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Thread: Name that plant

  1. #1
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Name that plant

    Been wanting to form some kind of wild-plants educational sharing sort of thing here. Was out hiking yesterday up a steep ravine with a tiny creek and looking at mushrooms and berry plants. Below are two pictures; will see if you folks can name these plants. Both plants have medicinal uses and the berries can be used too, though they are not on our list of most favorable berries to pick. The leaves of one when dried have historically been used as well.






  2. #2

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    Top one looks like bunch berries. I think I've seen the bottoms ones before but don't know what there called.

    Bushrat are you folks into herbal meds? My wife makes all of our meds.

  3. #3
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Hiline, my wife and I are trying to get more into herbal meds, would be fun to dicuss this and learn from others on what they use.

    The top pic is indeed bunchberries. Many might recognize them prior to berries growing; they have very distinctive white flowers and grow close to the ground in spruce groves or wetter areas near creeks. We've never used bunchberry leaves before; they are supposed to be good for bladder/kidney problems. Do you and your wife ever use the bunchberry plant for herbal meds?


  4. #4

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    So did I win a dozen #9 Alaskans or what?

    If you don't have it get Janice Schofield's book on Alaska plants it a wealth of information. Also get The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra and The Physicians Herbal Desk Reference.

    BTW bunch berries are supposed to be high in pectin, we've tried them when making jelly but haven't had much luck.

  5. #5
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default and the other one is...

    northern comandra or pumpkinberry, Geocaulon lividum.
    leaves used as a poultice on cuts and scrapes, and root as a tea for sore throat, stomach trouble and TB.
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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Hey Dave...

    Uh...Dave,

    This thread got away from me, but geeze man I have the other one as kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). A tea is good for urinary infections and the leaves...well the leaves were often used as a "smoking mixture." Anyway, if these ain't bearberries, then tell me now <grin>!

  7. #7
    Moderator David Johnson's Avatar
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    Default Telling you now...

    Well, they ain't bearberries for sure. Bearberries have wrinkly leaves and the fruit have a little "crown" where the flower used to be like their Ericaceous relatives, the blueberry.

    I think HomerDave's right. Looks a lot like Geocaulon lividum to me. Had to crack Hulten's Flora of Alaska (first time in a decade, I think) to check it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Uh...Dave,

    This thread got away from me, but geeze man I have the other one as kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). A tea is good for urinary infections and the leaves...well the leaves were often used as a "smoking mixture." Anyway, if these ain't bearberries, then tell me now <grin>!
    David M Johnson
    Anchorage, Alaska
    http://awildolivebranch.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default thanks David

    David, homerdave is usually right on plants <grin>. I'll dig out my books again today and look at the pumpkinberry and see what I come up with. We have some rather unique habitat zones here where these pics were taken, on a very steep rivulet/cut running 2000' up a bluff. Glad you guys know your plants!

  9. #9
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Talking i'm not the one that is always right...

    it's my beautiful charming spouse...the botanist.
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    Default Any plants you know that cures...

    Internetitus???Chronic AODFitus??

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