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Wild Plant Uses...


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#21 David G

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 06:21 PM

Thanks KPR...Will do...My posts are long enough as is without having to double them up...!!! Any time you see something like this don't be afraid to point it out. I'm still pretty green at this and I appreciate the advice.
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#22 KPR

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 08:39 PM

N/P bud,your post are full of useful interesting info...doesn't matter how long they are. ;)

On repeating the pics though.
Not so much for you probably but someone like me with lots of pic posts it uses up free bandwith for Photobucket.
I juggle a couple accounts to keep the pics up without maxing out the free usuage per month.
Each time the page is opened it would count as two uses so = half the amount of allowed free views ;)
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#23 David G

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 10:51 PM

This is Eyebright...

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The flowers are very tiny and striking when you look at them close up.

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Even though this plant has been used through the ages ( and still is ) for various eye ailments, I'm not sure that it is effective. Some plants developed uses based on features that resemble parts of the body

For example, ordinary Plantain that is found on road shoulders and gravel yards has leaves shaped like a foot. Because of this, he has been used for centuries as a poultice for problems of the feet. There's really no evidence that it does any good.

Eyebright is similar. The yellow dot and purple lines on the petals reminded people of bloodshot or diseased eyes and apparently this is why the plant started being used for eye problems. A few years ago I read an article in 'Prevention' magazine based on dubious herbal remedies and Eyebright was listed as one of them. In fact, the article stated that research indicated that it could actually do more harm than good. So this is one plant that the historical uses are likely not very well founded.

One peculiarity of the plant is that it cannot grow by itself. It has a symbiotic relationship with the roots of other plants without which it would not be able to grow.
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#24 KEL

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 02:47 PM

Hi David:
I'm looking for an ID on these and thought you might be able to help

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#25 David G

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:10 AM

Good Point AP. I appreciate your input. I know that I tend to be a little bit too cavalier in my use of edible wild plants...not a safe practice for people just starting out. Any one familiar with Christopher McCandless' demise (Into The Wild)should realize that you need to be very diligent when ingesting any wild plant.

My grandfather is likely to blame for the approach that I have. He introduced me to all kinds of wild plant uses from the time that I was a toddler. I've been nibbling on them ever since. Later in life, I got a number of good field guides and herbals and expanded on what my granddad taught me. In the process, I discovered that many of the plants that I had been feasting on had some level of toxicity. Field Sorrel and Wood Sorrel were some of our favorites...and we ate tons of them as we were growing up. Both of these contain oxalic acid (which can be toxic). I can't imagine why we never got sick with the amount that we ate..!!???

Another point that should be made is that some people may be perfectly fine eating a certain plant but others might be allergic or have a sensitivity to it. Ingesting very modest amounts should probably be the rule for any new food... especially any part of a wild plant even if you know that it is a safe one to eat.

I will likely start posting pictures and short accounts of uses later this Spring. I hope that you will continue to make comments..on my posts and other people's as well... any time that a clarification might be in order...or more information is required. You would be doing all of us a great service.

I learn new things about plants all the time...I hope that you will be part of that process...not just for me, but others that are interesting in this topic as well.
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#26 David G

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:12 AM

Hi David:
I'm looking for an ID on these and thought you might be able to help

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#27 David G

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:17 AM

Kel, This looks like the seed pods of poppies but the scaly dried up leaves on the stem reminds me of Indian Pipe. If this was found in a wooded area and the diameter of the pod was less than ¾ of an inch it is likely the dried up remains of Indian Pipe. Were they 6 to 8 inches high ?
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#28 David G

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:29 AM

ApexPredator

(Not fleabane That is New England Aster.)

AP, I think that I made this correction in one of the posts above...Initially, I made a very hasty( and wrong)assumption that it was Fleabane. I'm glad to have you around to cover my butt...!!!
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#29 KEL

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 07:32 PM

Kel, This looks like the seed pods of poppies but the scaly dried up leaves on the stem reminds me of Indian Pipe. If this was found in a wooded area and the diameter of the pod was less than ¾ of an inch it is likely the dried up remains of Indian Pipe. Were they 6 to 8 inches high ?


They kind of reminded me of Indian Pipe also. As I recall the pods were abit the larger and they had a tough woody stem maybe 8"-10" long. I found them in a swampy spot at the edge of an area that was cut over about 12-15 years ago.
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#30 KPR

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 09:17 PM

Kel, Were they 6 to 8 inches high ?


Seen the snow depths....or LACK THERE OF ...in his picture thread lately?
Lucky if they were 6" high unless he took those back around xmas time... :lol:
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#31 David G

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 10:18 PM

This is a stock picture of Indian Pipe...You be the judge...


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#32 KEL

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 04:56 PM

Thanks Dave, I was under the impression that the flowers simply died off in late July. I’ll have to pay more attention this year, maybe get some photos as they go through later stages.

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#33 Murph

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 12:19 PM

Hey do any of you guys famaliar with plants happen to know what this is?

Found about a dozen of them washed on the shore of the lake near an area that is full of lilypads and water lilies and such in the summer. I'm thinking it's some sort of root and the muskrats and beavers dug them up?

It's about the same length as a piece of corn on the cob but a little thicker.

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#34 David G

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 09:32 AM

Hey do any of you guys famaliar with plants happen to know what this is?

Found about a dozen of them washed on the shore of the lake near an area that is full of lilypads and water lilies and such in the summer. I'm thinking it's some sort of root and the muskrats and beavers dug them up?

It's about the same length as a piece of corn on the cob but a little thicker.

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This is a picture of the roots of Lilypads. Some of the trappers on this site can likely tell you if this is something that Muskrats or Beavers would dig up. There are numerous other aquatic creatures (arthropods, nematodes, mollusks,protozoans,annelids)that could potentially feed on these. I don't know much about fresh water aquatic life but it seems logical to me that once the secondary roots are devoured ( by whatever means..??),there would be nothing left to anchor the plant and that might be why it would float away....Just Guessing..!!??


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#35 Rambo

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:23 PM

Awesome thread. Im going to make some notes and sketchs of the above plants. Great to know and great to pass on to others!
Thanks again,
Rambo
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#36 Murph

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 09:49 PM

Hey great stuff David G thanks alot!
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#37 David G

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 11:32 PM

Took a short walk around the house to-day...great time of year for foraging. These are some of the things that I found:



This is Sheep sorrel. Nice tart lemony flavor...the young leaves are very tender this early in the season...
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Wood sorrel shown here is very similar in flavor...As the name implies, it is found in wooded areas. The sheep sorrel can be found in almost any open areas: edges of parking lots, lawns, fields etc...Both of these plants are good thirst quenchers...
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This is a Cinnamon Fern emerging from the ground.
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The name comes from the cinnamon colored down that covers the plant. This cottony down can easily be pulled off the stems. Aboriginals collected this down and used it much like we use lose cotton.
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I found one that was mature enough to pull out of the ground. This was another plant that we feasted on when we were growing up. I remember walking into a swampy wooded area expecting a feast and seeing fern fronds ( leaves) spewed out all over the place... Someone had beat me to the punch..!!
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The edible part is the white core of the undeveloped fronds seen here. It is tender and has a mild nutty flavor. I know that most of the older folks reading this are familiar with this...it was, and still is common knowledge around here; but I suspect that more and more of the younger generation aren't being exposed to these things...!!???
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Another great nibble at this time of year are the new shoots on firs and spruce. These are very high in Vitamin C and have a good flavor.
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The needles on these new shoots take several weeks to hardened and in the mean time you can remove them with your fingers and eat the soft core. It has a mild Conifer or Gin-like flavor that is pretty good.
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We use to go after the leaders. They'd get to be 6 to 8 inches long...!!
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I found a recipe for candied spruce or fir shoots. It's basically just sugar and shoots mixed together and heated in the oven for a short period of time. It would be great to do this with colored sugar and save it for Christmas...you could have your Christmas tree and eat it too....!!!


I can imagine that all the Trillium, Ladies' Slippers, and Bog Orchids are prominent around my Camp site...Every time that I plan on going the clouds come out and the wind picks up...If this keeps up,I guess I'll just have to take pictures in the rain...
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#38 KPR

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:20 AM

Every time that I plan on going the clouds come out and the wind picks up...If this keeps up,I guess I'll just have to take pictures in the rain...


I HEAR THAT!!! :angry:

No worries though...back to work tomorrow, clear blue skies,sunny and warm, all week ..everywhere but in the fog on the island :rolleyes:
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#39 David G

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 08:36 PM

These are a few pictures of Equisetum : (Horsetail) found along my driveway. There are a number of different species of these growing in Nova Scotia.

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Some are referred to as scouring rushes because they can and have been used as scouring material for pots and pans. They all accumulate varying amounts of silica as they grow, and late in the Summer, you can actually feel the fine grit in them. I've used them on a number of occasions and they do work quite well...but only late in the season when they become stiff and coarse.

They have been used as indicator plants for the presence of gold because they tend to accumulate gold and arsenic ( which is often found with gold)...but I'm not going to take the pick and shovel to my driveway quite yet..!! They don't require gold for growth but they'll absorb it if it's present. I presume that there are a number of geological and topographical factors that you need to correlate with their presence before you start digging...
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#40 greybeard

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:03 AM

Very informative posts!
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Insanity/Hunting...doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different outcome.




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