Thursday, June 10, 2010

Musings on Native Plants

  Texas Ebony 
Don't you just love trees!

Since it is summer time,
I have been out riding
and seeing things in this
Wild Horse Desert
that some people don't
see the beauty in.

 The above Ebony tree is the largest of this kind I have ever seen.
This wonderful tree, located on a local ranch,
 was covered with blooms.
This is the reason people see it as a 'trash' tree.

But it is trees and plants like this that helped
the Native Americans
and  settlers of this country survive.

The seed pods are thick and woody.
In Mexico, the green seeds are cooked
and eaten and the ripe seeds are roasted.
Early settlers ground the husk
of the beans to use as a coffee substitute.

There are many other uses for this tree
and most native plants.

The leaves and seed are a food source for wildlife.
It is the preferred nesting site for
white-winged dove.

I always think of how people of long ago
 used almost everything in nature,
and how that has become a thing of the past.

I recently went on a wildlife tour of a local ranch,
but the plants interested me too.
I didn't get photos of everything I saw
but here is some info in case you are interested,
as I am.

I would like to know what you have in your area.

The leaves are grey-green and coursely-toothed.
The roots have been used as soap
and a treatment for livestock wounds.
The fruit and leaves provide
food for wildlife.

The Native Americans ground the seeds to make flour.

Texas Prickly Pear-Nopal...

This is the flower of the cactus prickly pear.
The pads and fruit provide food for humans and wildlife.
The Mexican people and
Native Americans used this plant extensively for food.
The young pads (Nopalitos)
are cooked and eaten.
They selll these in the local markets here,
or canned.
The white wooly webs,
sometimes seen on the p lant,
are the cochineal Bug,
a source of red dye.

Spanish Dagger...
Some parts of this plant are edible.
The roots are pounded and  used for soap.
The flowering head is often the first sign of spring in South Texas.

Brasil-Capul Negro...
The wood of this plant yields a blue dye.

I would like to learn how to
 dye fabric
with some of these plants
one day.

 Savor the Day!


Magpie's Mumblings said...

Thank you again Yvonne for adding to my education! I can always count on learning something really interesting when I read your blog. That tree is spectacular!

Bea said...

Very Interesting Yvonne. I belong to this group, mostly because they have so much information.


Yvonne said...

Thanks MA, I myself love learning new things.

Yvonne said...

Thanks for the link BEA, I would love to do some natural dyeing. The colors are so beautiful.