Wild Flowers of the Catskills I

Yarrow, Vetch, Ox-eye Daisy, Plantain, Milkweed, Thistle, Joe Pie Weed, Indian Pipe, Bluet, Rose and many more potent and helpful herbs abound in the alpine meadows of the famous pristine Catskills of New York.

Having the opportunity to get to know these friendly herbs in this wild environment has been really helpful in understanding how the healing properties — like the volatile oils and vitamin and mineral content — can be more or less potent depending on the earth they are grown in. Growing up in the harsh contrary conditions of long freezing winters and wild warm storms of the summer have made these herbs strong.

Salves and tinctures I make from them leave a lasting impression on everyone who uses them.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Minturn

    I have recently become interested in Monarch Butterflies and actually brought a couple of dozen to a friend’s garden up here in the Catskills. I want to know a bit more about Milkweed. I know the Monarchs feed on them. I have located some. They are quite mature now and their flowers are finished. Do you know if you can plant milkweed seeds now or do they just have one season and I need to wait until Spring? It is my understanding that milkweed is the larvae’s source of food and I know these butterflies that are coming will feed on many flowering plants in her garden and fields. They will lay eggs on the local milkweed and these ‘children’ could be the generation that migrate to Mexico in August. And i was wondering if its still possible to have young milkweed plants available to them too? Just wondering. Thanks for any wisdom you may have. Also if you have eaten milkweed what you have done with it and as a tincture what it might be good for. I don’t know the specific name for the milkweed I have found. It had little star like pink flowers in clusters that are now finished and their leaves are quite large and flat, a bit like mullein but not fuzzy.

    thanks SO much,

    1. hellaD

      Hi Minturn,
      I don’t have all the answers about milkweed! They grow quite easily as the seeds are attached to milkweed silk that is carried on the wind to other areas. I am not sure if you can plant them now or in spring, but maybe you can find some wild milkweed plants and transplant a few, the seeds will then be in the area and help to grow more milkweed. The ones I am familiar with are the ones with pink flowers–so beautiful! I have seen the monarch caterpillars eating the milkweed pods, the toxins in the milkweed prevent predators from eating the butterflies and caterpillars.

      I have eaten milkweed pods, they are so delicious fried in butter! Just be sure you get plants that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides–I did that once too and got really sick 🙁

      I haven’t used it as a tincture but I would like to look into that. The milkweed silk can also be used as an anti-allergenic fluff for stuffing jackets, pillows and comforters. I think this may even be an up an coming industry for milkweed plants. Thanks so much for your question and hope that helps a bit!

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