- Euphorbia antisyphillitica, the candelilla plant of Big Bend and northern
Mexico. The wax that coats its stems has a melting point of about 150
degrees F (higher than body temperature, so it doesn't melt when used
in lipstick and mascara), and it will waterproof tent canvas and shoe
- Bois d'arc (sometimes pronounced bodark or boardark) means "wood
of the bow." Osage orange is another common name. Osage refers
to the Osage Indians who traded this prized bow wood to other tribes.
Orange comes from the color of the wood (which was used to dye uniforms
khaki color in World War I), not from the shape and size of the fruit.
Maclura pomifera is actually in the mulberry family and is not related
to the citrus family.
- Purslane (Portulaca oleracea). It loves heat and needs very little
- Yes. Sensitivity to poison ivy can change suddenly and it's a rude
shock when it does. The oil on the surface of the leaf contains urishiol,
which takes only a few seconds to bind with skin proteins and then can't
be washed off. Blisters form several days later.
- Lambsquarters (Chenopodium album and C. berlandieri). These two very
similar species (except C. berlandieri smells, but does not taste, like
dirty gym socks) are "camp followers," and move with people
from site to site and thrive in disturbed soil (like a building site
or garden). Keep it. It's great.
- The bright yellow roots were used to dye silk parachutes. San Antonio
dairy farmers supplied much of the raw materials, collecting roots from
fence rows outside of town. Parachutes for different drops were color-coded
to indicate whether they contained equipment, supplies, food, or ammunition,
and agarita provided the yellow.
- Thomas Jefferson - farmer, architect, and president - said it.
- Read up on them in the Useful Wild Plants of Texas, the Southeastern
and Southwestern United States, the Southern Plains, and Northern Mexico.
It includes information from around the world, color photographs, and
distribution maps for over 4,000 useful plants. Volume 1, covering Abronia
to Arundo, and Volume 2, covering Asclepias to Canavalia, are available
now. Visit the Encyclopedia page for