ethnobotany

Plant Of The Week #5: Rosa rugosa

Despite the ever lengthening list of new and exciting plants I have come across over the last few weeks  that I would positively love to look into further for future installments, I decided to not let myself get too carried away. As such, for the 5th installment of Plant of the Week I am going to focus on a species that has been a favorite of mine for the many, many years that I have had the pleasure of having it carefully stored away within my botanical mind palace. If you two have not met already then allow me introduce you to the positively lovely yet rough and tough Rosa rugosa.
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Plant of the Week #1: Bunium bulbocastanum

Happy Monday everyone! Just like I promised last week in the introductory post for this series, I am very pleased to begin creating ‘Plant of the Week’ posts where I will introduce you to some of my favorite, often less well-known edible, medicinal and otherwise all-around useful plants. Many of these species or genera that I come across I do unintentionally, often in the process of looking up other similar or related plants and they will tend to focus on species that can be found, if not imported and grown, in north-temperate regions, particularly southern Canada including my home of southern Ontario. (more…)

New ‘Plant of the Week’ Series

From time to time during my frequent research binges I will stumble upon a plant that really sticks out from all the others, at which point I then compulsively attempt to learn as much about it as I can. After safely and securely storing that information away, deep within the recesses of my mind palace, I’ll hopefully be able to recall it at a certain point in the future when it is perhaps more relevant for me to think about. Trust me, this happens way more often then you think it does. (more…)

Foraging Fun: Taraxacum officinale

The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) hardly needs an introduction. It is one of only a few plants that the vast majority of those inhabiting temperate climates worldwide can easily recognize. Many of these same people are very likely to have interacted with dandelions in a meaningful way as well, whether as a child wishing  upon the wispy seed heads or frustratingly attempting to remove them from a garden.

Yet as you will see, this lowly weed is not only both edible & medicinal but is also an excellent conduit in which we may learn about ourselves as a species, how we have fundamentally changed the world’s ecology and how we should best react to our changing environments and landscapes. Understanding the life cycle of and experiencing dandelions first hand as an edible or medicinal herb will help to shed light on what this one plant among countless others can teach us.

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Foraging Fun: Nasturtium officinale

Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is a moisture loving herbaceous perennial in the mustard family (Brassicaceae) native to most of what is now Europe as well as parts of North Africa and northwestern Asia. Although watercress can be found growing along the margins of ponds or populating the fringes of shallow ditches and creeks in full sun or dappled shade throughout the growing season, it is undeniably at it’s best (from a gastronomic perspective) during the spring and autumn. (more…)