Florida has lots of useful, edible, and medicinal species – especially in areas with mixed hardwood forests.
I conducted a property consultation earlier this week and was amazed yet again by how many good things grow in North/Central Florida.
Dahoon holly, which can be made into a mildly caffeinated tea:
Beautyberry, which repels mosquitoes and makes a bland fruit which can be turned into an excellent jelly:
Wild lettuce, bitter and nutrient-rich:
Melothria pendula, a delicious and tiny wild cucumber:
Native passionfruit (Passiflora incarnata) with edible and medicinal leaves which host multiple butterfly species, as well as delicious edible fruit:
Cutleaf groundcherry, with tasty sweet-tart edible fruits inside hanging lanterns:
Smilax, the delicious wild shoots that taste like asparagus:
Native bay, with leaves great for cooking (though not that pretty at this time of year):
Saw palmetto with edible and medicinal fruit:
Spanish needles (Bidens alba) which is a great nectar and pollen source for bees, as well as possessing highly nutritious edible leaves:
And red mulberry, a wonderful tall species which fruits in the spring:
If you buy a new property – or wish to know what’s going on with the land you already own – it’s well-worth hiring an expert plant guy to come and look around before you clear or burn. You never know what good species might already be there, and plant ID apps don’t quite give you the full picture.
There is food everywhere! Just ask Green Deane…
You can also search the archives here for more info on most of these plants.
And I recommend getting this book:
And this book:
Have a wonderful weekend.
We should finish up our greenhouse today.
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Today’s musical accompaniment: