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Tall Thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)

Thimbleweed is a graceful, interesting native Ozark plant that grows along forest edges (also native to many other areas of the eastern United States). It is most often found in the dappled shade of liminal spaces between forest and clearing. Before sending up flower stalks, the plant is only about a foot tall. The long …

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Don’t Pick the (Hemlock) Flowers

 Take it from our grand-daughter. Don’t pick the hemlock flowers. A couple of weeks ago, Karter’s bouquet caused painful blisters. She picked wildflowers on an outing with her mom and friends down by the river. All the grandkids always love to pick flowers when they come over here, too. But from now on, they know …

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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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Woodland Flowers of June at Wild Ozark

It’s been awhile since I’ve wandered with the camera, but this morning on my way to town I brought the camera just so I could capture some of my favorite woodland flowers blooming along the driveway and county road. The sparsely petaled wildflower in the photo above is the original version. It’s the wildflower that …

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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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PawPaw Seedling Hiding in the Hickories

PawPaw seedlings look a lot like hickory seedlings. In the photo you can see who’s who, but without the labels it’s easy to mistake one for the other. One way to tell the difference is the leaf arrangement. When they’re both older, it’s much easier to see that the leaves are arranged differently on the …

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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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Earth Day Festival in Bella Vista, AR at the ARC

Saturday April 22, Wild Ozark will bring the Nature Boutique to the Earth Day Festival in Bella Vista (Arkansas) at the Artist Retreat Center otherwise known as “The ARC”. We’re sorry to say the flood has torn up the driveway and bridges are still overflowing, so we couldn’t go to the festival 🙁 The Wild Ozark …

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April Spring flowers in the Ginseng Habitat

Lots of flowers in the ginseng habitat right now. The following are just a sample. Wild Ginger If you don’t mind getting down on the ground, you can see the wild ginger (Asarum canadense) blooming. Flowers are usually just below the leaf litter at the base of the stems. Mayapple The mayapples are blooming too. …

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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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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.

How to Identify Plants in the Wild, How to Search and Find Clues

Earlier this year I surveyed my newsletter members for their top questions. Here’s one about how to identify plants found in the outdoors. Top Questions It’s more of a comment than a question, but I’m creating this post in response to it. Although I’ve paraphrased some, I believe the underlying question would be “how to identify …

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Ginseng Growing Season is Winding Down, Digging Winding Up

Usually low prices of any traded good means there is either low demand or over-supply. The case with ginseng this year, according to the dealers who have shared information with me, is both. The demand is lower because of overseas economy. And there is over-supply. Many dealers still have dried roots to sell from the previous season.

Slugs and Dragons and Ginseng, Oh My! Wild Ozark Creations

I’ve been working on a few new Wild Ozark creations lately. This creative streak seems to have no end in sight, either, because ideas just keep coming and I keep feeling compelled to follow them through. Slugs This is the latest drawing I’ve done. The digital and print rights (for business branding, not art prints) …

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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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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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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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Did you know Osage Oranges evolved with wooly mammoths?

Osage Maclura pomifera, also known as Osage Orange, Bois d’Arc, Hedge-apple, or Horse-apple, the osage tree is native to our area. Even so, there aren’t very many of them in our particular neck of the woods. Osage trees were once planted close together so their branches could be woven together as fencing that was “bull …

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