Horticulture

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

  1. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Speaking of "stinky" plants--anyone ever smelled dried valerian? Wonderful therapeutic properties, but ick! (Actually, somewhere in the back of my mind, I connect it with absinthe (or absynthe?), the green cocktail which has been banned off and on in different countries over the past century or so. I think that even valerian itself was outlawed somewhere along the line, but I am not sure. Anyone know?)

    I can't help but think that something that blooms as infrequently as the "corpse" plant you have been discussing and smells so bad when it does must have big medicine or something! After all, as Emerson put it: "What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."

    Regarding the numbing effect of echinacea when it is eaten--did you know that many Native Amercans used the juice of the plant to treat burns? So did my mother's family, who came from the Ozarks with a wealth of information on natural medicine. I have used it to treat ant bites and bee stings as well. Also, the juice (tincture) from echinacea is still used by some to desensitize hands, feet, and mouths when walking on or "swallowing" hot coals. (I remember reading this somewhere in one of my herb books--probably Rodale's.) And I know it is used as a blood purifier with steam.

    And regarding poison ivy--this won't cure a case of the rash, but I believe it speeds the process: Along with some other remedies that have been mentioned here, it also helps to eat only fresh fruits and vegetables during the healing process. I am not sure why, but it seems to work--probably speeds the nasty stuff out of the system faster.

    Glad you started this thread, Bandit!

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  2. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    I didn't mean "tincture"--I meant "infusion." Like a strong tea. That was bugging me--I knew I had said something wrong.:) Needed to clear that up.

    Also, anyone taking immune-deficiency drugs should be very careful about taking echinacea internally because the two can interact.

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  3. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Sort of. Though I've had acorn mush and it was not tasty. Acorn cookies, however, with lots of non-authentic sugar were good.

    As I understand it from my limited knowledge of this subject, first you want to be sure that you are using acorns from an oak that is one of the lower-tannin varieties. Some oaks have such high tannin levels in their acorns that they are poisonous. Plus, such acorn flour will taste awful.

    Then comes the processing, and no doubt I'm probably leaving something out, but here's the general gist of it... You have to crack open the acorns first and extract the nut. Then you have to wash them five gazillion times to get the tannins out of them before you can process them into flour. Native Americans often used rivers to wash the tannins out, putting them in a basket that let the water rush through. It's not enough to just put them in a strainer for a minute or have them in standing water. They have to have a constant stream of water for a long long time to be edible. I had a professor who processed acorns by putting them in mesh bags and sticking them in his toilet tank (very clean of course). Then they'd stay there for a long time (unfortunately I can't remember how long), and the water would flow through after each flush. Personally, that grossed me out and I'd rather use a river, but with all the pollutants and bacteria these days maybe the toilet is really safer. :p

    After they have had the tannins washed out of them, they are ground into flour. The traditional way was to pound them with a rock mortar and pestle type thing or to use a mano and metate. I'd go with a food processor. ;)

    Native folks around here relied on acorns as a staple and would boil the flour into a mush. Quite frankly, acorn flour is not very appetizing until it has lots of sugar added, at least to me. I've had a variety of wild foods, but unfortunately I'm afraid that my sense of taste for these things is... limited. I had mesquite bread and it was OK, but kind of a wierd bitter aftertaste. Mesquite pods can be ground down into flour too. Now, when my prof. offered me a classic Maya snack- whole crickets fried with lime and chile- I drew the line. They say they taste like fried spicy grass, but I just couldn't handle the legs and wings and whatnot. :(
     
  4. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    everyones Hibiscus & Hydangea should be in full bloom.:)

    i gave up on the broad leaf hydrangea. it gets too cold here for any luck since the buds develop in late summer for next year. so i bought some hydrangea shrubs instead. plain old white ones.

    i hear they use crushed hibiscus in tea & baking. some call them rose mallow. i believe hollyhock & okra is in the same family. the shrub hibiscus, (rose of sharon) is an easy one & very hardy if anyone is interested.

    i miss the tropical hibiscus. they get so big in florida & the colors are way better than what you can grow up north.

    next will be the grasses & the plumes of summer for fall.
    anyone have any zebra grass? that is a very cool variegated grass & dependable.
     
  5. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    oh yah & lots of varieties of hosta still in the making. there is a place close by that has almost every hosta available...like over 350 types. some are HUGE!
    good slug bait too.
     
  6. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards!

    Thank you path of one for your response. I am sorry I missed it until now. That was a help concerning acorns and mush.

    I know its just a tad off topic, but I always found it interesting that grasshoppers and crickets and that whole family of insects are considered "clean" by levitical dietary laws. I had not heard of a proper way to prepare them, but I do recall one mention that said to remove the wings before eating. In the grand scheme of the wierd and unusual foods, crickets and grasshoppers are two I would not hesistate to try.

    Like Mom used to say, you can't say you don't like it if you never even tried...
     
  7. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Bandit!

    Best of wishes with your pretty flowers. I remember a huge camelia bush in the backyard when I was a kid. Around here, the big thing is azaleas in February. Right about now, everything is holding on for dear life and trying to make it in one piece until fall.
     
  8. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    same here Juan.

    i am not sure what camelia bush is. i do have ground cover called camelia. it is red green & whitish. they use it in salads in europe. very potent.

    it is so dry here. my water bill for two months was $260 & that was just barely keeping things alive. i will be glad for some frosty weather soon.
    i never had luck with azaela. they always die here. that is one awesome shrub to see in February down south. they get so big.
    i am trying some plain rhododendrum this year, i think they are bit hardier for the climate. :)
     
  9. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Hi--Peace to All Here--

    Please forgive me, I have very little time these days to read, much less post. Just saw the last couple of posts here about camellias and azaleas.

    In north central Texas ("where the west begins":) ), the camellia is the answer to the east Texas azalea--and in my opinion, it is the more beautiful--but they are both lovely. The camellia can be red, white, pink, and I think even orange--and it will climb your chainlink fence--don't know about a wooden one. It requires less water than the azalea.

    I have never heard that it was edible--it might be, but be careful. The camellia I know about is not a ground cover.

    Rhododendrum (sp?) actually loves shade in the southern U.S. I have a beauty in my yard, but I have to bring it indoors for the winter. It does well indoors, but it can be toxic, so watch it around the little children and your pets!

    Sorry--like I said, I have very little time anymore--don't know if I like my new job very much, but it is paying some bills:) . It was cool to log in and find this conversation!

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  10. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    is this the camellia bush you guys are talking about? it is really cool. I have never heard of it before. i read it is sub tropical & there is even one that pops open in fall. it appears to be kind of rare because of its climate needs. (if i have the right bush) here is the link

    http://www.gardenguides.com/articles/camellias.htm

    [​IMG]

    ok. i messed up, the ground cover i have is called chameleon. it is a spice, but not sure how it is used. it has a very different fragrance than anything i have ever noticed. this will link you to what i am in reference to.

    http://www.monrovia.com/PlantInf.nsf/imagelist/09786F9B7ED8882F88257026005DEC86/Picture/0.7C?OpenElement&FieldElemFormat=jpg
     
  11. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    Peace to you too. I know work comes first. No need to apologise for that.

    Ever hear of angel trumpets? they grow to be small trees down south. i can only have them as an annual here. that is a good 3 month bloomer & they grow fast & the leaves smell like peanuts.

    I did not know you could bring a Rhodo in & out like that. They definately want shade, especially in Texas.
    I have so many potted plants it is pathetic & ridiculous & people keep dropping them off on me. I dont even know what half of them are.
    One day I would like to get into Bonsai...maybe:) wax on wax off. LOL
     
  12. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Daniel:) :) :) :)

    Got to log off now--but yes, about the Bonsai--Bonsai can be done with so many things--herbs, like rosemary are great candidates for this--

    Glad you are still here, my friend--life is good, is it not?

    I will be here as much as I can--

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  13. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    The thing about pics on the Net is that they are pics on the Net, and so hard to tell the real thing--but yes, I think those may be camellias--

    Sorry, I think I missed one of your posts here, Bandit--about the angel trumpets? I am not sure of what you speak--where are you? (Forgive me--I should probably know by now--I want to say Oklahoma, but that might not be right). I know lots of plants with trumpet blossoms; it kind of just depends on the area...

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  14. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    mums the word for those interested.

    this is a definate & easy perenial for cold climates & an awesome display of vigor & color through the fall, after everything else has browned out & been nipped by frost. the chrysanthemum will endure just about anything.
    some species have edible leaves for spice & the flowers are used in tea in asia.

    dont dead head them until spring because the buds send nutrients back to the roots (unlike tulip & bulbs) but you can pinch them twice before July 4th for tons of extra buds in fall.

    a bit hard to establish (50/50 chance of winter survival) if planted in October, so for best results get them as early as possible.
    they also make a nice gift at easter time in place of lillies.


    [​IMG]
     
  15. Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine Junior Moderator, Intro Staff Member

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    Sorry for the delay concerning the vegetarian party menu, but here it is (for anybody interested):

    Appetizers:
    Samosas
    Fresh Mozzarella Balls w/ Olive Oil & Basil
    Edamame Soybeans
    Ceci (Roasted Garbanzo Beans)
    Marinated Mushrooms
    Parmesan Crisps

    Entrees:
    Tofu Curry
    Pierogi Lasagna
    Spanakopita
    Potato Chili
    Vegetarian Sloppy Joes w/ Chipotle
    Spinach Lasagna

    Desserts
    Lavender Ice Cream
    Citrus Sorbet in Orange Cups
    Lavender Cookies
    Mint Ice Cream

    Drinks
    Coffee (flavored & plain)
    Tea (green, white & herbal)
    Sparkling Water
    Fruit Juice
    Nonalcoholic Cocktails

    This was my final project for my Flower Arranging class (didn't do well, but the instructor was rather bitter with the university.)

    Again, sorry for the delay.:eek:
    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  16. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    no delay. i can tell by what you use, you are a good cook & baker.:)

    they put lavendar in cookies. i wonder if that is like anis or licorice. I bet i would like everything on that menu. mom whipped up some orange rolls last week that were totally awesome.
     
  17. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    Evergreen-Conifers & Trees

    anyone interested in trees & evergreens or have a favorite tree?
    Junipers, Spruce, Mugo Pine, Redwood, Douglas Fir, Cedar, Australian Pine..
    Some people call Conifers the 'winter garden'.

    i took a special interest in Canadian Hemlocks this year & planted a couple in a shady spot. One of the very few evergreens to tolerate shade, though it prefers sun. and i have a big respect for the redwoods out west for their size, age & majesty. i have always found the redwood forests a place of mystery.
    Pecan trees down south get real big & can produce 800 pounds of pecans from one tree. i have 15 black walnut trees here on the property that i like a lot though they create a serious squirel problem.:)


    Citrus & Avacado trees are pretty neat in the tropics. I miss my bananna trees in florida, not sure if that is considered a tree.
    And of of course all the trees that i call 'spring trees' that produce massive flowers & color like magnolia, dogwood & majestic crab apple (we can go over those in the spring if you want to).
    & i stuck a weeping willow into the ground way out back. i like that tree because it is one of the first to start blooming in spring & the one of the last to change in the fall.

    i think the Weeping Canadian Hemlock is my favorite Evergreen & you can see some more pics & varities here on Google:

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.shadetrees.com/images/TSCASA0_FT2_S.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.shadetrees.com/scripts/gallery.asp%3FthisGallery%3D5&h=312&w=200&sz=37&tbnid=52w0p7ybfcYJ:&tbnh=113&tbnw=72&hl=en&start=90&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dcanadian%2Bhemlock%2B%26start%3D80%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26sa%3DN


    [​IMG]

    here is what it looks like for all the bio-heads:)

    http://www.microscopy.fsu.edu/trees/pages/westernhemlock.html

    [​IMG]

    anyone else like growing trees?
     
  18. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Bandit!

    As it turns out, I spent my teen years about an hour or so down the road from the Sequoia park, and didn't fully appreciate it then. I went back for a visit in '99 and made it a point to go see those magnificent trees. Breathtaking is an understatement. I have pictures, I keep telling myself I need to get my scanner working so I can change my avatar, I have been thinking about using one of those pics.

    Every morning on my way to work I pass by an ancient house built in the 1850's, sitting out all by its little lonesome in the middle of a grove of ancient pecans that must be well over a hundred years old. Each tree is huge.

    I have a few citrus here, some do better than others. No orange, they do not tolerate any freeze. My kumquats seem to do best, they've seen mid-20's and they are still kicking without problem. I am waiting to see how my avocado does, I don't think they take cold well either. Frost finally got my banana. I don't think banana is technically a tree, but gardeners around here pretty well consider them to be. My pomegranets (sp?) and loquats are doing well, so far. Poms are about 4 years old now, still in buckets. Loquats are from this year. All from seed. (I did buy my citrus, but I keep cutting them back to stunt them, kind of an oversized bonzai.)

    I love magnolia! Planted a sassafras to replace one that got bulldozed when I built this place.

    Cool! I love weeping willow, and corkscrew willow, but they are messy. And I have always heard they need a lot of water (can be bad for wells and septics).

    Awesome pic, very pretty. Hemlocks in general seem pretty to me. I like a houseplant called Norfolk Island Pine. I have managed to kill every one of them I have brought in the house, so I do not try with them anymore.

    A favorite? Hmmm...think I would have to go with Bristlecone pines, not so much for "beauty" as for other reasons. Methuselah, way up in the California mountains around Bishop, is said to be something like 6 thousand years old. Anything that lives 6 thousand years is majestic and beautiful in my book.
     
  19. suanni

    suanni Confused

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    Oh I'm so pleased this thread was started. I love plants.

    What surprises me on mentioning the stinging nettle is that nobody has stated its excellent therapeutic uses.
    Its an anti inflammatory, an excellent tonic and drank as a tea an excellent anti-histamine...this bit I found out by accident, drinking nettle tea for other reasons my hay fever didn't flare up. But it is an anti-histamine.
    And the antidote to the sting is dock leaf
    This is just one of my favourite native plant, the common gorse (amongst its many other names which are whinney and furze). Its the first and the last to flower. It signals the end of winter. It grows in profusion where I live. Its a safe refuge for rabbits due to the vicious thorns and it smells wonderful. Walk past a large group on a warm spring day and a vanilla type scent is so strong in the air.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    hi suanni:) . i like that tree. i have never heard of it before but will do some more looking into it.

    juantoo3, i appreciate your post, as i dont think i have ever seen a pomegranet. so that will be a new one for me also. magnolias are the coolest & so many kinds.
    i will be back around the New Year to chat some more.
    so take care & have a good one.:)
     

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