Sunday, September 14, 2008

Flowers of the forest

It seems this time of year as we know leaves will fall and flowers fade. Each late blooming flower becomes even more special. I noticed this flower along the edge of the road as I walked and looked it up. It is called, "Closed Gentian", which explains why the flowers don't open up. I kept thinking it might open at night, but this is all it offers.

Although, I will say the blue is very deep and quite a contrast to the surrounding green. The herb book says the roots of Gentian are used as bitters to aid in digestion. The roots are dug up in the fall dried and used in a tincture.

There isn't a plant around here that doesn't have a purpose, but knowing which to use for what can be a tricky proposition for the beginner and mistakes can be fatal. Like mistaking the honeysuckle berry for elderberries will end your herbal career. So much of this knowledge has been lost to our grandparents and elders who understood what to eat and what not to eat. There is a lady in Mansfield, who literally fed her family for years off what she could find in the forest. She didn't do this as an experiment, but out of need to eat and was quite successful. I wonder how long I could go if I could only eat plant things I found in the woods? It is definitely food for thought. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

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