How to - For Parents

A Walk in the Weeds

If you and your children take a walk where nature has been allowed to grow a bit wild in late August and early September, here are two points of interest you may, “discover,” together.

This is pokeweed.

The berries are poisonous to people, but they are beautiful and bluebirds love them!  I have read that the greens are edible and that people cook them as they would other cooking greens.  This is not something I have tried yet, but perhaps soon.  I love looking at this plant.  The reddish stems contrasting with the dark berries (these photos show them green and unripe) and green leaves are just stunning, as well as the way the berry clusters dangle like ornaments.

This is jewelweed.  It is not only pretty, but it is useful!  The juice inside of the stems can be used to treat the stings from nettles and the rash from poison ivy.  Coincidentally, (or not,) it is often found growing near one or both of these irritating plants.jewelweed

Those are just two lovelies I keep noticing lately on our daily walks.  I always wonder if anyone else notices them?  Like many plants, we call them weeds despite their usefulness and beauty.  They may be common and grow anywhere they are allowed to flourish, but I am glad to have made their acquaintance.


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