Tag Archives: native plants

Wild Walk: Cream Wild Indigo

The creamy yellow pea-like flowers of Cream Wild Indigo. Photo Copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.com

Show Me Oz – Spring is in full swing here in Oz and the vast array of lovely wildflowers are blooming in quick procession.  Most of the delicate spring ephemerals like Trout Lily, Spring Beauty, and Bluets come and go so quickly that it is easy to miss them all together.  Thankfully, we have an ocean of natives to enjoy all season long.  One of my early spring favorites is the lovely Cream Wild Indigo, which blooms much longer than most spring flowers and puts on a show-stopping floral display fit for even the most refined garden.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Wild Walk: Wild Blueberries

Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium stamineum) 2013 5-5 (9)Show Me Oz – The Ozarks are blessed with an abundance of wild food including delectable black walnuts, savory hickory nuts, sticky-sweet persimmons, juicy paw paws, tart wild black cherries, tart wild plums and serviceberries, nutritious black berries, wild grapes and delicate black raspberries. If you’ve spent much time here in Oz, you are almost certainly familiar with one or all of these wild foods and have probably spent your fair share of summer and fall afternoons gathering them by the bucketful. But there is one more wild Ozark delicacy that often escapes the notice (and the baskets) of many a wild forager: the wild blueberry. Continue reading

The New Nature

by Allison Vaughn – Guest Post

Recently, there has been a surge in literature throughout the conservation community highlighting the importance of native plant gardening for the sustainability of wildlife. The National Wildlife Federation writes that chickadees, for example, require 5,000 insects from native plants to successfully rear a clutch. I trust them, just as I do Doug Tallamy’s fantastic book that highlights the importance of converting landscapes from turf to native flora to benefit wildlife. These and a myriad of other articles have positively impacted many communities now embracing native plantings in urban areas; they have reinvigorated Wild Ones chapters, native plant enthusiasts, and wildlife advocates. Add to the resurgence in growing natives are the reports of impacts to non-target wildlife from the widespread broadcasting of glyphosate and other herbicides in an effort for a “weed-free” lawn, and so forth. The assault on wildlife and the natural world is pervasive with sprawling development, wanton abuse of chemicals, regular thumbing of the nose to regulatory agencies and procedures that were put into place in the 1970s during the heyday of the environmental movement.

Continue reading

Wild Walk: Let the Blooming Begin

2013 4-21 Ohio Buckeye in bloom (2)By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Winter is definitely over and summer is marching in with a fury.  Here in Oz, temps have hit the 90’s already and we’ve had a few rain showers to kick the growing season off to a good start.  What was a clear view through the forest just a week ago is now completely obstructed by what we jokingly refer to as “The Jungle”.  So, if you don’t mind a few seed ticks, now is a fantastic time to check out the wildflowers and flowering trees – like this beautiful blooming Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra).

Continue reading

Wild Walk – Spring Blooms

Trillium © 2013 Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Spring is an exciting time to be out and about, checking out exciting and beautiful native plants like this gorgeous trillium.  The vistas across the Ozarks hills are still long and relatively unobstructed by leaves, while bugs should be at a minimum for at least another week or two.  All it takes to witness one of nature’s finest seasons is a walk in nearby woods, river valleys or even farm fields.  To get the most out of your native forays, bring along a field guide to trees, wildflowers or native plants, a pair of binoculars, and a friend or two for a fun-filled day of nature-watching.  To get you started, here are a few interesting Ozark plants you may encounter on your spring walk-about.

Continue reading

Weeds That Heal: Chickweed

Chickweed FlowersBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

There was a time, not so long ago, when almost every woman in charge of a household sought out the wild plants that we generally refer to as weeds.  Rich in vitamins and minerals , many of these plants were welcomed to the table as nutritive spring potherbs.   Others would be gathered and made into healing teas, tonics, infusions, poultices and salves that could be used treat many types of injuries or illnesses.  One of the earliest and most versatile weeds that homesteaders and healers gathered in early spring was the lowly and much maligned chickweed.

Continue reading

American Dittany: The Wild Oregano

American Dittany Copyright Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Fall in the Ozarks is a treasure trove of wild edibles. As the wild mushrooms spring up from the ground, hickory nuts, black walnuts and persimmons are beginning to fall from the trees.  Indeed, even a short walk through the woods can fill the forager’s basket with little effort.  Among the many wonderful edibles ready to harvest this fall, American Dittany is definitely one of my favorites.  This dainty perennial herb is often overlooked by many wild foragers and herbalists because of its small size.  But don’t let appearances fool you – Dittany is a powerful medicinal herb that doubles as a flavorful seasoning in the kitchen! Continue reading