The PawPaw tree is a ginseng companion plant, or ginseng indicator plant. It often grows where ginseng grows, but is also often found in areas with more sunlight. Here at Wild Ozark it is a fairly good indicator of great ginseng habitat, but it also grows prolifically on the edge between forest and field, marking places where the forest beyond the boundary has proper habitat.
The photo below is a PawPaw flower bud. It is a frame in the American Ginseng & Companions slide-show. Later in the season the flower will open completely and the color will be a deep burgundy red.
“There’s a “between” space where the ginseng habitat and the surrounding ecosystems meet. It’s the boundary between one kind of place and another, like a doorway or threshold. The ginseng habitat and the surrounding hardwood forest, the forest and the field, or that transition space where mountains meet the ocean, plains, or desert sands — all liminal spaces of a physical sort that speak to the soul of those who enjoy crossing and lingering along such lines.” – QUOTE FROM AMERICAN GINSENG & COMPANIONS
Predator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.
Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.
About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.