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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Wildflowers

Trillium
I went out on a hike by myself after the Pancake Hike last Saturday and enjoyed the quiet time in the woods.   The woods were so peaceful.   Despite the snow we had overnight the wildflowers are doing their best to poke through the ground. 

The Trilliums, Trout Lillies, Blue Cohosh and wild Ginger are about to flower, wild leeks are thriving and the Bloodroot is also flowering. 

Many wildflowers have medicinal properties.   For instance, Bloodroot is used in herbal medicines for broncial problems. Pharmaceuticals mix with other ingredients to treat heart problems, dental plaque and migraines.  Made into a paste it's also used externally on warts and tumours.  The fluid extract can be used for ringworm and as an insect repellent to name a few.  

Wild Ginger, contains Aristolochic Acid - which health Canada says is a toxin which can cause cancer.   The plant can be used in making a deodorant, as an antiseptic and insecticide and herbicide. The flowers are said to be poisonous.   With cancer producing properties, I'm not so sure I'd want to experiment with this plant.

Tea made from Blue Cohosh is said to induce labour. 

Wild Leeks are onion-like plants that grow in the deep woods. The leaves come up in the spring, usually before much of anything else has come up. The flowers only appear after the leaves have mostly died off.  The leaves and bulbs are edible.  They should only be picked sparingly and when in abundance as they are becoming an endangered plant from over picking.  

The Trout Lily - has a green leaf with brown/purplish patches. It has pretty delicate yellow flower.  The Trout Lily is said to be both edible and medicinal.  They are also emetic - which can make you vomit if you eat too much of them.   They are also said to have antibacterial, anti-inflamatory, lymphatic and wound healing properties.  It can be used for treating urinary tract conditions, edema, stress-related conditions, such as anxiety, muscle tension and insomnia to name a few.

As with all wild plants - do you your homework, before trying and making any homemade remedies.

Trout Lily

Bloodroot
Wild Ginger
Blue Cohosh
Wild Leeks


5 comments:

  1. You need to pick some of those Ramps (wild leeks) and send my way!

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    1. Those leeks are up early! Ours usually come in May but I know will be early this year because of the early spring. We take the leaves and freeze them in bundles for winter cooking and eat the roots right away. Love them. They are in our maple woods.

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    2. Everything is about a month earlier than usual here. Now I'm wondering if it's too early to start planting seeds in the veg garden, ie peas, kale, spinach, & chard?

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  2. Looks like it's time to hunt for morels in your neck of the woods. They say when the trilliums bloom, it's mushroom hunting time. What a nice patch of ramps!

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  3. Bloodroot is most important part in all type of flowers. You share such nice spring wild flowers. Its very informative and useful post to every one.

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