Monday, November 11, 2013

wintergreen, partridge berry, pipsissewa. woodland plants in harriman state park.

wintergreen (gaultheria procumbens) 

familiar and beloved from childhood. michigan and western maryland woods. dad knew these plants and taught us their names... and which ones we could eat!  wintergreen- it's mintier than mint- leaves and berries edible, minty.

partridge berry (mitchella repens.) most of the tiny leathery leafed evergreen woodland plants are related to blueberry.  but partridge berry is related to bluets, coffee and quinine.  it has tiny symmetrical flowers- white trumpet shaped pairs.  each pair forms a single berry.
 here's another beautiful one!  it's pipsissewa (chimaphila maculata,) relative of blueberries, mountain laurel and wintergreen, but how did it get those white veins?  considered medicinal. here it's growing right next to it's cousin, wintergreen.  the common names of these plants vary from region to region; pipsissewa's called spotted wintergreen, and wintergreen is sometimes teaberry... 
oh, i posted this picture before, but forgot to brag-  i made this fire from one match and no paper- just leaves twigs and fallen logs!

we saw garter snakes and a deer, not much wildlife. though there was this, very rare, gnome sighting!

not my best outfit?!