Monthly Archives: November 2011

Elderberries – An Old-Fashioned Treat


Elderberries:  An Old-fashioned treat I know you all have seen those saucer shaped clusters (umbels) of white flowers on the roadsides in early summer.  Toward the middle of the summer, reddish black berries about a quarter inch in diameter replace … Continue reading

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Black Cherry


Discovering Black Cherry Last November I was strolling around in a local hospital lobby when I noticed a chart showing common local poisonous plants.  Among them were several of my favorites, notably black cherry (Prunus serotina). The leaves and stems … Continue reading

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Alligatorweed


Alligator weed:  Kudzu of the Waterways Alligator weed (Alternanthera philixeroides) is an invasive exotic menace.  It was first introduced to this country about a hundred years ago from South America in ballast water from ships.  Many exotic species have spread … Continue reading

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Wild Mint


Too much of a good thing? There are few things more satisfying on a hot summer day than a tall glass of iced tea with mint.  If you’ve ever feasted on a thick slice of lamb roast with a generous … Continue reading

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Hairy Bittercress – A Treat


Hairy Bittercress – A Delightful Misnomer As far as I’m concerned, hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) is neither hairy nor bitter.  While the leaves have a slight pubescence (you need a hand lens to see it) it is certainly not objectionable … Continue reading

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Wild Hickory Nuts


Wild Hickory Nuts:  Know Your Botany I remember Euell Gibbons and his Grape-Nuts commercials.  He used to say that the malty taste of the cereal reminded him of wild hickory nuts.  I suppose many went and collected some just to … Continue reading

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Florida Betony


Florida Betony – If you can’t beat it, eat it Sometimes the battle can seem hopeless.  Florida Betony (Stachys floridana) is a highly invasive cool season weed.  To make matters worse the square-stemmed devil is a member of the mint … Continue reading

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Love of Foraging


Collecting and utilizing items from the wild has long been a hobby and passion of mine.  I have been extremely fortunate to have many outstanding teachers. First on the list would have to be my father, Dr. Frank Manzer, a … Continue reading

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Nature’s Aspirin


Nature’s Aspirin I enjoy harvesting plants from the wild and we have numerous useful plants.  Black Willow (Salix nigra) is our most common willow species.  Willows are one of the most common trees used in making baskets, because the stems … Continue reading

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Sweet Birch


Mountain Medicine Do we have any wintergreen lovers out there?  For years nearly all wintergreen flavoring was extracted from sweet birch trees (Betula lenta). Some people call them black birch, spice birch, cherry birch, or mahogany birch. Birch beer soda … Continue reading

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