap brands made Not In The USA, the ones that break when you need them.

Here's something that made me laugh about Americans and our dependency on foreign-made gadgets and how attached we get to the latest "technology."  Well, by We I don't always mean Me.  I'm a throwback, the girl who makes things without much that is plugged in, at least till I got the Blender.  Here's the skit...

I'm not a gadget girl in the kitchen, and My Only Blender has taken up counter space in its alternating seasons of disuse, after its glory days of The Year of a Million Green Drinks.  A plastic lock-on part cracked in half and fell apart in my hands today after I'd soaked some Canary Seed to make Canary Seed Milk as recommended by a friend, thus continuing our streak of using ourselves as our own guinea pigs when it comes to concocting things with health benefits. So back to the old Stick Blender.

Someday we may get one of those fancy schmancy ones I dream about periodically, but honestly I think the old stick blender is going to do us just fine a bit longer.  And it's really easy to clean.

And speaking of kitchen gadgets, does anyone else have to rescue them from husbands who kidnap them for other uses??  My ONE kitchen knife that cuts about anything keeps getting taken outside for EVERYTHING my husband needs to cut, even moringa trunks!  But I guess as long as it keeps returning to the kitchen and being there when I need it, I'll hush ;-)

Time to go see if the stick blender is up to the task of whisking soaked canary seed.  Bet that's not listed under "uses" in the handbook, ha...

Wildflower Hunting and I Wonder About the Benefits of Iresine diffusa

It's Fall in Florida now and the wild plants have my attention.  It can be overwhelming trying to learn the names of many at a time, so I'm focusing on the ones that catch my attention as I go.  And what better way of attracting attention than being in bloom?

If my identification skills haven't failed me (thanks to Google, but if I'm wrong, please let me know and I stand corrected!), this is the plant called Juba's bush, or Bloodleaf...Iresine diffusa.  I found one site online that cited medicinal uses in Jamaica, but it was nonspecific about the parts used and how to use them.  So I'll be on a hunt for more information.  If you know this plant, please help educate me!

The delicate blooms are what catches the eye at first glance.  I believe these get to about 3 feet in height, if the roadside ones are any indication.  They look delicate and creamy, and dance in the wind.  Again, I can find little to nothing about these plants, so if you know them, help!  :-D

My hunch is that a lot of wild medicinals flourish in areas in which their properites are not only best suited to thrive, but to promote healing of illnesses specific to that particular locale and climate.  Goldenrod is in bloom right now as well, and it is good for many allergy-related issues and kidney support.  I wonder if this one has any similar uses and energetics?

What's blooming in your wild places?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Primrose Willow

I'm still on my quest to become a bit more familiar with the names of the many plants that grow wild here.  This one is the Primrose Willow, and when it really takes off, it does along whole roadways, growing taller than a man in height.  In fact, a picture of one of these was one of my first blog headers back in 2007 after first being given my camera.
After doing some online research, I have not yet found any mention of medicinal uses or edibility except that it is listed as a non-toxic plant.  That's a pretty broad category, but we won't be testing it for food for ourselves just one that one mention.

I did, however, find that it is good browse for deer, sheep, goats, and cattle.  This is good news because it's prolific and eradicating it from enclosures (future enclosures, we hope!) would probably require a lot of diligence.  The are beautiful and attract a lot of pollinators, so I'm happy to find out a little more about this plant friend.  I'll still be on the prowl to see if I can scare up any further finds about medicinal uses and so on.

If you know of any, let me know!

:)  Robbyn