Herbs

Most of the time, these are medicinal plants, but they may not be Arkansas natives. Some are invasive, some just alien, and many are grown on purpose in gardens.

A sign I put up to protect the Virginia snakeroot plants.

Oh no! The Virginia Snakeroot babies are all gone!

I went out to check on the Virginia snakeroot nursery the other day and was mortified to find nothing. Not. One. Plant. Virginia Snakeroot … What’s That? Now, you might be wondering just what’s so important about a plant that really looks like nothing much more than a weed in the woods. It’s a plant …

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Lousewort, Bumblebee Food and Medicinal Herb

Lousewort (Pedicularis canadensis) is an interesting plant. It’s a medicinal herb said to be effective at muscular pain relief. The bumblebees love it! An interesting find In May of 2014, I noticed an interesting plant. Well, I’m *always* noticing interesting plants, so it wasn’t the first time to notice an interesting plant, but the first …

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The hazelnut and husk, straight from the tree.

Vernal Witch Hazel Flowers and Hazelnut too!

Today I went out to take cuttings from the Ozark Witch Hazel in the hopes of rooting them. I wasn’t looking for an American Hazelnut, but that’s what I found! I found the Witch Hazels, too. But I already knew those were there. New finds are always so exciting to me, but I think most …

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Elderberry blossom

Build your Herbal Armory!

Useful plants grow all around us. It’s time to start building your herbal armory of plant allies now. My book, 10 Common Plants worth Knowing in a Long-term Survival Situation, will introduce you to ten at a time. I’ll help you make allies of them, enabling you to build your herbal armory. All-Heal Beebalm Echinacea …

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Ginseng Jelly – A Delicious Wild Ozark Luxury Product

Oh, my … GINSENG JELLY! I love medicinal herbs, especially those that grow right here at home, and most especially ginseng. This year’s ginseng jelly comes in two varieties: Ginseng Gold (4-oz, $25) Ginseng/Apple (8-oz, $25) Soft-set: thicker than syrup, thinner than jelly Both are delicious, but you’ll get more of the ginseng active ingredients …

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Elderberry Flowers Oil Infusion

Elderberry flowers have a light, sweet fragrance and all manners of pollinators love them. Which Elderberry Flowers? The variety I’m using for this is Sambucus canadensis, which is the native elderberry in our area.  Black elderberry (S. nigra) is the european comparative variety. Don’t use red elderberry if it grows in your area because that one …

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Wild Ozark’s Plant ID Challenge: May’s Mystery

This month’s Star Plant Guesser is Janet Webb, who correctly identified May’s Mystery plant as Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum). Each month, around the middle of the month, I’ll post a plant ID challenge for readers to test their identification skills. Every day until someone correctly guesses the true name of the mystery plant, I’ll post …

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Black Cohosh or Doll’s Eyes? Companion Look A-Likes

Black Cohosh or Doll’s Eyes? Trying to differentiate between black cohosh and doll’s eyes before they come into bloom, has been frustrating. It’s very easy to tell once they begin the blooming process as the flower stems originate in different places and the flowers themselves are very different. Both of these woodland herbs grow in …

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Early Spring Plants of the Woodlands in Madison County Arkansas

I got a late start photographing the early spring plants this year (2017). They started without me and I’ve already missed some of them. These are some of the plants unfurling and blooming on April 1 in the woodland habitats here at Wild Ozark. Early Spring Plants This late afternoon shot of fern fiddleheads is …

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Watching for Witch Hazel Flowers

Witch Hazel Flowers Witch hazel flowers are an interesting sight to behold. The petals on the small flowers are thin and wild. The shrub blooms during the most unlikeliest time of the year. It is one of my favorite plants in the Ozarks. She is an untamed rebel, even if she or her hybridized cousins …

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An Herbal Remedy for Winter Crud featuring Mullein, Ginseng, Beebalm, and Echinacea

Here’s my recipe for an herbal remedy I use every year to combat what we’ve come to call “Winter Crud”. We also take it at the first sign of anything that feels like trouble coming on. This year’s formula uses mullein, echinacea, ginseng, and beebalm.

Join me at the 8th Annual Agroforestry Symposium in Columbia, MO

January 26, 2017 We’ll be there representing Wild Ozark and I’ll be participating in the discussion panel for medicinal plant growers and entrepreneurs. Come out and meet us, talk about ginseng and the new habitat garden, or just say hello.

Mailbox and Back in Under an Hour

Yesterday I brought my camera with me when I went to the mailbox. If I had walked, I know it would have taken more than an hour because I would have seen so many more opportunities to stop and take a picture. There’s Never a “Quick Trip” Anywhere Out Here My intention was to make …

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Top Questions from Readers: Healing Herbs

Healing Herbs: the first of the Top Questions and Topics of Interest from Readers Healing herbs and using the wild plants for medicine was one of the most often mentioned topics in the recent survey results. In case you’re just joining me here and aren’t yet a Wild Ozark Musings newsletter subscriber, I recently sent …

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Photos of Plants – Medicinal & Useful plants down the Wild Ozark Driveway

I’m still mostly stuck in the house because of my knee (dislocated it a little over a week ago) but I took the four-wheeler and camera down the driveway to get a few photos of plants unfurling or coming into bloom. Doll’s Eyes versus Black Cohosh Late last year, after the flood in summer, I …

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Update from Wild Ozark

Lots of things going on – or rather, NOT going on lately. If you’re a subscriber to my monthly newsletter, you’ve probably already seen the update that I won’t be doing the farmer’s market this year. I forgot to add some of the items below to the newsletter, so this post is not a complete …

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Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) Unfurling

The blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) is awake early this spring. I found some the other day, in three different stages of unfurl. The one completely unfurled is in a pot in the nursery area, the other two are in the ground in the same area. I missed the initial unfurling of the stem this year. I’m …

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What’s the Big Deal About Ginseng?

This is the topic of my 10-minute speech for the Meet the Author’s Event on Saturday, Feb. 6,  at the Kimberling City Library. My talk, “What’s the Big Deal about Ginseng” is at 11:10 but there will be lots of other authors there giving their 10 minutes of engaging content, too. The allotted time may not …

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Yellow dock (Rumex crispus), one of the useful “weeds” to know

I saw a young Yellow dock (Rumex crispus) the other day when I walked down the driveway. Usually, unless I’m specifically looking for younger plants, when I notice this plant it’s already matured and ready to produce seeds. Yellow dock, while not native to our soil, is one that will make its way into the next …

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Exercising in Nature – or – Why it takes me an hour to walk to the mailbox and back

Exercising in nature is as easy as taking a walk to check the mail. It helps if you have a long driveway. One of my resolutions for the new year and the rest of my life is to get into better shape. So I figured I’d use our natural resources here at Wild Ozark to …

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Ginseng in November and a Witch Hazel, too

On a whim, I went out to see how the ginseng looked now. I knew it would be dead and wasn’t sure I’d find any. But the four-prong that grows in the nursery plot was still identifiable, at least. You can see more photos of that plant throughout the growing season at the page Ginseng …

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Busy Days at Wild Ozark

I’ve been busy lately, but you wouldn’t know it from my lack of posts to the blog. New projects started (Wild Ozark Nature Journal) and a new website to go with it, new products, and new adventures. Last Friday I spoke at Compton Gardens in Bentonville about the habitat of American ginseng. Afterwards I talked …

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The Business ‘Circle of Life’ at Wild Ozark

An older post, but still representative. Eventually I’ll update it but for now, I’ll leave it alone: This is the second year since making Wild Ozark my full-time endeavor. Over the past year, I’ve noticed a life-cycle of sorts. It’s risen organically, and next year I hope to be more efficient at taking advantage of …

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