Forage Friday #81 Sourwood

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Sourwood 102020a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Please remember that Forage Friday is presented as trivia and not to be mistaken for medical advice.

In the fall I always have been attracted to the gorgeous velvety red leaf of the sourwood tree. It’s one of the first trees that my grandfather introduced me to as we walked the fences inspecting for places where the cows might try to jump over. Sourwood is a tree that actively seeks the light so it’s often twisted and knurled into interesting shapes if growing in partial shade. The official time of the bloom is late spring into early summer but as we’ll see the official record isn’t always accurate. When it does put forth the tiny clusters of bell shaped white flowers it’s normally covered in thousands of bees. For that reason most people think of sourwood as a honey tree when it comes to anything edible. But the leaves have a similar flavor to wood sorrel. They are rich in oxalic acid which gives the tree it’s name. But unlike wood sorrel you wouldn’t really toss a handful in your salad. Instead you would either use it as tea or a seasoning.

Native Americans used the leaves to settle nerves, relieve asthma symptoms, treat diarrhea and aid digestion. While in some parts of Appalachia they are used as a diuretic, to break a fever and treat dysentery.

Traditionally, the inner bark of sourwood would be chewed to treat mouth ulcers.

But those beautiful flower clusters are useful for more than the world’s best honey. The juice of sourwood flowers is also used to make jelly.

Image Titled “Sourwood Flowers 102020a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

As I mentioned earlier the flower of the sourwood tree are supposed to be open from June to July but as you can see they do bloom in late October as well. Which is awesome because honeybees do not hibernate and obviously love what they get from sourwood.

That’s it for tonight friends and be blessed throughout your days!

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