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Author Topic: herbs/wild harvesting/just getting to know my area  (Read 4118 times)

Ashlei

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herbs/wild harvesting/just getting to know my area
« on: January 24, 2012, 10:41:46 pm »
I Live in south central Florida (right of the coast, about just south of mid Florida). I have grown up here, however, i grew up on a golf coarse, so there was BEAUTIFUL nature all around, not much being "NATURAL" however. SO i just recently moved a few miles away, and in walking around my new surroundings, i have a large canal around the corner. There are BEAUTIFUL plants grown all around it!

My problem, is i don't know how to identify any of them!! (there is a BEAUTIFUL plant that, the bottom of the leaf, closest to the stem, is VIBRANT PINK!! It was SO amazing to me! haha, can you tell i'm new?) My local college does NOT have any classes pertaining to identifying plants, nor anything to do "the local area" at all. How can i go about starting to find out? Does anyone know any books, or other sources, for my area?

I have found that plants, especially their medicinal uses, FASCINATE ME! I am drawn to basically EVERYTHING herbs lately!! I would like to start to learn more, but i don't know where or how to start! :( ANY help will TRULY be appreciated and EXTREMELY VALUED!!


Thank you in advance for Any ones help!!!!!

~Ash

yewberry

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Re: herbs/wild harvesting/just getting to know my area
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2012, 12:40:16 pm »
Quote from: Ashlei;40145
My problem, is i don't know how to identify any of them!! (there is a BEAUTIFUL plant that, the bottom of the leaf, closest to the stem, is VIBRANT PINK!! It was SO amazing to me! haha, can you tell i'm new?) My local college does NOT have any classes pertaining to identifying plants, nor anything to do "the local area" at all. How can i go about starting to find out? Does anyone know any books, or other sources, for my area?


It's a good idea to know plant morphology terms when describing plants (makes it much easier to look them up online).  Here's a key to leaf shapes that should help.

I can't offer insight on books, but here's a website to get you started with lots of great photos.

Also, if you can snap a pic, I love identifying plants...even ones that grow in wildly different climates than mine.

Brina

bluewave193

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Re: herbs/wild harvesting/just getting to know my area
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 01:34:42 pm »
Quote from: Ashlei;40145
I Live in south central Florida (right of the coast, about just south of mid Florida). I have grown up here, however, i grew up on a golf coarse, so there was BEAUTIFUL nature all around, not much being "NATURAL" however. SO i just recently moved a few miles away, and in walking around my new surroundings, i have a large canal around the corner. There are BEAUTIFUL plants grown all around it!

My problem, is i don't know how to identify any of them!! (there is a BEAUTIFUL plant that, the bottom of the leaf, closest to the stem, is VIBRANT PINK!! It was SO amazing to me! haha, can you tell i'm new?) My local college does NOT have any classes pertaining to identifying plants, nor anything to do "the local area" at all. How can i go about starting to find out? Does anyone know any books, or other sources, for my area?

I have found that plants, especially their medicinal uses, FASCINATE ME! I am drawn to basically EVERYTHING herbs lately!! I would like to start to learn more, but i don't know where or how to start! :( ANY help will TRULY be appreciated and EXTREMELY VALUED!!


Thank you in advance for Any ones help!!!!!

~Ash

 

The Herbal Home Remedy is a great guide for beginners. I found it in my local library. It starts out with 25 simple herbs (like raspberry, blackberry, garlic, ginger) and how to preserve them/their healing power. I forget who it is by, but the author also wrote similar titles such as aromatherapy and home spa.

Hope this helps.


Oh by the way, when I had the book, the cover was green.

-Bluewave193

sunflower47

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Re: herbs/wild harvesting/just getting to know my area
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 11:34:31 am »
Quote from: Ashlei;40145
I Live in south central Florida (right of the coast, about just south of mid Florida). I have grown up here, however, i grew up on a golf coarse, so there was BEAUTIFUL nature all around, not much being "NATURAL" however. SO i just recently moved a few miles away, and in walking around my new surroundings, i have a large canal around the corner. There are BEAUTIFUL plants grown all around it!

My problem, is i don't know how to identify any of them!! (there is a BEAUTIFUL plant that, the bottom of the leaf, closest to the stem, is VIBRANT PINK!! It was SO amazing to me! haha, can you tell i'm new?) My local college does NOT have any classes pertaining to identifying plants, nor anything to do "the local area" at all. How can i go about starting to find out? Does anyone know any books, or other sources, for my area?

I have found that plants, especially their medicinal uses, FASCINATE ME! I am drawn to basically EVERYTHING herbs lately!! I would like to start to learn more, but i don't know where or how to start! :( ANY help will TRULY be appreciated and EXTREMELY VALUED!!


Thank you in advance for Any ones help!!!!!

~Ash


Hi, this question makes me happy, because I feel qualified to answer it! I'm going to recommend Newcomb's wildflower guide, it's an identification book. It's east to use, and handy. Also, you could get all the Peterson's Guides to flowers, they will help tell you if something is medicinal or edible, I wouldn't use those for identification though.
Also, if you are interested in medicinal aspects of herbs, have you heard of Bastyr University? They are an accredited school of alternative medicine, and if you go to their website, they have an online bookstore with tons of different good books. You will find tons of herb books there. What I do is snoop through their bookstore and then buy the books elsewhere. Plants are awesome, good luck on your endeavors!

ccam

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Re: herbs/wild harvesting/just getting to know my area
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 11:26:32 pm »
Quote from: Ashlei;40145
I Live in south central Florida (right of the coast, about just south of mid Florida). I have grown up here, however, i grew up on a golf coarse, so there was BEAUTIFUL nature all around, not much being "NATURAL" however. SO i just recently moved a few miles away, and in walking around my new surroundings, i have a large canal around the corner. There are BEAUTIFUL plants grown all around it!

My problem, is i don't know how to identify any of them!! (there is a BEAUTIFUL plant that, the bottom of the leaf, closest to the stem, is VIBRANT PINK!! It was SO amazing to me! haha, can you tell i'm new?) My local college does NOT have any classes pertaining to identifying plants, nor anything to do "the local area" at all. How can i go about starting to find out? Does anyone know any books, or other sources, for my area?

I have found that plants, especially their medicinal uses, FASCINATE ME! I am drawn to basically EVERYTHING herbs lately!! I would like to start to learn more, but i don't know where or how to start! :( ANY help will TRULY be appreciated and EXTREMELY VALUED!!


Thank you in advance for Any ones help!!!!!

~Ash

 
You might try the University of Florida website.  I live in South West Georgia and the University of Georgia had three great (free) pdfs about identifying native trees/shrubs/woody vines, wildflowers, and ferns of Georgia.  I'm sure they'd have something of use.

Wickerman

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Re: herbs/wild harvesting/just getting to know my area
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2012, 11:40:23 pm »
Quote from: Ashlei;40145
I Live in south central Florida (right of the coast, about just south of mid Florida). I have grown up here, however, i grew up on a golf coarse, so there was BEAUTIFUL nature all around, not much being "NATURAL" however. SO i just recently moved a few miles away, and in walking around my new surroundings, i have a large canal around the corner. There are BEAUTIFUL plants grown all around it!

My problem, is i don't know how to identify any of them!! (there is a BEAUTIFUL plant that, the bottom of the leaf, closest to the stem, is VIBRANT PINK!! It was SO amazing to me! haha, can you tell i'm new?) My local college does NOT have any classes pertaining to identifying plants, nor anything to do "the local area" at all. How can i go about starting to find out? Does anyone know any books, or other sources, for my area?

I have found that plants, especially their medicinal uses, FASCINATE ME! I am drawn to basically EVERYTHING herbs lately!! I would like to start to learn more, but i don't know where or how to start! :( ANY help will TRULY be appreciated and EXTREMELY VALUED!!


Thank you in advance for Any ones help!!!!!

~Ash

 
Not to disagree with anything anyone has posted so far, books are great, the internet is OK. A real person is far better. Visit your local college, and talk to a botany professor. I had one in college that loved to take long walks and identify every plant that we passed. I had been wrong on a number of identifications made from a book. So if a book is all you have be very very careful.
"Don\'t take life too seriously, or you\'ll never get out of it alive." (Bugs Bunny)

yewberry

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Re: herbs/wild harvesting/just getting to know my area
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2012, 01:06:04 am »
Quote from: Wickerman;54020
Not to disagree with anything anyone has posted so far, books are great, the internet is OK. A real person is far better. Visit your local college, and talk to a botany professor. I had one in college that loved to take long walks and identify every plant that we passed. I had been wrong on a number of identifications made from a book. So if a book is all you have be very very careful.


I wouldn't trust one book.  But I trust cross-referencing with other books and the internet.  I don't think you should go shoving plants that you first saw in a book yesterday into your mouth, but one can book-learn their way to plant i.d. proficiency.  I mostly have.

Brina

Rhyshadow

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Re: herbs/wild harvesting/just getting to know my area
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2012, 04:43:52 am »
Quote from: yewberry;54038
I wouldn't trust one book.  But I trust cross-referencing with other books and the internet.  I don't think you should go shoving plants that you first saw in a book yesterday into your mouth, but one can book-learn their way to plant i.d. proficiency.  I mostly have.

Brina

 
I agree that getting info from multiple sources is a good thing.  Locally, we had Matt Wood that lived just a few miles from me till he moved to Wisconsin a couple years back - would I have loved to talk to him.

Another book to add to the list is DK's Eyewitness Handbook 'Herbs'.  Good visual references and short blurbs on uses, it's a field-book sized volume that can be used for identification

yewberry

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Re: herbs/wild harvesting/just getting to know my area
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2012, 04:47:58 pm »
Quote from: Rhyshadow;54049
Another book to add to the list is DK's Eyewitness Handbook 'Herbs'.  Good visual references and short blurbs on uses, it's a field-book sized volume that can be used for identification


Color photos are practically a must.  As is a local flora.  A lot of plants (especially those of the same family) can look very similar.  If you're using a guide containing plants from all over, it's easier to make mistakes.

Another point I'd like to make is to know your look-alikes.  Before you ingest a plant, find out about plants that look similar and whether they're known to grow in your area.

Brina

Annie Roonie

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Re: herbs/wild harvesting/just getting to know my area
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2012, 06:26:06 pm »
Quote from: Ashlei;40145


Thank you in advance for Any ones help!!!!!

~Ash


Everyone has had some good words so far IMO. I especially like getting more than one reference for a plant and not ingesting them.

I'd add to it that you may want to steer clear of touching them with your bare hands until you know what they are.

Also, when taking pics, the flowers tend to be the stars, but getting the stems, leaves and base can be the final help in making an identification. Roots will be tricky obviously, but at least for some plants in parks and whatnot, they might be pulled or cut by park services. If this happens you might get a chance to see or dig up a pant to get a pic of the root system.

When I'm out on a plant look, I carry my camera and a stick. The stick comes in very handy sometimes.

Oh yeah, if you cannot find a prof to help you id things, farmers, locals and even park rangers might be able to help.

I am happy that you are exploring the plants! Have fun!

Ashlei

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Re: herbs/wild harvesting/just getting to know my area
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2012, 08:34:34 pm »
Quote from: Annie Roonie;54116
Oh yeah, if you cannot find a prof to help you id things, farmers, locals and even park rangers might be able to help.

I am happy that you are exploring the plants! Have fun!

 

EVERYONE has had such AWESOME ideas!! Thank you guys!! My local state college does NOT offer ANY herbal classes at all, not even a gardening one. So I've been trying to buy some differant books as i can. Though i havn't been able to find ANY local identification books. I live in indian river county, fl. ALTHOUGH most of the recent suggestions, i will now start trying! I would like to make a career possibly out of this, but so far, all i have is my recently made garden (which, ironically, i'm having trouble even identifing the weeds from the small plants I've grown so far :o ) SO i have a very slow start, but i'm determined, and i check back, as i can, to see any new ideas anyone has! Thank you all!! I promise they are NOT wasted! I wish i had a mentor i could do walks with, but as of yet, nothing. I wont be giving up ANYTIME soon! My book wishlist is about 50 books long! I will keep adding to it too!!! <3

Thank you all SO MUCH!
~Ash

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