Tag Archives: medicinal plants

Under the pines and aspens

27 May

Here is a look at a fully ripe teaberry, (Gaultheria procumbens) these little treats have a wintergreen flavor, but if your allergic to aspirin you’ll be unable to eat these safely. With the aid of a white pine cone I was able to display the expanded fruit’s interesting shape which naturally faces down. Click on to check it out.

Lady’s slipper (Cyrpripedium acaule) are real common in many of the maritime forest types and this one is no exception.

A close-up

Bunchberry appears to only have one flower though each little section in the central part could produce a red berry, so this one may have a dozen berries in a few months. This forest plant is very common here.               Enjoy the common things,—- when——now, ciao.

Urtication, hands become comfortably numb

25 May

The nettles have the knotweed surrounded, luckily the nettles are my primary reason for my foraging visit to this area which was a small farm back in the early 1950s.

Yes running approximately 15 feet out from this large patch of japanese knotweed is a healthy stand of stinging nettles which I’ve been gathering from each spring for around 30 years. The stinging nettle I will gather today should last me for a year, as I will dry them and use the majority in tea.

These 2 baskets took an hour to collect as I prefer to gather using scissors and bare hands accepting a few stings which I find somewhat pleasant and the gathering is more of a dance with them. The plants in my home garden came from seeds from these grounds where there are always a large number of water fowl, hawks, ravens and many other birds and creatures which move in close if you are relaxed and moving with gentleness as this is a very narrow valley which drops into a huge freshwater marsh and then a salt marsh before the waters of the Bay of Fundy.

I was too entraced with the stinging nettles to retrieve to my camera to take any bird photos but this little flying friend touched down long enough for a pic, this is a commonly found red admiral butterfly.

Back on the ridge, last look out into the marsh for today. If you are a stinging nettle tea drinker, you may enjoy trying  Christine’s these light footsteps nettle tea recipe which is very good cold and probably hot as well though I haven’t tried it that way yet. Check it out. ciao

gill over the ground

14 May

I gathered a nice collection of yellow goatsbeard tonight which I will share some photos with you later on, but for tonight here are a few pics of a member of the mint family which was appearing very radiantly amongst the many greens this evening.

Glechoma hederacea is  very commonly described as a troublesome lawn weed, others have called it a fine medicinal  and herb tea plant.

There are always different points of view, click on to enlarge the photos, maybe there is a whole lot more than gill-over-the-ground going on here.

more ground-ivy, it also goes by that name.

and in the last photo we can easily notice a certain bee-ing is present, though it looks different than what we expected. ciao for now

Northern fly honeysuckle coming out of its shell

3 May

Now is the best time to notice northern fly honeysuckle (Lonicera villosa) in the northern states of the USA and in southern Canada, it starts to bloom even before the amelanchiers (juneberries) in my area and is difficult to locate by the end of the month when the surrounding plants are also covered in leaves.

I will be returning to take more photos of these plants in a short time as they will be covered with  bees and I am interested to see which types of wild bees will be present for this early feast of blossoms.

Northern fly honeysuckle (Lonicera villosa & caerulea) has been developed into a  commercial crop in some parts of Asia, especially so in Japan and there are a few growers in North America as well, the berries are usually marketed as (Haskap or Honeyberries) which taste like a cross between raspberries and blueberries and are much larger than the wild varieties. Hopefully at some point you will have a chance to try Haskap or the wild fly honeysuckle as when fully ripe they have an excellent flavour and boost impressive nutritional figures. Also I should mention a few other varieties of honeysuckle blossoms are added to salads or added to teas and they are sometimes dried and used for cough relief and for asthma.

The last photo is what I suspect is a ring-necked pheasant egg and it inspired  the title of the post. This egg was laying a few feet from the fly honeysuckle bushes on the opposite side of the egg the shell was broken and dry so it appears a chick had recently emerged. The egg was approximately 2 inches long by 1 and a half inches width, similar to a small hen egg, if your familiar with wild bird eggs do you have another suggestion on what type of egg this could be? ciao for now

Spring flowers, fruits and fungus

18 Apr

Flowers first—Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens)-smells like Avon’s calling

Here is a patch of Trailing Arbutus leaves, the flowers in this shady area won’t be in bloom for a few weeks.

A week ago I mentioned Teaberry  was the only northern fruit I knew that ripened in the spring, well I figured out tonight Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens) also overwinters as an immature fruit  and then ripens in the spring. Partridgeberry has some medicinal properties. So here is partridgeberry my (how did I not already know this) of the day.

And Teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens) wintergreen flavored leaves and berries.

These Red-belt polypore’s bright color stood out from a far distance, another pleasant evening with a few woodpeckers creating the background music in this new area for me of mid to young birch and poplar trees.

Red-belt polypore appears to have some impressive medicinal properties which actually have been utilized by man for a few thousand years and is once again gathering renewed attention.

Another nice Phellinus

ciao for now

True nature is always in season

4 Apr

I set out this evening to visit an area which I suspected may have the first spring flowers in my area, interestingly enough another plant I forgot about was flowering. I love it when true nature proves me of the path again, anyway I have a few things to show you tonight.

Coltsfoot –Tussilago farfara —- This is a very common plant in Atlantic Canada and has medicinal uses, usually for cough relief. These are the first local spring flowers other than Skunk cabbage flowers

Teaberry–Gaultheria procumbens— Now I  think most folks in the north would be surprised to learn that the first ripe berry of the year is the Teaberry which actually over winters and then continues to increase in size and ripen fully in May to June, at least this is so in my neck of the woods. Teaberry fruit and leaves taste of wintergreen and have medicinal properties, don’t try this plant if you are allergic to aspirin.

Japanese knotweed–Polygonum cuspidatum— These grow into large plants often over 8 ft high, here is a photo of young buds, the early growth up to 1 ft can be used similar to rhubarb in desserts or like asparagus as a vegetable.

Trailing Arbutus–Epigaea repens—- This is the one I suspected may be in bloom in dry sandy jack pine areas, nope maybe in 7 to 10 days by the look of this photo.

Wild blueberry–Vaccinium angustifolium—Here are the spring blueberry stems which in the photo resembles a wild blueberry plant forest.

Cattails–In this photo both Typha latifolia & Typha angustifolia are growing together you will need to click the photo once or twice to enlarge enough to notice the different head sizes.

Lastly, I’m going to enter a page at some point concerning interesting rocks I encounter, here are a few from tonight’s adventure. Also there are plenty of info on the net for uses of the above plants so check them out if they grow in your area, cheers for true nature.