Tea Growing in High Park: Summer 2022

 

There is a shrub in northern High Park which has red stalks. It was originally called Redroot and the dry savanna here is perfect habitat.

Tea was a bit scarce before the American Revolution (after all, imported tea tariffs helped lead to the start of the war), so a tea-like drink was made from the leaves of this shrub.  Leaves were gathered when the plant was in full boom and thoroughly dried in the shade and then used like oriental tea.  It does not have caffeine. Eventually the plant name was changed to New Jersey Tea. It is abundant in the old field just to the east of the northern automobile entrance to High Park.

New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)
New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)
New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)
New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americana)

Other botany in this field:

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Orange Day-lily (Hemerocallis fulva)
Panicled Tick-trefoil (Desmodium paniculatum)
Orange Day-lily (Hemerocallis fulva)
Panicled Tick-trefoil (Desmodium paniculatum)
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)
White Sweet-clover (Melilotus alba)
Panicled Tick-trefoil (Desmodium paniculatum)
Bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)
Foxglove – Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)
Foxglove – Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Orange Day-lily (Hemerocallis fulva)
Bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)
Wild-bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)
Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)
White Vervain (Verbena urticifolia)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)
Wild-bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)
Dogbane Beetles

NATURE POETRY

When the heat like a mist veil floats,
And poppies flame in the rye,
And the silver note in the streamlet’s throat
Has softened almost to a sigh. It is July.    – Susan Hartley Swett (1843-1907)

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “Tea Growing in High Park: Summer 2022

  1. Marilyn Bunker

    I so look forward to having a poem each day. Today’s was especially nice. Perhaps because it was easily relatable.
    Thank you.
    Hope you and your family are well.

    Reply
  2. barbara

    Miles, today you are due much more thanks than usual 😉
    1. finally ID’d plants new to me that I’ve puzzled over for weeks: Apocynum cannabinum, Indian hemp/hemp dogbane, growing shrub-like on the east walk down from Glen Everest.
    2. saved me ID’ing dogbane beetles, aren’t they eye candy?
    3. enjoyed the lovely poem of which you quoted the 3rd stanza, and in looking it up found Sir Charles GD Roberts’ “July”, stanzas of which you could treat us to later this month 😉
    Long overdue “usual” thanks for captioning rather than titling your images, to yield my near-daily birds & botany quiz. Have recovered from the consternation of finding what I’ve called ironweed all my life is in fact viper’s bugloss :o)
    Cheers, Barbara

    Reply

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