Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chicory,Purple-flowering Raspberry, Dogbane,St.John's Wort

The lovely sky blue flowers of the wild chicory have to be enjoyed on the plant as they will immediately close up and wilt if picked.  The leaves, though bitter, can be eaten, and the roots can be dried to make a coffee substitute.

The purple-flowered raspberry produces an edible red fruit that looks like a flattened red raspberry, but the fruit are very seedy so they are not general eaten.  It is quite an aggressive shrub that thrives in partial shade along with hardwood trees. Unlike regular raspberries, the stems are not thorny , just hairy.

Dogbane has lovely little white bells with pink stripes on the inside.  It produces a milky sap which is toxic to animals and people.  Most livestock, however, will avoid it and only eat it if food is in short supply.

St. John's Wort has starry yellow flowers and often grows in waste areas with poor soil . Herbalist claim that it will help with depression, but, as with all herbal remedies, it is not without it hazards. It is considered poisonous to livestock (even deadly) so it should not be taken cavalierly -best not to take it at all, I would think.

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