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

Getting blueberries to grow in Atascosa County, Texas
January 20, 2010 - I'm trying to get blueberries started in my garden. I mulch constantly and have tons of success with almost every thing. But last year my blueberries were new plants and after harvesting a few berrie...
view the full question and answer

Are American Hazelnuts Self-Fertile?
November 06, 2014 - I planted an American Hazelnut a couple of years ago that I ordered from a catalog. Is this plant self-fertile or do I need to plant another one? I have seen conflicting information on this subject.
view the full question and answer

Are the seeds of Amberique bean edible in Beaumont, TX
September 28, 2011 - I found one of these growing in my yard. Strophostyles helvola (L.) Elliott Amberique-bean, Trailing fuzzybean. Are the bean pods edible? I read somewhere that they are. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Orange/yellow fungus on a dead oak
October 04, 2009 - I have a large dead oak tree which has an orange/yellow fungus growing at the base and also high on a spot where a branch had broken off. I've read a couple of things from the internet about this fun...
view the full question and answer

Are berries of American Beautyberry poisonous?
September 21, 2008 - I have an American Beautyberry Plant and I need to know if the purple berries are toxic - we have dogs and I wouldn't want them to eat them. Thanks for any information you may have on this plant.
view the full question and answer

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