Useful Weeds

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Useful Weeds

Postby wildrose » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:11 am

mullein: heal the earth with cowboy toilet paper
I haven't seen a lot of mullein in the desert, but I have seen it in the mountains. Although a lot of people consider it a weed, I think it's sort of attractive. This video lists all sorts of ways that it's useful. Verbascum thapsus - otherwise knows as the toilet paper plant!
:sun:
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Re: Useful Weeds

Postby panamint_patty » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:38 am

wildrose wrote:mullein: heal the earth with cowboy toilet paper
I haven't seen a lot of mullein in the desert, but I have seen it in the mountains. Although a lot of people consider it a weed, I think it's sort of attractive. This video lists all sorts of ways that it's useful. Verbascum thapsus - otherwise knows as the toilet paper plant!
:sun:

Funny comments made about using the leaf as toilet paper! I guess you have to be careful which way the little hairs are facing. Although this might be the more natural way to wipe one's butt, I think I'll stick to conventional TP! On the other hand, I might consider a bidet!
LINK: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=earth-talks-bidets
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Re: Useful Weeds

Postby BoraxBill » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:51 am

Indian Toilet Paper
Besides smooth stones, large leaves, possibly sticks, and bathing in a lake or river, there aren't that many possibilities, but here's one:
Many indigenous Americans who were fortunate enough to have it around used sphagnum moss for toilet paper among many other uses including baby diapers, dressings for wounds and menstrual pads. Just be sure to clean up after yourself as best you can.

I'm convinced that toilet paper is one of the most wonderful hygienic items ever invented by humankind!
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Re: Useful Weeds

Postby CrustyOldFart » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:11 am

BoraxBill: I full concur with your comment regarding toilet paper. It's hard to imagine how people dealt with the unpleasant task of wiping their butts following a poop before the invention of toilet paper. Whoever invented toilet paper deserves to be granted knighthood, sainthood, and be awarded some kind of Nobel prize for his or her service to humanity. It's that big of a deal IMHO!!!!
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Re: Useful Weeds

Postby wildrose » Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:10 am

Hyperaccumulators
Interesting graphic here. It shows a few plants that hyperaccumulate various metals. Also info is provided about how these plants can be used in phytoremediation and phytomining.
The process of phytoremediation uses a plant’s ability to remove contaminants from the soil in situations where other methods would be too infeasible.

LINK: http://www.popsci.com/blog-network/boxplot/when-plants-get-metal-part-2
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Re: Useful Weeds

Postby wildrose » Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:14 am

Tumbleweeds
Here's another great post about tumbleweeds. Check out the awesome infographic!
Tumbleweeds are a type of plant that include many different species, and have one thing in common: They break free of their roots and roll around in the wind. When a seed uses a bit of plant tissue to aid in its dispersal, it's called a diaspore. In the tumbleweed's case, the whole plant is the diaspore. Tumbling across the open plain or along dusty dunes is a brilliant dispersal strategy, and has caused the tumbleweed to spread across to every corner of mid to western America since the 1870's when it was first introduced.

LINK: http://www.popsci.com/blog-network/boxplot/oh-lonesome-woesome-tumbleweed
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Re: Useful Weeds

Postby ruskyed » Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:30 am

Подсолнух (The Sunflower) :sun:
Back in 3000 B.C. the sunflower wasn't much more than a useful weed, but humans intervened and now it is a huge flower producing seeds full of nutritious oil, подсолнечное масло, to be more precise. Whether you call them подсолнух or подсолнечник, they are in either case both beautiful and useful!
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Re: Useful Weeds

Postby wildrose » Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:36 am

ruskyed: The information you provide about the sunflower was fascinating. I didn't realize that it was a North American native and I had no idea that it is so widely used in Russia. It's true that all food crops were at one time weeds and that in most cases the original natural plant was only a shadow of the plant we know today. Centuries of selective breeding can produce amazing changes!
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Re: Useful Weeds

Postby panamint_patty » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:37 am

wildrose: The fact that kale, collards, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are all different cultivars of the same species always amazes me. At some point, historically speaking, they would have all been the same scrawny weed, but as a result of selective breeding they've developed into different useful forms. Brassica oleracea covers a lot of ground, but if you open it up to different species of Brassica then the list includes mustard, rapeseed, kale, napa cabbage, horseradish, turnip, rutabaga, radish, arugula, and more!
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Re: Useful Weeds

Postby wildrose » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:46 am

panamint_patty: Another plant family with many useful plants is the Sunflower Family. The Rose Family is yet another plant family with lots of plants we eat on a regular basis. However, I'm not sure if there is a single species in any plant family with as many cultivars as you list for Brassica oleracea.
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