Journal archives for January 2021

January 14, 2021

The Coldest Part of Winter

Two days ago we had snowflakes falling! Sleet too.

The first frost took the Salvia flowers fairly early in the winter. Then it got warm again. Light cold fronts came and went. And it truly hasn't been COLD until now. The Gulf Fritillarys disappeared with the flowers. The passionvine died back, but did attempt to send up new shoots during the warm intermediary. The dandelions, which often provide winter nectar for honeybees, waited late to flower, due to the unusually warm winter. I've found more around the DFW area because it's been colder there.

I've found a book that identifies passionflower for its edible and medicinal uses, Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants by Christopher Nyerges. The Foraging Texas website, by Dr. Mark "Merriwether" Vorderbruggen, mentions that, in addition to the consumption of the juices around the seeds, the roasted seeds are a favorite snack in Puerto Rico. The white pulp inside the skin of the passionfruit/maypop can be scraped out and eaten. Both sources mention that the leaves can be made into a tea (flowers too, but much less strong). The tea acts as a sedative/anti-anxiety tonic - combats unrest, agitation, exhaustion, nervousness, nervous headaches - the alkaloids in it make for a good "sleepy time" tea. Merriwether suggests not taking more than 2-3 cups per week. You can also smoke the leaves. They can be wrapped into herbal cigarettes and the calming effects can help smokers quit. Beware, though, because the smell is similar to that of marijuana! The Gulf Fritillary caterpillars and eggs can be eaten in an emergency situation, but they won't afford you very much food.

Posted on January 14, 2021 01:51 by redpenny redpenny | 0 comments | Leave a comment