Butterweed, Packera glabella Photo by Rhonda Long
Today, March 3, 2018 the first of two scheduled plant hikes took place with a small but interested group who found the tour much to their liking. Botanist Dr. Colette Jacono led the group near the lowlands on the Santa Fe River and pointed out the world of plants that thrive in the rich soil. Below are some comments by Kristin Ruben, one of the group and board member of OSFR.
Have you ever felt the more you learn, the less you know? Well today’s hike with Colette was that, but much, much more! Imagine taking a walk where everything touched or talked about takes on meaning and color! The way an Ephidendrum conopseum orchid grows in the wild and how tiny their green flower is, the way a plant adapts and hangs in there, no matter what nature throws at them or which plants are good or bad and if bad, sometimes you just have to leave it because it’s doing some good, like keeping erosion at bay.
We learned there is a Florida Maple, Acer floridana and Packera glabella, butterweed can be used in cooking. We have native blueberries, Vaccinium arboretum, sparkleberry and Vacciniumcorybosum, high bush blueberry, but you’d probably never collect enough for a pie!
But what struck me to my core was the tenuous life these plants have while nature washes up or blows by them and how we, more than ever, need to be their guardians so that future generations can behold their wonder as I know I did today.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Photo by Rhonda Long