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Capsicum

Foraging

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hey, looks like heavenly bamboo to me based on the pictures I just looked at :smile:

 

learning new things all the time :mdance:

 

 

Bewitching, that's really not a great picture, but it looks like Heavenly Bamboo. If I saw a picture of its overall growth I could be certain. Heavenly Bamboo, or Nandina, has mostly dry but extremely pretty bright red winter berries. Culinary applications are few. I have noticed that they harbor shades readily, much as does true bamboo. And yes, bronze scuppernongs are choice.

 

Capsicum, I'm an orchid ignoramus but I know those are gorgeous wildflowers.

 

Chloe, I have an Indian Pipe growing in my garden, and I have not noticed that touching it has any effect.

 

 

I can't tell for sure, but those look like pictures of a honeysuckle vine with some ragweed growing through it.  The little yellow flowers are actually a part of the plant below it that has leaves that look like a marigold.  We normally call that ragweed here.  Ragweed is good as a topical solution to insect bites, however it also is the number one cause of hay fever allergies.  It's an Ambrosia so it's associated with immortality in Greek and Roman mythology.  Honeysuckle (if that is in fact what the bush/vine is) is Japanese and has a multitude of medicinal uses...not sure of any magical properties it has but I'm sure there are plenty. 

 

EDIT: I just looked at my honeysuckle vines, it looks a bit different,...but if it has little yellow flowers all over it during spring it could be....the name is eluding me...starts with an "h" I believe...XD  can't remember.  People plant it in hedgerows all over the place here.

 

 

On the other side of the vacant townhouse's yard next door to me, there's actually quite a bit of bamboo stalks not intwined w/other plants, etc.!! I'll take pics of them and upload them as well. My hubby took some today of our trees, shrubs, weeds, etc. all around our front and back yard. Some of them aren't really good bc of the glare of the sun, so I'm going to take some more tomorrow in the late afternoon when the lighting is different due to all of the shading from the trees and whatnot. 

 

When my hubby saw a package of the magnolia "grapes" (the scuppernongs) at one of our local Co-ops, he was stunned bc they cost so much and had no idea that's essentially what we have growing in our yard until the other day. Since you're familiar w/them Christine, when and how would you suggest I go about cultivating and harvesting them? How can I tell when they're ripe for instance? Do I pluck them or wait for them to fall off? What time of the year is best for harvesting them? And so on... I wasn't blessed w/my mother's green thumb and even though I know a ton about herbs and plants from a medicinal perspective, as well as a magical one, I'm new to gardening and identifying plants/herbs visually (except the easy ones like mint, rosemary, lavender and several other more commonly recognizable ones- at least to me)- heck even the local and state trees I just started learning how to identify (except certain oak, pine, and dogwoods, and any one that bears common fruits like apples, citrus fruits, etc.).  

 

I just noticed my neighbor has pot marigolds growing in her front yard today for crying out loud. All I kept thinking was, "dammit if I'd known this weeks ago!" bc I just bought some calendulas for a homemade salve. And here she is with an entire yard of them! Also, I'm highly allergic to ragweeds- lol. My state is just phenomenal for people like me.  :cry: 

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Bewitching, I have never grown scuppernongs myself because the cuttings are also a little out of my price range, and although they were once endemic locally, that no longer seems the case. I did mention that I was jealous...

As far as culture, it is as for any American grape. They're usually pretty carefree as grapes go. The berries are ripe when they are soft and the skin slips, just like Concord grapes. Don't be surprised if the local critters get most of the harvest.

By the way, I wasn't blessed with colorful thumbs either. I'm just 'satiably  curtius, plus way too stubborn.

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Wild crafting/foraging is something I've wanted to get into for quite some time but have always been afraid of misidentifying the plants. I've gone along a few times with people who know what they're doing for a bit of foraging for food and it's always been fun. We've picked up blackberries, hawberries, elderberries, pawpaws and walnuts, along with stinging nettles.  Oh, and kudzu. A woman I foraged with used to make kudzu royal blossom jelly. (If you've ever had a fruit honey, such as pear honey, it spreads a bit like that in consistency.)

 

I'd love to learn to forage more not just for food but for medicine and other supplies.

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Uncertainfuture, this is a wonderful time to study wildcrafting. I recommend Green Dean's site as a starting place because it is so comprehensive, but there are so many excellent sources of information all around.

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I identified my mystery orchid, it's Tipularia discolor Cranefly orchid, very cool.

 

also, I was foraging and doing other "things" at the battlefield today and came across THIS which blew my mind.  I had to look it up because I had never seen it before. 

 

20140903_151829_zpsftaixez7.jpg

It's an Osage orange, which I know absolutely nothing about other than what I can read about on the internet.

The first one I saw was laying in the middle of the gravel road and my first thought was that it was a very very strange mushroom...when I walked over to it I looked over and saw the thorny tree that was absolutely ancient and loaded with the fruits and thorns.

 

Anyone know any magical uses for it?  Apparently it's also called a "bodark" tree...a corruption of bois d'arc...French for bow-wood.  Native Americans in the Red River basin used it for making bows and other tools.  I figure if anything it may have some magical attributes because of this.  I'm fascinated enough by this thorny tree that I may actually try to plant some on the property here for use in the not so distant future.

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That Osage orange looks absolutely amazing, Capsicum! Being European I can't tell you anything about it because I haven't ever seen it before. Awesome find though, looks like some alien brains or something.

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That Osage orange looks absolutely amazing, Capsicum! Being European I can't tell you anything about it because I haven't ever seen it before. Awesome find though, looks like some alien brains or something.

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Haha I guess I'm lucky it wasn't some sort of alien egg pod or something!  They are edible but aren't commonly eaten because they taste bad.  Apparently they're cultivated for their wood in parts of Eastern Europe.

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I'll ask an online friend of mine about the orange. She works in Osage County and she loves the area, so she might be familiar with it.

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Guest monsnoleedra

We have three of those tree's on our property and a couple more in the fields beyond it.  Discovered them when we bought the house as the fruit was laying all around the tree's.  Thorns all over the tree but the fruit looks like a citric fruit on the inside.  Don't know much about them though as far as magical though it seems they were used for bows and arrows.

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Uncertainfuture, this is a wonderful time to study wildcrafting. I recommend Green Dean's site as a starting place because it is so comprehensive, but there are so many excellent sources of information all around.

Thanks for the info!

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wanted to bump this thread

 

funny that it doesn't do me any good now that I live on the other side of the continent...although sometimes it may not be the same species but a related plant that grows in similar conditions.  I'm having to relearn local flora all over again

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We have a ton of those Osage orange trees on the property at my job. We call em "hedge-apples" around here because the thorny trees are perfect for hedging farms and fields. I use the thorns in spellwork and craft projects occasionally (they are HUGE)...not sure about the hedge apples themselves. I bet they'd be good in protection/boundary work.

 

People hate them at my job. The apples fall and rot and smell so the landscapers complain about having to pick them up by hand. A couple of times they have fallen on people's cars from high up on the tree and broken windshields or dented the body.

 

But I love the trees, old and dark and snarly and thorn covered. If I could find a practical use for the hedgesapples, I'd harvest them myself and save myself from hearing their complaints. I wonder if they would make dye or something..

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Osage orange fruits are a traditional anti-spider charm. I tried it, but mine rotted and I had to throw it out. I should have stuck it on the radiator.

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Christine - cutting them into thin slices helps dry them out, too, and makes the fragrance spread more throughout the house. Seems to work for spiders! I like spiders in my home, but not my in BEDROOM! Worst alarm clock ever

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Slicing is great for drying, but these kids... I do not need to get monkey ball goo out of a four-year-old's hair. I put it outside and the squirrels ate it.

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Residing in NC, I harvest many of my own worts (as they are called in my path) here as well.  Here is a small list of what I have found available to me.

Bloodroot - In thickets near streams, mostly moist places.

Ginseng - in moist shaded places.  I have found it usually near oak and dogwood trees.

Goldenseal - Damn near the same place as finding ginseng.

Mayapple - open fields, but also within the forest itself.

Dandelions - Hell, you can find these everywhere, as they are highly invasive.  Just look in your own yard!

Lady’s Slipper - easily found in forests of pine.

White Oak - the local forest, especially in western NC.

Yellow Poplar - within other hardwood forests, Has been in Western NC for me.

Sassafras - Loaded in the mountains!

Blackberry - in the woods, on sides of country roads, state parks, etc.  very easy to find.

Dogwood - Once again, pretty common to NC

Wild Cherry - found along the edges of most woods.

Pine - Freaking everywhere in the south.

Mullein - fields, roadsides, even in parking lots.  Unshaded areas.

Jimsonweed  - roadsides,and cattle fields

Rabbit Tobacco - found along hillsides of open spaces in the woods.


 

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Dogwood makes a good anti-spirit floor wash. White oak - eat the acorns! Then make a face wash or tonic medicine :)

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Mayapple shouldn't ever grow in an open field, it's almost entirely dependent on arboreal mycorrhizae.  Just like pinesap and indian pipes.

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So, what does one do with white oak and dogwood?

 

White Oak- can be as an astringent- a substance that dries and shrinks tissue. It is great for for hemorrhoids and varicose veins. The bark itself is boiled to produce tannin which is antiseptic.  As a forewarning, high volumes of tannin is toxic.

 

Dogwood- The bark is boiled into a tea which is great for reducing fever. 

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Mayapple shouldn't ever grow in an open field, it's almost entirely dependent on arboreal mycorrhizae.  Just like pinesap and indian pipes.

While I would agree that they are "mostly" found in forests and usually in abundance, I have indeed found it in open fields (less abundantly).

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