Horticulture

Discussion in 'Science and the Universe' started by Bandit, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    i wanted to start this because i do have a great interest in plant life & different species.(not sure if anyone started one already) maybe there are a couple of others here too with an interest. I can bring up a few of mine as the growing season passes & maybe some others will share some of there knowledge.

    I am putting up poison ivy first:D .
    if you are one of those people who says they could never catch it, dont be too sure. i used to be able to mess with & it never bothered me. but last year my immune finally gave out & that mean nasty vine took me out of work for almost two weaks.

    there are several different ones to watch for. poison oak & sumac are very toxic with urish oil.

    look for something that looks like this. 3 leaves, then leave it be.

    the entire plant is posion, roots & all & is even poison in the winter when dorment but worst now through fall. a dead vine will still have poison in it 5 years after you have cut it down.
    never burn it, because the oil can smoke into your lungs & catch it that way. the leaf is lobed on one side & does not have a definate shape every time.

    it creeps, climbs & pops up out of nowhere & loves to grow right next to a path where people walk:eek: . your pet could get into it, then rub it off on you, but I dont think it is toxic to too many animals or birds. also, you dont need to cultivate it..hee hee, it does just fine on its own!

    if you catch yourself into it, you can wash with cold water within 20 minutes & get the oil off & you wont get it as bad.
    this place has some good info, stats & pics on the plant.:)

    http://poisonivy.aesir.com/view/welcome.html

    [​IMG]
     
  2. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Oh, this stuff is icky. My mother is dreadfully allergic to it and it causes her whole system to go crazy. They have to shut her immune system down every time she gets it because of the reactions her body has. Thank God she is now living somewhere that it doesn't grow. We're all very outdoorsy people, so she kept getting it while hiking when she lived in Cal.

    Something she learned- if you think you got it immediately wipe down the whole area with rubbing alcohol- not just the spot but a huge area around it too. This helps stop the spreading of the poison (which is oily and travels along your skin), and after you get it putting rubbing alcohol on it helps dry it up.

    ;)
    Oh, and I love love love plants. My redbud tree is currently in full bloom and all my windowboxes are full of flowers. Trees are just so cool- mighty and yet never hurt anything, and they are so useful.
     
  3. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Ooooh, I love to grow plants, too. I think I inherited it from my dad, who is somewhat of an unnoficial master gardener. His thumb is a fine, fine shade of fresh grass green. I have this really, really strong memory of being with him at a plot he had at a public garden, where he was growing tomatoes, and the smell was just this rich, beautiful, dank green tomato vine smell. To this day, I love to buy cluster tomatoes at the grocery store, just so I can get a whiff of that fresh wild tomato scent.

    I live in an apartment right now, so don't have a real garden, although I have a slew of potted plants out on my balcony. My favorite one at the moment is a Jacob's Ladder plant. It's about two and a half feet tall currently and just started blooming yesterday. The topmost shoot opened up into a purple flower with yellow tendrils in the middle of it. I'm a rank amateur when it comes to this stuff, so I don't know what the technical name for the 'tendrils' is; I want to say pistil, but when I do, I have flashbacks to a certain scene and song in the movie "Grease." Ah, another childhood memory...

    As far a Poison Ivy goes--yeah, it's no good. I remember my friend having problems with it a couple of summers ago and looking for jewelweed, which is supposed to be a natural plant remedy for it.

     
  4. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, all!

    I had hoped someone would get around to this subject!

    Poison ivy and cousins, oh my! Something I see overlooked in the warnings, is that the poisonous oils can also stay on your cloths and shoes for years. Seems I remember they need to be washed separately, and the machine cleaned (run through an empty cycle) before any other cloths are washed. Better yet, just bag 'em and get rid of 'em.

    Thanks for the reminder of jewelweed. It is a wild relative of impatiens, and tends to grow in the same area as poison ivy. The Native Americans used it to relieve poison ivy, et al.

    Some others to watch for that grow wild around here, are stinging nettle, and nightshade. Stinging nettle will raise a little blister, but is otherwise harmless (unless you're allergic). It is even used in some herbal formulas. Nightshade is poisonous to eat, especially the berries, but is related to tomatoes and potatoes. Usually not a problem for people, but small children may not know any better. Nightshade is also used in some herbal preparations.

    Another that just came to mind is Poinsettia, the Christmas plant so many people display at that holiday, is very poisonous to eat. So is mistletoe. So be careful with these as well.

    Since we've covered a few of the nasties, how about some pleasant surprizes? Did you know that you can eat some flowers? I have to caution first, be sure you know where they come from and don't have any chemicals on or in them. DO NOT eat flowers from the florist!

    If you have organically grown roses, nasturtiums or pansies (including johnny jump ups), you can put the petals in a salad and they are wonderful! Around here you can get fried squash blossoms in season. I'm sure there are more, but I'd love to hear from others!
     
  5. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    I think deer like to eat roses. Random fact I heard on NPR the other day.
     
  6. Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine Junior Moderator, Intro

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    I'm taking a class in floral design and last class we spent the entire class on edible flowers. I also wrote up an entire party menu that uses flowers (just for fun.)

    I, alas, have a black thumb, but I found out that if you want to get decent squash blossoms and are too impatient (or have a black thumb or no space to grow your own organic squash plants) then look for a Hispanic market (perhaps an Oriental market has them, too, but I don't recall off-hand.)

    If anybody's interested, I'll post both the menu and a couple of sites that have lists of edible plants/flowers and short lists of the poisonous plants/flowers. :)

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
     
  7. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    this is cool. i am glad to see others here who like it too-that is true about the posion ivy on clothes & shoes..it is a PAIN.
    i just got my tomatoes in the ground yesterday, some big boys & early girls..it will probably snow tomorrow.
    i do pick up the rose petals & dandelion leaves to eat. Rubard is another good one. My iguana goes crazy when i let her walk through the yard to munch on some of it.

    I would like to see the list of edible flowers & leaves. A friend of mine got a list of plants that are poison to animals. I find that interesting-how something can be very fatal for humans but not animals & vice versa.


    the deer & rabbits will eat just about everything, right down to nothing...so i have these goofy 3 foot rabbit fences around everything:cool: .

    I cultivated echinacia coneflower a few years ago, now i have like 200 plants:rolleyes: . I wish I knew how to extract the echinacia because it does work for infections, colds & sinus.
     
  8. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Well, don't break open the fuzzy bit in the center and eat the white stuff inside. Once I was taking a walk with the friend I mentioned earlier who was looking for jewelweed. Actually, I think he may have been looking for jewelweed at the time, but we came across some echinacia. He said, "Oh, echinacia!" and picked one of the flowers. He started plucking off the petals and eating them. "Mmm," he said. "Try one. Here you go." I hesitated and then ate the petal. It was neither good nor bad. Then my friend broke open the center of the flower and started pulling out the white hard fluff that's in the center. He just started eating it. "Here, try some of this," he said. "It's good for your immune system." I was skeptical and watched him for a minute to make sure that he didn't keel over. After about twenty seconds or so, I shrugged and ate the flower innards that he had passed me. Mmm. Minty, with a bit of a sour kick.

    That done, we walked on. La la la. Soon, my friend said, "Oooooh! My tongue is numb!" He said this like it was a fun experience. Soon enough, my entire mouth was numb. I started to panic. Visions of a permanently-numb mouth danced in my head. Thoughts of echinacia-induced heart explosion or worse fates raced through my head. Of course, I didn't let any of that show. We just walked on. We walked on and my mouth was sweating with panic and worry, but I couldn't taste or even feel it, really; my tongue was just one big fuzzy prickling numbness, as were the insides of my cheeks.

    After about twenty minutes, that wore off. He happily took some echinacia home with him. I think I took one as a token flower.

    This is one of those, "Don't try this at home, kids," stories. Unless you like that novacaine feeling.;)
     
  9. dauer

    dauer New Member

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    I want to eat flowers!
     
  10. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Pathless!
    Thank you for that. I have some echinacea growing for the last couple of years, but it struggles. My understanding, wide open to correction, is that it is the root of echinacea that is commonly processed for the active principles.

    As with all experiments with herbs, be very cautious until you know well how they act on you. Keep in mind too, when dealing with other people, that our body chemistries affect how these things act on us as well. What works really well for one may not work at all for another, and may cause a violent allergic reaction in a third. So yes, do be cautious. Most of the literature I have read suggests general applications, but they often contradict each other too. Different preparations make for stronger or weaker solutions, say a tincture compared to an infusion or tea.

    I mentioned the nettle and nightshade that grow wild on my land. There are a few others I have been tolerating, but not yet brave enough to try. I have catbriar (aka greenbriar) in abundance, and one source suggests the Native Americans dug and cooked the tubers like the Irish do potatoes. I replaced the sassafrass tree the bulldozer moved down. There are wild muscadines and blackberries, but I have yet to see a single fruit. Beautyberry (aka French Mulberry) grows profusely here as well. Spanish needles are said to be a good potherb when young, as are fiddlehead ferns. One more that grows well here is pokeweed (aka johnny house greens). Regional folklore here in the south is that the black folk would cut them young and wash them in 3 or 4 washes of water to get rid of the oily film that grows on them, then cook them up like a mess of greens.

    Anybody know how to process acorns into flour?
     
  11. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Thank you so much, Phyllis!
    I can't speak for the others, but I would love to see your menu!
     
  12. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    Patheless you guys actually ate the whole flower? LOL

    what of beareded iris? ever notice how each color & variety has a specific scent? i know because i have a few different ones that people just drop off.
    they are the easiest to move & survive everything.
    the biggest problem with cultivating is the bore. once that little moth gets going, they pretty much can destroy an entire crop. -I am a witness-

    some people call them flags. it is like one that you can always depend upon blooming right on Mothers Day.

    Hey Juantoo3- I LOVE muscadines...all the varieties. They grow like wild in Alabama right around September-Oct.

    The wild blackberries, YES! eat them right off the bush, but snakes like them too, & you have to watch for em in the branches.
     
  13. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    poppies. "poppies will make them sleep" -OZ

    dont eat the delphimnum or wild mushrooms:)
     
  14. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    I love growing plants but right now I'm too busy growing children to do much in the garden. My last veggie garden was in NY when I was living in the woods and boy now do I ever have a whole lot of repsect for the farmers of the northeastern US. It is literally growing things out of rocks with little to no sun and either too much or too little rain.

    But, I think I prefer to grow flowers and I'm leaning away from annuals toward perennials, which do better in my MO gumbo soil anyway. Hahaha--but I'm still a mile away from being a horticulturalist even though my profession for more than 15 years was as a plant physiologist! I am much better at killing plants (and I mean literally, intentionally, and tortuously) than I am at growing them.

    But now I've got to worry about chiggers. I never even knew what a chigger was until I moved here. And now I am sporting a lovely crop of chigger "bites" from just edging our front garden bed last weekend. A chigger is a tiny, not quite micrscopic and very ugly little beast. Bright red, can crawl from your shoe to your waist band in just minutes, crawls all around you looking for just the right tender spot, then digs in to feed. Leaves a nasty itchy red spot where it has injected its feeding tube as it prepares to settle down for a 3-4 day meal from your liquified flesh. Ugh! Luckily in humans they get scratched or washed off pretty quickly, but just the thought...

    Next time I'll be wearing eau de deep woods Off!

    lunamoth

    PS, I also have a coneflower plant going into its third summer and it must not be very happy because it remains a lone little plant not propagating at all. I'll remember not to eat it.
     
  15. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    deep woods off is a definate for critters. Perennials outway the annuals by far. I think the bulbs & small border shrubs are the easiest. After awhile you look for the most value for the money & time spent.

    Growing children, that was cute:)
     
  16. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    Dracunculus vulgaris


    has anyone ever seen this? it goes for about 2 weeks. it pops open & hundreds of flies attack it & it stinks up the whole property, like an out house, but only for a bout 2 days. it is the coolest thing like jack in the pulpits. later it puts off this huge cane of red berries.
    reminds me of a venus fly trap.
    i have several getting ready to pop open.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Bandit!

    I had not seen these flowers before. Of course, I am curious why someone would want to cultivate a flower that stinks? ;)

    A year or so ago, one of the arboretums in South Florida announced one of its prized flowers was about to bloom. I forget the botanical name, but the common name is something like "corpse flower." It stinks to high heaven, smells like a dead body, and is fertilized by flies. Thankfully, it only blooms something like once every fifty years or so.

    Such things make for botanical curiousities, and in that respect they are fun. In my former gardening, I concentrated on edible and medicinal crops, wild and cultivated. If my flowers could not be eaten or used medicinally, I didn't put any effort into learning about them. A bit narrow in focus perhaps, but there is so very much to learn, and I was at the same time learning other involved subjects, so I had to get a bit selective.

    I did focus some on gardening techniques. Raised beds and container gardening, and companion planting to save space, were the primary methods I practiced. And in Florida, the growing season is contrary to the rest of the country I soon learned. I had to adapt my process, which I came to call "guerilla gardening."

    Garden pests present a problem, especially when surrounded by wilderness. Everybody has a solution for snails and slugs, but the toughies like curculios are seldom addressed, and they can be a huge problem. So, if anybody has a viable solution for curculios (stink bugs), I'm wide open to hear... :)
     
  18. dauer

    dauer New Member

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    juantoo, you mean the stinking corpse lily. If I remember correctly, it has the largest flower in diameter as well.
     
  19. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Dauer!

    Thanks for the correction. I believe you are correct about it being the largest flower as well, actually quite pretty in a photo. I just don't know that I could stomach the stench! :)
     
  20. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    i think what you guys are talking about is Amorphophallus titanum..
    It was the main feature in the movie Dennis the Mennace. Of course with help from special effects:)

    [​IMG]

    i would not spend 50 years on something that only blooms for 2 days. Dranaculus is similiar & it does stink like poop, but only for two days & the bloom will go for about 2 weeks if it is in part shade & it opens every year.

    I use Bug Getta for snails. I hear beer in a plastic cup works too. My worst enemy is Japanese Beetle but Grub X is the best product for them I have ever used. Most of these things can't be stopped, just controlled & we have to get them at the right time of the year.

    Another they are using for pesticide are Nematodes, but way expensive.
    http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ent/biocontrol/pathogens/nematodes.html
     

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