Sunday, October 31, 2010

Canadian Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)

Canadian Wild Ginger

The Canadian Wild Ginger, or Canadian Snakeroot, has two large velvety heart shaped leaves and produces one flower close to the ground between March and May. Found in moist woods, it can grow up to 12 inches tall and is sometimes used for groundcover in landscaping.

Its common name is derived from the odor of the stem and roots which is similar to culinary ginger, a different species. The plant has been used as seasoning and as a medicinal herb by Native Americans. Canadian Ginger does contain aristolochic acid, a toxin that can cause cancer and kidney failure. Health Canada advises consumers against using products containing it.

Purdue University lists these other common names for the plant: Asarum, Indian Ginger, Canada Snakeroot, Vermont Snakeroot, Heart Snakeroot, Southern Snakeroot, Black Snakeroot, Coltsfoot Snakeroot, Black Snakeweed, Broad-leaved Asarabacca, False Coltsfoot, Colicroo.

Sources:
Wild Ginger Farm
Easy Wildflowers
University of Texas
Fine Gardening
Purdue University
Alternative Nature Online Herbal
www.associatedcontent.com
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Mud

A fall photo taken near Alpha Falls in McConnells Mill State Park. This pool has a red tinge from water oozing out of the lower portion of the cliff face. It has high iron content and may be due from acid mine drainage.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Stairs from the Mill

My middle daughter and I managed to visit the Mill last week. It was an exceptionally nice day and the fall foliage was quite colorful. The park is always busy this time of year with tons of people bustling about with cameras.... like me.
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