Largely using Wikipedia, I see the Doctrine of Signatures is a philosophy still used today. It was started by some very old dudes, way before the Gregorian calendar was started. In a nutshell, the doctrine said that parts of herbs that looked like parts of the body, could be used as medicine to help cure whatever was wrong with that particular part of the body. Snakeroot was used by Native Americans as a treatment for snakebite. Ah ha! But before you run out and brew up some snakeroot tea for your next snakebite, STOP! Snakeroot is poisonous. People got very sick when they drank milk from cows who used to eat a lot of this. It has been reported that Abraham Lincoln's mother died from this "milk sickness". Do NOT used Snakeroot for your ailments. A few other plant names resulting from this philosophy include toothwort, liverwort, and our beloved Bloodroot, but don't try thse plant "remedies" at home. Enough homework for now.
|Bloodroot Seedling in tree stump|
Amazing! Two years ago shortly after my first Native Plant seed collecting volunteer session with the Wood County Parks, I decided I'd collect my Columbine seeds at home. Then I'd sow them in flats and get lots of Columbine to plant around the yard. I dutifully collected seeds, stuck them in a paper envelope, and put them in the refrigerator. Then I forgot about them. Now two years later, I find them. I didn't want to take the time to sow them in flats and carefully tend to them until transplanting time. Oh well. Several weeks ago, I sprinkled them into a shady foundation bed in the front. I couldn't believe it. Today I noticed dozens and dozens of tiny little Columbine sprouts.