Yesterday I took a break from figuring taxes (yes, I’m still working on taxes) and went outside to enjoy the warm-ish winter’s day and plant seeds. On the seed list today:
- American ginseng
- Echinacea purpurea
- Echinacea tennesseensis
- Comfrey (officinale)
These plants all need to be seeded while it’s still cool outside so the seeds can be exposed to the cold, damp soil before sprouting. It could be done by putting the seeds in a bag of sand in the refrigerator (this is called stratification), but I’ll just plant them into pots and keep the pots outside where they’ll get cold exposure. Fresh ginseng seed would need two winters, but the seeds I buy have already been stratified, which means they’ve already spent one winter outside so they’ll sprout after this one.
Day before yesterday I planted some Cowslip (primula veris). This one is not a native plant, not to the Ozarks nor to the United States. However, it’s a good medicinal plant and I wanted to have some on hand for my sustainability/preparedness peace of mind. There are other plants that are native (lobelia inflata, mullein) that also have some of the same benefits (antispasmodic, cough, sedative) but I wanted to have this one, too. While the lobelia is valuable in it’s antispasmodic capacity, and I wildcraft it here at Wild Ozark and use it in formulas with much success, it can be fairly easy to use too much. The consequence of that mistake is violent vomiting which squeezes the lungs. This action supposedly can also be beneficial to expel excessive mucus from the lungs but I’ve never tried it and am not sure I’d want to without someone on hand to give me a breath if it caused my lungs to collapse (seriously). I use mullein quite often to make syrups for the kids and love the gentle way it works to loosen phlegm and quiet coughs at the same time. I’m curious to see how well the cowslip works in comparison to these other plants.
Why the poppies? Well, because they’re beautiful, of course. And they attract bees for pollination…lots of good reasons to plant poppies.
These plants, while not woodland plants or ginseng companion plants (except for the ginseng, of course), will also be part of the offerings brought to market in April. (Except the poppies. Those are being seeded directly into beds where they’ll stay.) We’ll have them at the farmer’s market in Huntsville, Arkansas on Tuesdays if you’d like to stop in. I can legally ship plants by mail now, but these will be too young yet and I’m not set up with boxes and packaging for that anyway. Maybe one day soon. For now we will just fill orders and sell from the market venue.
The links I gave to the plant information goes to the electronic version of “A Modern Herbal” by Maud Grieve, originally published in 1931. This is one of my favorite resources for medicinal herbal information.
I’ll be drawing up an availability list with prices soon. If you want to get on that mailing list, be sure to fill out the form at our nursery page and send it to me.