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Results tagged “photo by bryant”

Mar 29, 2013: Saxifraga burseriana

Saxifraga burseriana

Bryant DeRoy both wrote and photographed for this entry. He writes:

This image of Saxifraga burseriana was taken in the E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden here at UBC Botanical Garden. Saxifraga burseriana is (unsurprisingly) a member of the saxifrage family, and is native to the Eastern Alps and the Dolomites, as well as some locales in the Tridentine Alps (Italy) and the Karawanks (Slovenia and Austria).

This is one of the earlier flowering species of Saxifraga, typically flowering in the late winter or early spring depending on location and altitude. This hardy mat-forming evergreen can be found at altitudes between 600 and 2500 meters in its native habitat. It can survive quite happily at even lower altitudes, making it a popular feature in rock gardens and well-drained troughs in temperate Mediterranean climates.

The flower stems typically reach lengths of 5 to 8 cm (2-3 in.) and the flowers can reach 2.5 cm (1 in.) in diameter. Due to its popularity among horticulturalists and some variability between individual plants, there is a long list of cultivars. More information on how to cultivate this beauty (and some of its relatives) can be found on Kew's site: Saxifraga burseriana.

Mar 15, 2013: Eurya japonica

Eurya japonica

Bryant is both the author and photographer for today's entry. He writes:

Today's image was taken in the David C. Lam Asian Garden, here at the UBC Botanical Garden. This dioecious evergreen shrub is native to temperate and tropical Asia (China, Japan, India and Malaysia). I was tipped off to go look at this plant by Douglas Justice (Associate Director and Curator of Collections at UBCBG). At first I had trouble finding the plant as it was slightly hidden behind a couple rhododendrons but I definitely had no trouble smelling it. Eurya japonica gives off a pungent aroma that could be described as metallic or zinc-like mixed with hints of ammonia and carrion, which I became familiar with while taking this image. This member of the Pentaphylacaceae grows to about 3m high. Plants have serrated leaves that appear in a herringbone formation. For another image of the branch/flower morphology and some interesting information on its taxonomic relationships, see the previous BPotD post on Eurya japonica.

Eurya japonica is known to be sexually dimorphic, meaning male and female plants are morphologically different in additional ways beyond the physical structure of the reproductive organs. Sexual dimorphism is fairly common among dioecious plants, and when dimorphism involves defense mechanisms we tend to think primarily of leaves, thorns and prickles (vegetative tissues). However, there have been an increasing amount of studies on defense mechanisms against florivory (flower-eaters). Eurya japonica is the subject of one such study concerning the chemical defense of its female flowers; see: Tsuji, K. and Sota, T. 2010. Sexual differences in flower defense and correlated male-biased florivory in a plant-florivore system. Oikos, 119: 1848-1853. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2010.18585.x.

In this case, the male flowers were observed to be eaten much more frequently than the female flowers by the florivorous larvae of the geometrid moth Chloroclystis excisa. This phenomenon was observed both in the wild and under controlled experimental conditions. In the wild, adult moths only deposited their eggs on male flowers. When eggs were deposited on the female flowers/buds of Eurya japonica in captivity, all of the resulting larvae that fed on the calyx of the female flower did not survive. This is believed to be due to higher concentrations of phenolic compounds and condensed tannins that occur in the female flowers. Generally, florivory of male flowers seems to be more prevalent than florivory of female flowers among sexually polymorphic plant species. Although there are some theories as to why this may be, there is much to be learned about the co-evolution of flowers and florivores and what truly makes sex-based selection occur.

For more reading relating to Eurya japonica and geometrid moth interactions see:

Kaoru Tsuji & Teiji Sota. 2011. Geographic variation in oviposition preference for male and female host plants in a geometrid moth: implications for evolution of host choice. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 141: 178-184.

For further reading on male-biased herbivory, see:

Lorne M. Wolf. 1997. Differential Flower Herbivory and Gall Formation on Males and Females of Neea psychotrioides, a Dioecious Tree. Biotropica, 29: 169-174.

Krupnick, G. A. et al. 1998. Floral herbivore effect on the sex expression of an andromonoecious plant, Isomeris arborea (Capparaceae). Plant Ecology. 134:151-162.

Oct 16, 2012: Larix lyallii

Today's write-up and photographs of Larix lyallii are courtesy of Bryant, BPotD work-study student. He writes:

These subalpine (or alpine) larches were photographed on the northeast face of Mount Frosty in British Columbia's E.C. Manning Provincial Park. Larix lyallii is one of my personal favorites for its unusual characteristics and its ability to survive higher altitudes and harsher conditions than most other conifers. Larix is one of the few genera of deciduous conifers (other deciduous conifers). In early/mid-September through early/mid-October in British Columbia, this species changes colour from green to a stunning golden-yellow. Larix lyallii grows in upper montane zones that would otherwise be considered alpine tundra (usually above the treeline of evergreen conifers), as well as on exposed rock outcrops. Its native range follows high alpine environments in southern (primarily southeast) British Columbia, southwestern Alberta and northern Washington, Idaho and Montana (distribution map).

Although trees of Larix lyallii are stunted by the long and harsh winters they endure, their trunks typically remain straight and upright (compared to displaying characteristics of Krummholz formation often seen among subalpine evergreen conifers). This is largely due to the deciduous characteristic, which helps to reduce the effects of winter desiccation and snow loading. The extreme hardiness of this species has helped it to become one of the longer lived species of conifer, with the known record holder being an individual 1,917 years old in Kananaskis, Alberta as of 2012!

Morphologically, Larix lyallii can grow up to 31m tall with a diameter at breast height of 215cm. As one might expect, larger specimens are generally found at lower elevations. The needles are quadrangular and grow in bunches of 30-40 atop abaxially keeled short shoots. They tend to grow in moist immature/rocky soil that is well drained. Plants grow at elevations between 1,900 and 2,380 metres, with slightly lower elevations in the North Cascades (1,830 to 2290m). Larix lyallii may also grow in association with Pinus albicaulis (whitebark pine), Abies lasiocarpa (subalpine fir), and Picea engelmannii (Englemann spruce) at the upper limits of their elevational distributions.

Aug 29, 2012: Lycogala epidendrum

Both the photographs and write-up are courtesy of Bryant today:

Today's image is of Lycogala epidendrum, also known as wolf's milk slime. It is a slime mould in the Reticulariaceae and the class Myxogastria. The Myxogastria is a fascinating grouping of slime moulds (or myxomycetes) that contains a recognized 60 or so genera and about 900 species. Lycogala epidendrum is cosmopolitan in distribution, like many other slime moulds. Also common to slime moulds, Lycogala epidendrum goes through a number of rather incredible morphological phases as it matures. Myxomycetes are perplexing organisms that demonstrate characteristics associated with both animals and fungi. Here are some of the highlights of their strange life cycle:

Members of the Myxogastria begin their life cycle after spores germinate. Haploid myxamoebae or myxaflagelletes are produced. Myxamoebae (crawling unicellular organisms) are produced if conditions are dryer and myxaflagelletes (swimming unicellular organisms) are produced if conditions are considerably moist. These unicellular organisms, also known as swarm cells, move around on a substrate such as this rotting log as the devour bacteria/fungal spores/dissolved substances. As the unicellular forms gorge themselves, they can asexually reproduce through cell division. Depending on environmental conditions, two paths of development are followed. If there is a drastic change to undesirable conditions, these unicellular forms may begin a resting phase, morphing into thin-shelled forms known as microcysts. Microcysts can survive for periods of up to a year or more, until conditions change for the better. As conditions improve, they will become active monocellular amoeba-like forms once again!

If conditions stay suitable, these unicellular organisms will start to mate once they encounter the correct mating type. The result is the fusion of protoplasm/nuclei into diploid zygotes, which develop multiple nuclei through nuclear division (not cell division). These multinucleated monocellular organisms are known as plasmodium, which can be seen with the naked eye. The plasmodium continues to grow as it gains nourishment through phagocytosis. Plasmodium can grow into mats of protoplasmic strands up to a meter in diameter or more depending on the species. The plasmodium is also mobile and has the ability to move towards useful chemicals/food (chemotaxis) as well as towards/away from light (phototaxis). As if that wasn't astonishing enough, the movement is caused by the cycling of protoplasm within the protoplasmic strand, and it can move at speeds up to 1.35 mm/s, one of the fastest speeds recorded for any micro-organism! For comparison, some of the highest velocities recorded in plant cells reach a peak of about .078 mm/s. To see some slime moulds in action, check out these videos of slime moulds doing amazing things: Slime Moulds Time Lapse, Comatricha sp., Slime Mould Solves Maze, and Slime Mould Forms a Map of the Tokyo-area Railway System.

Finally, once food supplies have been diminished or other environmental factors change for the worse, the plasmodium may either transform into rigid structures known as macrocysts that will enable it to survive the adverse conditions until they improve. Often, this means over-wintering. Alternatively, the plasmodium may form into fruiting bodies, as pictured above. At this point, the plasmodium ceases phagocytosis and moves towards a dryer/ brighter area via positive phototaxis. Doing so enables better dispersion for its spores once the fruiting bodies have matured and dried out.

John Tyler Bonner (one of the world's leading experts on Myxomycetes) sums it all up rather simply, "[Myxomycetes are] no more than a bag of amoebae encased in a thin slime sheath, yet they manage to have various behaviours that are equal to those of animals who possess muscles and nerves with ganglia--that is, simple brains".

Jul 24, 2012: Picea pungens

Picea pungens

Bryant wrote and contributed the photograph for today's entry. It's my fault it's late in being posted, but I've been catching up since going on a collecting foray late last week. He writes:

Continuing with the series on colour, I thought I would dip into the more structural side of things. In particular, I want to focus on blue colouration in foliage. Today's photo is of a compact blue-needled selection of Picea pungens, taken in the E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden here at UBC. Picea pungens is a high-altitude species, which grows at elevations between 1,750-3,000 meters in the southern Rocky Mountains. I chose this species because I was intrigued by David Lee's fascination with blue foliage as described in his book, Nature's Palette. Lee's focus is mainly on iridescent blues found in tropical species such as Selaginella willdenowii.

The more subtle blue hues that are found in Picea pungens (commonly the Colorado blue spruce) are not produced by modified anthocyanin pigmentation like the blues found in many flowers. Species like the blue spruce produce a thin film of epicuticular surface waxes on their needles. These deposits diffract light at short wavelengths, which we perceive as a pale blue. This scattering of radiation is a physical phenomenon known as Tyndall scattering--the same reason why the sky and ocean are blue. The surface waxes are thought to reduce the absorption of photosynthetically-active radiation, reduce transpiration, influence gas exchange and lower leaf temperature (see: Physiological Effects of Surface Waxes). These results caused by the diffraction of light by epicuticular surface waxes can be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on the biogeoclimatic location of the individual.

In the case of the Selaginella examined by Lee, the multiple layers of convexly-shaped epidermal cells are what cause the diffraction of a more iridescent blue colour on the leaves. Selaginella willdenowii is a shade-dwelling plant, and the blue iridescence is only found on leaves that are rarely exposed to sunlight. Lee was curious as to why the fern would evolve structures that diffract much of the scarce light that is available to them. After thirty years of pondering this question, Lee's explanation is that the iridescent shade leaves deflect short wave radiation and are thus able to absorb more long wave radiation. This is advantageous in the shaded understory of tropical rain forests, because long wavelength radiation is more available than short wavelength under the canopy.

Jul 18, 2012: Quercus garryana Ecosystems

Bryant is responsible for today's photographs and write-up. He scribes:

The other week, while I was contemplating topics for a series, Daniel handed me a book entitled Nature's Palette by David Lee. The book is written in a combination of scientific and layman's terms, and describes various aspects of colour in plants. It is a fascinating read and provides the inspiration and much of the source material for the following series on plant colour. In this series, I aim to investigate the functional, structural, historical, philosophical, economical and sociological connotations of colour in plants.

The first photograph is of a Camassia quamash meadow with the edge of a Quercus garryana grove in the background, taken at the Mt. Tzouhalem Ecological Reserve on Vancouver Island. The second image was taken at Harewood Plains near Nanaimo, British Columbia. The blues are again Camassia quamash while the pink in the background is Plectritis congesta.

When the Garry oak (or Oregon white oak) meadows and woodlands are in full bloom, they demonstrate some of the most vibrant and extraordinary mass blooms on the west coast of Canada. Unfortunately, Garry oak ecosystems are also among the most threatened ecosystems in all of Canada. When walking through a scene like this, it is hard not to be overcome by a feeling of euphoria, almost as if the vibrant colours have a physical effect on the body. Our appreciation for the beauty of this spectacular bloom is perhaps the reason why there is still Garry oak habitat left, and why there is such a dedicated group of people who protect these remaining sites.

Human attraction to plant colour has existed for millennia. In fact, a Neanderthal skeleton dating roughly 60,000 years old was found buried with concentrated flower remains scattered around the skull, suggesting that a wreath of flowers was placed beneath his head before he was buried. Although there are skeptics of this finding, David Lee is convinced that even the Neanderthals attributed aesthetic value to colourful plants.

More recently, studies have shown that lush landscapes can have beneficial psychological and physical affects on patients in the process of recovering from medical issues. A highly-cited 1984 study observed that post-operative patients recovered more quickly when they had a room with a view of a natural setting as opposed to a view of a brick wall. A more recent experiment, with results published in 2010, concluded that photographs and paintings of a natural landscapes consisting mainly of blues and green are more likely to have a calming effect on hospital patients compared to some types of abstract art.

Jun 28, 2012: Lewisia cotyledon

Lewisia cotyledon

Photo and write-up by Bryant today:

Today's image is of Lewisia cotyledon, and it was taken in the E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden here in UBC Botanical Garden. Lewisia cotyledon is a member of the Montiaceae native to northwestern California and southwestern Oregon. There are three scientifically-recognized varieties and many cultivars that have been selected or hybridized.

Lewisia cotyledon is a perennial that grows from a thick taproot and caudex. The fleshy leaves can grow to 9 centimeters long and form a basal rosette from which the stems emerge. The inflorescence occurs atop the stem (usually 10-30 cm tall) and, depending on the variety, can produce up to 50 flowers.

Many species of Lewisia are adapted to growing in extreme alpine conditions, and thus are tolerant of both cold temperatures and periods of drought. However, I would have never guessed they would be capable of this!

Jun 15, 2012: Schisandra sphenanthera

Schisandra sphenanthera

This photo of Schisandra sphenanthera was taken in the David C. Lam Asian Garden at the UBC Botanical Garden. The genus Schisandra is comprised of 23 species of climbing vines, most of which are distributed around east Asia. This woody climber is native to China and can be found in these provinces: Anhui, Gansu, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan, northeast Yunnan, and Zhejiang. Plants grows in forested thickets, usually between 700 to 2000 meters in elevation, although they are occasionally found lower or much higher (to 5100m). The species is commonly dioecious, with flowers on female plants having 5-8 tepals and 30-50 ovaries. Flowers on the male plants usually have 5-8 tepals with 11-19 stamens. It is thought that Schisandra sphenanthera is capable of monoecy (like some other members of Schisandra) depending on environmental conditions and hormonal factors, but evidence confirming this suspicion doesn't yet seem to be recorded in the literature (see: Systematic Botany Monographs, Volume 58: Monograph of Schisandra (Schisandraceae), by Richard M. K. Saunders for more information on this genus and its reproductive tendencies).

Schisandra sphenanathera is perhaps best known for its medicinal qualities. It has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine practice and it continues to be used today to treat asthma, cough, night sweats, anxiety, insomnia, and amnesia. Plants are highly regarded for their ascorbic acid (vitamin C), fatty oils, volatile oils, and lignans. The fruit and seeds are the main medicinal components of the plant. The bright red fruits develop in dense clusters on an elongated stalk and are considered edible both raw and cooked, however they are most commonly used when dried.

In 2007, China exported over 1000 tonnes of dried Schisandra sphenanathera to foreign markets, mainly in Japan, Korea and Singapore. The economic value of Schisandra sphenanthera has shown to significantly increase the standard of living for rural communities that pick the fruit. However, as result of a large demand for these species, they are under a significant amount of pressure from harvest in the wild. Such is the dilemma with so many other species of economic value; see :Towards a sustainable livelihood with wild medicinal resources (PDF download).

Gall midges (Cecidomyiidae) have been observed to be the primary pollinators for most populations of Schisandra sphenanthera in the wild. The gall midges are attracted to the pollen on the stamens of the male flowers and appear to visit female flowers because of deceit. For additional reading, see Wei, D.U. et al. 2012. Deceit pollination and the effect of deforestation on reproduction in dioecious Schisandra sphenanthera (Schisandraceae) in central China. Journal of Systematics and Evolution. 50(1) 36-44. doi:10.1111/j.1759-6831.2011.00171.x

As far as cultivation goes, this species of Schisandra is fairly hardy and tolerates below freezing temperatures quite well. Plants prefer spotty shade with exposure to sun for some portions of the day when the light is not at full intensity. They require rich well-drained soil and prefer slightly acidic conditions, although they can tolerate neutral or slightly basic soils.

May 23, 2012: Lotus pinnatus

Today's entry is written by Bryant. The first photograph is from Charles Thirkill, a resident of Nanaimo who has been prominent in preserving this rare species at this location in British Columbia, and the second image is from Bryant. He writes:

Last Thursday, I was fortunate enough to tag along with Daniel Mosquin and Tony Maniezzo, the curator of the North American Gardens (including the Garry Oak Meadow and Woodland Garden, on their scouting trip to various Garry oak ecosystem sites on Vancouver Island. The main purpose of the trip was to examine different Garry oak landscapes and compare the plants and plant assemblages that are growing in the UBC Botanical Garden with their counterparts in the wild. A secondary purpose was to locate and observe rare plant species, in the hope that the Garden will one day participate in conservation programs for these species.

This photo shows Lotus pinnatus (bog birds-foot trefoil), a member of the Fabaceae, at one of its few locations on Vancouver Island. It is a short-lived perennial that grows from a thick taproot, and can be observed in flower from May to June. It has alternate compound leaves, each with 2-4 pairs of oppositely-arranged leaflets and a terminal leaflet. It is found in moist depressions in shallow soil on exposed coastal lowlands. In Canada, it grows in Garry Oak habitat on southeast Vancouver Island and Gabriola Island.

Elsewhere, Lotus pinnatus is native to California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The species is not considered threatened globally; however, it is considered extremely rare in Canada (the northern extent of its distribution). In Canada, it is limited to 5 recorded sites, with 83% of its Canadian population residing on the Harewood Plains in Nanaimo, British Columbia. This highly limited Canadian distribution has earned this species an N1 (nationally endangered) ranking by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Provincially, it is ranked as an S1 (red-listed/critically imperiled) status in B.C., the highest threatened level that can be applied to a species.

Since Lotus pinnatus usually grows in association with water seepage sites, any activity that could cause drainage through soil compaction, channeling or other methods could cause local extirpations of this species. The biggest threats to the British Columbia populations of this species come from logging, unauthorized 4x4, ATV and dirtbike use, development, and encroachment of invasive species. The site where the pictured specimen was found was not marked in any way and showed recent tracks and disturbance from unauthorized recreational vehicles.

Only 7% of the plants in Canada reside under some official protection, those that are in the Woodley Range Ecological Reserve. The percentage of protected habitat for Lotus pinnatus is small because the majority of the Canadian populations exist on private land. Landowners have made efforts to keep off-road recreationists out of the fragile habitat by placing gates, cement barriers and ditches at potential entrance sites, but to little avail. On the bright side, there are steps being taken to help Lotus pinnatus recover. In 2006, the "Recovery Strategy for Multi-Species at Risk in Vernal Pools and Other Ephemeral Wet Areas Associated with Garry Oak Ecosystems in Canada" was developed for Lotus pinnatus, and five other local species, under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). This recovery strategy is a major step in the protection of the mentioned species; the next step requires a proposed action plan, which is currently in the process of development, to delineate site-specific management goals and objectives.

In other news, Lotus pinnatus was named the floral emblem of Nanaimo in 2010 with the hopes to raise public awareness about its conservation status. For information on the local recovery efforts for this species contact the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team.

May 16, 2012: Aquilegia chrysantha

Aquilegia chrysantha

Today's photograph and write-up are both by Bryant DeRoy, the BPotD work-study student for this summer. Bryant writes:

Following the wonderful series by Katherine Van Dijk on white-flowered medicinal plants, I thought I would post something with a vibrant colour to mix things up a bit. This photo of Aquilegia chrysantha (golden columbine) was taken in the E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden at the UBC Botanical Garden. Aquilegia chrysantha is a member of the Ranunculaceae (buttercup family) and is native to the southwestern USA and Chihuahua, Mexico. In the USA, the species is found in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, as well as a a disjunction in Colorado. These herbaceous perennials are often found in shady moist canyons, usually in association with seeping water. Mature plants in typical growing conditions can range in height from 30cm to 120cm. Compared with other columbines, the inflorescence is relatively large, with the spurs projecting from the back of the corolla typically ranging from 4cm to 7cm in length.

Although Aquilegia chrysantha is known as a shade and moisture-loving plant in its native arid habitat, this species does perform well in gardening conditions outside its native range. The specimen pictured above was planted on a southwest-facing slope in full sun in Vancouver, British Columbia; mind you, "full sun" in springtime Vancouver (at the 49th parallel) is much less intense and more infrequent than full sun in the southwestern USA.

Columbine is derived from columbinus, meaning "dovelike" in Latin. Viewed from certain angles, the flowers resemble a cluster of five doves, with the petals (including the spurs) resembling the heads, necks and bodies of the 5 birds (very elongated in Aquilegia chrysantha!) and the spreading sepals imagined as wings. The genus name is derived from the Latin aquila for eagle, a reference to how the petals can resemble eagle talons. The foliage of this species is also of note for its fern-like and sometimes evergreen qualities. Once it has established, Aquilegia chrysantha will often self-sow, a potential benefit to gardeners who enjoy naturalizing plants.

May 11, 2012: Sambucus racemosa subsp. pubens var. arborescens

Sambucus racemosa subsp. pubens var. arborescens

Bryant DeRoy, who is the summer work-study student, is both the photographer and writer for today's entry. It fits with the white-flowered medicinal plant series, so we'll interrupt Katherine's entries today with one of his since it features a species from UBC Botanical Garden.

This photograph of the blossoms of Sambucus racemosa subsp. pubens var. arborescens (Pacific red elderberry) was taken from the Greenheart Canopy Walkway in UBC Botanical Garden's David C. Lam Asian Garden. Sambucus racemosa subsp. pubens var. arborescens is a member of the Adoxaceae (or muskroot family), which is a relatively small family consisting of only 150-200 species.

There is some controversy and confusion around the use of Pacific red elderberry as a source of food and medicine. The controversy arises because the leaves, bark, stems, seeds and shoots contain glycosides, which produce cyanide. The confusion often occurs because a close relative, the European Sambucus nigra, is more commonly used for food and medicinal purposes. However, despite its toxicity, the Pacific red elderberry has been an important resource for many First Nations along the west coast of North America (including the Chehalis, Hanaksiala, Hoh, Klallam, Makah, Nitinaht, Oweekeno, Quileute, Skagit, Snohomish, and Squaxin).

Eating the fruits raw is typically avoided. Instead, traditional First Nations preparation of the fruits involves steaming on rocks or baking in pits. The cooked berries can then be processed to remove stems and seeds, followed by being wrapped in the leaves of Lysichiton americanus (western skunk cabbage) for future use. The glycosides are heat labile, making them less toxic when cooked. Since the fruits have low levels of pectin, this mash is traditionally combined with other fruits such as blueberries or crabapples (which contain higher levels of pectin) in order to make a jam-like preserve. Also, combining the Pacific red elderberry fruits with other fruits or fish grease (sourced from eulachon) can make them more palatable, due to the tart nature of the berries. The fruits of Sambucus racemosa subsp. pubens var. arborescens contain high levels of vitamin C, which made them especially important as a winter food for First Nations (when other sources of vitamin C were scarce, centuries ago). Even though cooking the berries can make them less toxic, eating high quantities of cooked berries can still induce nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Traditional First Nations medicinal preparations of Sambucus racemosa subsp. pubens var. arborescens included the decoction into teas, poultices and infusions of the leaves, bark and roots. These were (are?) used to treat boils, colds, coughs, pain, arthritis, gastrointestinal issues, and even nervous breakdowns. Boiled leaves were/are also used to shorten pregnancy as well as aiding in childbirth. See Daniel Moerman's 1998 book Native American Ethnobotany for a more detailed description of use by First Nations.

Additional food uses include infusion of the flower clusters to flavour wines or make tea. There are also reports of the flowers being added to pancake batter as well as being dipped in batter and fried like tempura. I have sampled the latter, and found that cooking did not completely remove the foul odour that is commonly associated with members of the Adoxaceae. Perhaps it is an acquired aroma?

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