Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pasture Plant Identification, part II

Wild Blackberry or Southern Dewberry R. trivialis, many varieties

Spiny stems will eventually have yummy blackberries if we can beat the birds to the harvest. Infusion of roots and leaves can be taken internally to treat diarrhea and rheumatism, used externally to treat hemorrhoids. Infusion can be combined with honey to sooth sore throats. Leaves can be used as a tea to regulate urination (what the heck does that mean?) Inner bark can be used as an eye wash to treat eye infections

Ragweed A. artemisiifolia

Don't let the pretty leaves fool you, this little plant is the main cause of allergy attacks for many people. Each plant is reported to produce a billion grains of pollen over a season. Blooms July - August or until cold weather appears (hmm, that means December in Texas!) Pollen will clump in humidity over 70% and have less impact on hayfever sufferers. This plant is native to the US and is now found in every area and pollen has even been found 400 miles out to sea. Bees visit this plant for pollen and ragweed pollen has been identified as a component of most honey. This could help to build up a resistance to ragweed as an allergen.


Indian Paintbrush Castilleja

These are a very common Texas spring plant, often popping up with bluebonnets. Flowers are edible and sweet, but the roots and leaves may be toxic due to a high Selenium content. The Chippewa Indians made a hairwash from this plant that made their hair glossy and full bodied. Since there are only a few of these growing, I figure we'll get more pleasure from looking at them than from eating them.


Great Blue Lobelia Lobelia siphilitica L.

Potential cure for respiratory complaints. When chewed, tastes similar to tobacco and has similar effects to those of nicotine, used in some anti smoking products. Also causes nausea and vomiting and was used by Indians to cure bad whiskey habits. Wow, no thanks!

Wild Mustard Sinapis arvensis

Seeds can be used as a spice just like cultivated mustard. From the same family as cabbage and brussel sprouts. Can be irritating to the skin and used to increase circulation.

Dock (Rumex)

possible laxative. Leaves can be used to treat sings from nettles. Related to rhubarb. Washed dock root can be mashed and mixed with honey to treat wounds.

Oxalis Clover, wood sorrel

Edible with a sour lemony taste. Can potentially use in place of lemon to curdle milk for cheeses. Don't eat too much because the oxalic acid can be dangerous.


White Clover Trifolium repens

A good cover crop/green manure--like yellow clover, used in folk medicine agasint gout. Indians made a white clover leaf tea for coughs and colds. Survival food, high in protein, can be used fresh in a salad or boiled. Dried flowerheads and seeds can be made into a flour.


Horsemint, Lemon Bee Balm Monarda citriodora

I'm pretty sure this is the horsemint plant prior to blooming. Antiseptic properties released in alcohol for skin infections and minor wounds.

Hedge Parsley/Sticker burrs Torilis arvensis

The fruit have little hairs like velcro that stick to clothing and pets. Evasive spreading plant with no edible uses listed.

I still need to identify these:

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