Violets are Delicious

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Beth Schreibman-Gehring, Chairman of Education for The Western Reserve Herb Society unit of The Herb Society of America

violet bouquetOne of the loveliest flowers of spring is the Viola odorata or as it is commonly referred to, the “Sweet violet.” Violets have been used in herbal healing remedies for centuries, in fact St. Hildegard of Bingen, the famous 12th century German mystic and healer, was said to have made a healing salve of violet juice, olive oil, and goat tallow for its use as a possible anti-bacterial.

I use violets whenever I can for their healing virtues, and they are also an absolutely delicious ingredient in salads, drinks, and desserts. Back in the day, violet flowers, and leaves mixed into salads were one of my favorite spring remedies for pre-menstrual melancholy. When chopped liberally into extra virgin olive oil with some fresh comfrey leaves, they make a poultice that can…

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Let Us Stroll the Primrose Path of Dalliance

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Kathleen M Hale, Western Reserve Herb Society

20190505_163700The botanical family name of the common or English primrose, Primula, comes from the diminutive of the Latin word for “first.” And the common name “primrose,” derived from prima rosa (“first rose”), is also a reference to the primrose being one of the first flowers of spring. This is not the evening primrose (Oenethera), or any of the other, more ornate, forms of Primula. This is the quintessentially English cottage garden flower.

Of course, it is then described as “vulgaris.” Sounds harsh. But this is not a matter of judgment of the primrose’s character. It’s just that, where the primrose is happy, it is very happy. It grows and spreads in abundance in cool, moist places.

This does not describe the micro-climate in most of our homes when primroses beckon so invitingly from the grocery store aisles shortly after the winter holiday…

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Have You Seen These Amazing Wildflowers?

Greetings!

First, I want to say “thank you!” to everyone who pre-registered for the upcoming Wild Edible Plant & Mushroom Outing (featuring Sam Thayer!) on June 2nd.  The event filled to max capacity within 24 hours and registration is now closed.  Stay tuned for another exciting Learn Your Land event to be held in early July!

Second, let’s talk about flowers.

If you’re a wildflower enthusiast like me, perhaps you’ll agree that the spring ephemeral wildflower season is one of the best times of year to explore the woods.

What’s not to love about a hillside teeming with White Trillium?  Or a vernal pool speckled with Marsh Marigold? Or a floodplain loaded with Virginia Bluebells?

Personally, I can’t think of a spring ephemeral wildflower I don’t like.  No matter the color, no matter the size… each one is a superstar in its own special way.

Recently, I took to the woods in search of these fleeting flowers and tried my best to capture the magic on film.  The sky was sunny, the air was warm, and plenty of plants were blooming that afternoon.  Needless to say, the wildflowers definitely put on a good show.  Check it out!

Speaking of ephemeral organisms, morel mushrooms are making grand appearances all over the woods right now.  Depending on where you live, these choice edible fungi may currently be fruiting in your neck of the woods.  Check out this recent Instagram post to learn more about these elusive springtime fungi!

Thanks for reading and watching, and as always, thank you for your support!

-Adam Haritan

The Witchy Ways of Carnations

by Slavic Witch

The Witch & Walnut

a-witch-her-carnations1.pngCarnations get such a bad rap in so many ways! Its really too bad, because these often overlooked and unloved flowers pack a powerful witchcraft punch. They carry beautiful healing, comforting and absorption powers. They are such pretty little squished up flowers that have quite a pleasant smell to them as well. These flowers are so readily available all year around and cheap, it isn’t hard to keep up with fresh cut carnations in the home.

Lets get right into it!

CARNATION CLEANSING BATHS

I don’t attach color too much to my practice, but if you do you will want to use white carnations for this. Run a regular bath and place carnation heads in with the bath. At min 3 heads and up. Use each carnation until it falls apart, start from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet. Don’t forget the back of your neck…

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Slavic “Washing with Flowers” Spring Ritual

by Elder Mountain Dreaming

Elder Mountain Dreaming

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain –Washing your self or your sacred items, special stones and tools for healing on your spiritual journey: “Washing with Flowers” is a Slavic Spring Ritual which includes washing the self to purify in the spring season. Its also about washing with your sacred symbols and is most popular is in central Bosnia and Northern Slovakia (closer to the Czech border).
 
Ritual flower baths and purifications are very ancient and the Slavic people were no different in their appreciation of the natural abundance and flowers of earth. To do your ritual bath or to cleanse your spiritual toos:

Early in the morning to out and collect many different types of flowers, take a large decorated or sacred bowl filling it with water (spring water is best). But the flowers inthe large bowl and let them sit overnight. You shouldn’t bring the flowers into the…

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Lily Lore

Good Witches Homestead

COMMON NAME:  lily
GENUS:  Lilium
SPECIES, HYBRIDS, CULTIVARS:
Many of the 200 species of lilies are native to the United States. Plant breeders have done extensive hybridization work on the lilies to make them hardy and free flowering. Lilies are now available in every color except blue.
FAMILY:  Liliaceae
BLOOMS:  late spring
TYPE:  perennial
DESCRIPTION:  Lilies are one of the most beautiful of all garden plants. The flowers are large and deliciously colored, and they usually occur many to a stem. The height of lilies ranges between 2 to 6 feet. Flower forms include trumpet shape, pendant, flat-faced, or bowl-shaped.
CULTIVATION:  The most important requirement for growing lilies is well-drained soil. Water standing on the bulbs will cause them to rot. The bulbs should be kept cool. This can be done by overplanting with annuals or perennials. Depending on the size of the bulbs, they should be planted…

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