Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - June 05, 2012

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Medicinal Plants
Title: Texas plants useful to early settlers
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I'm working on some interpretation for a prairie heritage trail in SE TX (near Houston). I'd like to know where I can find some good information on plant remedies which might have been used by early settlers to this part of Texas? Preferably with any documented information on how these remedies might have been prepared (i.e., poultices, salves etc). Thanks so much Amanda Hughes-Horan, Interpretive Insights

ANSWER:

 

By far the most detailed account of medicinal plants is found in "The Useful Wild Plants of Texas, the Southestern and Southwestern United States, the Southern Plains, and Northern Mexico", by Scooter Cheatham, Marshall Johnston, and Lynn Marshall.  Unfortunately, only the first three volumes of a projected fifteen volume set have been published.  The series is arranged alphabetically by genus name, so if you have plants  whose botanical genus name begins with A or C (through Celtis), you are in luck.  The volumes are large and expensive, so you may have to look in a large library to find them.  Perhaps the Rice University library?

A second recommendation is "Remarkable Plants of Texas: Uncommon Accounts of Our Common Natives", by Matt Warnock Turner. This 2009 book is more readily available, through Amazon.com, for example.

A third, and somewhat less appropriate volume is "Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest", by Delena Tull.  Also available at Amazon.com.

Good luck in your research!

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Mulching vegetables with straw
June 13, 2007 - I have a small garden with 4 different veggies, tomatoes, hot peppers, squash & cucumbers. which plants is it OK to put straw under? which plants will straw hurt the stalks or other possibilities? tha...
view the full question and answer

Is Thalia dealbata toxic to dogs?
May 16, 2011 - A pond in a park frequented by dogs contains Thalia dealbata and I have seen numerous dogs eating the roots with relish, which we discourage, of course. They seem to really enjoy it though. Aft...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive henbit from Round Rock TX
April 27, 2013 - I've read in this book "Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants" that Henbit is an invasive plant in Texas. I've also read that it provides an early source of nectar to bees and butterflies when li...
view the full question and answer

Is the Texas mesquite, Prosopis glandulosa, toxic to cats?
September 08, 2009 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants! Regarding Texas mesquite tree, I know that rabbits and deer etc eat the seed pods, but my cat every time he goes outside starts munching on the pods, and I can't find any info o...
view the full question and answer

Can bluebonnets be made into jelly from Ennis TX
May 07, 2013 - Are Texas bluebonnet flowers okay for human consumption? I have seen recipes for wild violet jelly,so was wondering about making bluebonnet jelly from the bluebonnet blossoms if they are not poisonous...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.