Deadly Nightshade VS Bittersweet Nightshade

The Witch & Walnut

deadly nightshadevsbittersweet nightshadeI often find that these two nightshade plants are getting called just deadly nightshade interchangeably. Although both are from the nightshade family, they are two very different plants. One is an invasive vine that produces small purple star shaped flowers with 5 petals and an yellow beak-like center. The petals start to fold back and give way to a cluster of small red berries. The other nightshade is a shorter plant that produces long bell-like flowers and the color can vary from shades of blue, purple and a shade of pink-ish I would say. After the bloom, one decent sized almost black colored berry is produced along the stem. Pictured below.

The name “Deadly Nightshade” belongs to the ever famous, and magically poisonous Belladonna (ATROPA BELLADONNA) pictured above.

The other nightshade that is mistakenly also called “deadly nightshade” is actually Bittersweet Nightshade, or Woody Nightshade (SOLANUM DULCAMARA) pictured below.

Both of…

View original post 135 more words

Sustainable Wild Collection Protects People, Plants, and Animals

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Chances are, you’re deeply connected with wild plants and don’t even realize it.

All of us in countless ways, whether we recognize it or not, are deeply connected to wild collecting.

Wild plants, as the term suggests, aren’t grown on farms. Instead, they’re collected in meadows, forests and deserts. Since ancient times, they’ve served as natural and essential ingredients in foods, fibers, dyes, cosmetics and traditional medicines.
Consider the açai berries in your super smoothie. They’re wild collected in the Brazilian Amazon. The pure maple syrup you save for special breakfasts most likely comes from the forests of Canada or the northern regions of the United States. The candelilla wax in your favorite skin care products originates in the deserts of northern Mexico. The licorice root used in candies and lozenges could be wild collected in many places — Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan. And at Wildwood Enterprises, more…

View original post 3,466 more words

Wild Foods and Foraging

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

It’s all rainy days, low slung clouds, and rain on tin-roofs around the Gunnison Valley these days—a much needed, thirst-quenching storm has arrived and settled in.  A perfect excuse for warm coffee, bouquets of flowers on the table, and a book, of course.

It’s also a great time to get well-versed in the foraging dos and don’ts.  There is plenty to learn in the way of safety, sustainability, legalities, terms, and botany in the world of foraging, and its best to have at least a cursory grasp on these things before heading out, wicker basket and clippers in hand.

Today, a word on foraging safety, considerations, and a note on common poisonous plants to the mountain states.  All of which, can be found in Briana’s new book Mountain States Foraging, a guidebook to wild edibles in the mountain west.

Foraging for Briana has been a lifeline to a wild…

View original post 584 more words

Elderberry’s | Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism

Good Witches Homestead

CSCH is thrilled to begin the process of creating an Herbal Healing Center at Elderberry’s, a delightful 4-acre farm in Paonia, Colorado! Experience traditional Nature Cure and Vitalist therapeutics among the gardens, herb beds, fruit trees, and wildlands nearby.

Source: Elderberry’s | Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism

Elderberry’s is home to a charming, periwinkle-blue 1908 farmhouse, graced with Peach, Plum, and Apple trees, where chickens free-range among organic vegetable and herb gardens. Our botanical sanctuary is on the edge of town, in a quiet, peaceful, varied landscape with huge Cottonwood trees shading the lawns. It’s the perfect place to shed the chaos of city life and recharge your vitality. Eat fresh food right from local farms and gardens and rest in the camping meadow under brilliant stars or stay in one of our tiny houses. Find yourself at home among healing waters, where the Minnesota creek and mountain snowmelt converge…

View original post 11 more words

The Forager’s: Skunkbush Profile

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Rhus trilobata

Also, Known As:

  • Aromatic Sumac
  • Basketbush
  • Fragrant Sumac
  • Ill-scented Sumac
  • Scented Sumac
  • Skunkbush
  • Skunkbush Sumac
  • Squawbush

Skunkbush (scientific name Rhus trilobata) is a low-growing, bushy shrub belonging to the sumac genus. Also known as sour berry or three-leaf sumac, it grows up to a height of anything between 2 feet and 6 feet. This shrub is found growing in clumps in rocky terrains all through a different section of the eastern United States. The leaves of this shrub are trifoliate (hence the common name three-leaf sumac), which appear on an inch-long stalk. The leaflets of skunkbush appear directly from the stems (sessile) and are covered with very fine, short hairs (pubescence) when they are young. Compared to the lateral leaflets, the terminal leaflet is significantly large, measuring about 1 inch to 2 inches long and roughly two-thirds of its length in width. The leaflets are complete and narrow…

View original post 1,608 more words