September 2020

bracer roots on corn

Bracer roots

A deformity? Scary Halloween toes?Nature’s wonders may not always be beautiful but they are fascinating.This is the base of a stalk of corn and the extensions are called “bracer roots”.They are more commonly seen on heirloom varieties that are tall growers.The indigenous Mixe community in the isolated village of Totontepec in the eastern mountains of Oaxaca, grow a maize, known as olotón which grows to nearly 20’ feet in height.It produces a mucous like gel from these bracer roots.The gel contains nitrogen forming bacteria that drips to the soil and nourishes the plant!Further research with this unique trait could revolutionize Read more

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Crinum moorei

Crinum moorei

We’ve made it halfway through the week (or to somewhere).This beauty is Crinum moorei,( Moore’s Crinum Lily, Natal Lily, Lily of the Orinico). it’s blooming late this year by about two weeks which is in keeping with current climate change; Spring two weeks earlier, Fall two weeks later.Still it looks great against that ‘Kodachrome’ sky!

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Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West

Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West” by Michael Moore

As a nurseryman and grower specializing in edible, ceremonial and medicinal plants for gardens and landscapes here on the central coast of California as well as an amateur herbalist, I am always looking for more information on medicinal plants native to this area. “Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West” by Michael Moore contains a wealth of information for both the novice and the advanced herbalist practitioner: Identification and safe use of the plants Appearance, habitats, collecting methods and storage Therapeutic uses, constituents, and preparations Potential toxicities and medical contradictions Tea making, tincturing, and salve making More than 300 species are

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Moroccan orange slices

Citrus sinensis, Blood Orange

Of all the varieties of “sweet” oranges (Citrus sinensis), the Blood Orange stands out as my favorite. While oranges, in general, originate from China and are likely a hybrid between the Pomelo and the Tangerine, blood oranges originated as a mutation of the sweet orange. The origin of the Blood Orange is uncertain, either in Asia or the Southern Mediterranean. There are at least 15 named varieties of Blood orange, the most common being the Tarocco (native to Italy), the Sanguinello (native to Spain), and the Moro, the newest variety of the three. All are characterized by being somewhat smaller

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