Forage Friday #65 Toxic Moonseed

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Moonseed Vine 63020a” and was taken specifically for Forage Friday. All of the photos found on my blog are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Moonseed is a toxic plant known to have caused fatalities. I have included it in Forage Friday for the purpose identification and avoiding a fatal error.

Typically the way I choose a topic for Forage Friday is that I spot something as a random encounter and grab a snapshot of it for the post. I feel that this way I can give you a more organic experience and a more realistic expectation of what might be encountered during an outing.

What caught my eye in tonight’s feature image was the way the leaves are backlit by the sun filtering through the canopy. As a matter of protocol I run the photos trough Google Lens to double check the ID because anyone can make a mistake and guess wrong on the ID of a plant. Moonseed is a particularly bad one to do that with if it happens while looking for wild grapes. The shiny dark berries are attractive and could easily be mistaken for an edible.
As stated in the disclaimer there have been fatalities. The vine was once used as an ornamental that was planted on fences and such. The thick growth habit would help hide any defects in the fence and the berries are eaten by songbirds. Amazingly enough birds seem to be immune to a large number of toxic berries that would kill a human if eaten in a large enough quantity.

Two of the quickest ways to know if you have Moonseed or Grapes is that Grapes have forked tendrils that they cling to the structure with and Moonseed has no tendrils. Instead, Moonseed wraps itself around the structure. In the age of seedless grapes at the store some people may have never seen a grape seed. So the seed of a grape is ovoid. By contrast, the seed of a Moonseed berry is discoid and has a notch that gives it the appearance of a crescent moon and thus the name Moonseed. There are other factors like the lobes and the notches but these can be effected by soil conditions and sometimes be hard to distinguish.

The toxic substance in Moonseed is Dauricine which is being studied to see if it can be used in chemotherapy.

In spite of the known danger with Moonseed history says that the Cherokee did have some uses for it but my opinion is that there’s probably less risky options.

Moonseed is also a smaller berry than grapes however I still crush the grape to double check the shape of the seed when I find a new vine.

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To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

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Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

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Forage Friday #64 Hop Clover

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Hop Clover 62020a” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Please remember that Forage Friday is only intended to be a conversation starter and all of the information is presented as trivia and any trivia concerning herbalism should not be mistaken for an endorsement of treatment.

Hop Clover is one of the plants that I have not personally experimented with. That’s mostly because I have not really encountered it after becoming interested enough in foraging and herbalism to actually pursue it beyond reading books. And partly because I had mistaken it for Black Medic. Now Black Medic is listed as an edible plant but it’s mostly the roasted seeds that are used. There’s also some concerns that Black Medic might have some side effects that are detrimental to people with certain medical conditions as it is thought to cause blood clots.

Once I had learned that Hop Clover exists and so closely resembles Black Medic I really struggled to distinguish between the two using just a few photos and the internet.

The biggest reason why I settled on Hop Clover as a positive ID was the lack of bur like structure on the tips of the leaves and that the overall shape of the leaves is more oval where Black Medic leaves are blunted except for bur on the very tip.

Now that we’ve established the identity as Hop Clover what’s it good for? Well, the seeds are used to make flour in the same manner as Black Medic but Hop Clover goes beyond that in also being useful as a pot herb. Online resources say that the leaves are edible raw but the flavor of the cooked herb us more pleasant if it’s cooked. The bright yellow flowers are added to teas. I expect that being legumes they would be rich in protein. However it is said that they’re not as sweet as the more familiar clovers.

One last warning before I close this week’s Forage Friday post. There is a toxic look alike that is often mistaken for Black Medic and therefore Hop Clover. Wild Indigo. The main thing that separates Wild Indigo is that it as larger flowers. I have not encountered Wild Indigo at this time so I don’t have a photo to share.

My takeaway for tonight is that the devil is in the details. The visual difference between Hop Clover and Black Medic is very subtle. Both are listed as edibles but one is far more useful than the other and in the case of Black Medic may be dangerous if you’re medically concerned about blood clots.

Image Titled “Hop Clover 62020b”.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

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Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Forage Friday #63 Wineberry

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Wineberry 62320a”. All of the photos found on my blog are my original work and are available for purchase or license by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Please remember that my Forage Friday posts are only intended to be a conversation starter and all the information is presented as trivia. While wineberry is simply one of the best tasting raspberries that you will ever encounter in your life and is as safe as any raspberry I am not a doctor nor a certified herbalist. That means that I am not endorsing any treatment and only covering the topics as trivia or history.

The big blue truck turns into the old parking lot. It’s Not really been used as a parking lot for decades so there are holes in the pavement that would swallow most normal cars. I stopped because I noticed that the roses left behind when the clinic on the other side of the road was abandoned were in bloom. They’ve mixed with several invasive vines and give the old cut stone the look of an ancestral fortress.

As I turned back to truck I noticed the prize humbly waiting at the other end of the lot. The lush green leaves are waving in a light breeze and revealing the white underside. The canes bristle with thorns that look as though they could deter Satan himself.

The thorns of the Wineberry.

Appalachia has always been known for it’s crop of brambles. The characteristic canes of undomesticated varieties always have thorns to one degree or another. But wineberry takes it to the extreme. Fortunately, the majority of the thorns are fine and hair like so they don’t really penetrate the skin. There’s enough of the larger stiffer thorns though to make protection worth the effort.

Wineberry is awesome. The taste is kinda like wine and some people say the flavor reminds them of pomegranates. The older darker berries will be the sweetest of course. The berries in tonight’s post are not quite fully ripe. Unlike regular raspberries wineberry seems to hold the light making it look like they have a glow of their own. They’re pretty much used like native raspberry in jelly, syrup, covered in cream or fresh in the field. It’s well known that raspberry ketones seem to have the ability to keep the body from retaining fat. And a few online articles state that wineberry seems have a higher density of these ketones. However, this is something that I have to do a little research on myself. In fact, wineberry is a fairly new plant to me. It’s invasive nature caused people in my area to aggressively keep it away from their lands and instead chose to favor the less invasive native berries. Wineberry comes to us form Asia and like many Asian plants tends to find the perfect habitat in our mountains. It’s also believed to harbor a virus that’s dangerous to native raspberries and blackberries.

Image Titled “Wineberry 62320b”

When the fruit is removed the cone shaped pith is left behind. In image “Wineberry 62320b” you can also see the papery husk that protects the berry until it’s ripe. The formidable looking husk soften a little when the berry is ready for harvest.

Image Titled “Wineberry 62320c”

The leaves of the wineberry are used in the same way as other raspberries. They are astringent and used to combat diarrhea. It’s my belief that any astringent leaves can be used in the same manner as witch hazel. Raspberry has the added benefit of being able to be used in teas and carry a multitude of vitamins and minerals.

Wineberry self propagates by “walking”. The tops of the cane fall over and take root forming a natural clone of the parent plant. Birds absolutely love wineberry too and unless you can cover it a net to keep them out you’ll be up against stiff competition. If the berry contains viable seed it will be spread by the birds. In fact wineberry is so prolific that it’s illegal to cultivate in many places. So that’s something that you’ll need to check out before making any plans for transplanting.

That’s going to be it for tonight’s Forage Friday post. Have you ever used this berry and have a recipe to share? Let me know in the comments section. 😊

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To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

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Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Forage Friday #62 Grass

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Grass On Pond 61620a” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Forage Friday is only intended to be a conversation starter and all of the information is presented as trivia. Please remember to do further research and be positive about identifying any wild edible plants. Any herbalism discussed in the article is also presented as trivia and should not be mistaken for an endorsement of treatment.

That’s right. Tonight’s Forage Friday post is about the stuff that grows on your lawn. Now it should go without saying that if you spray your lawn with chemicals then it’s not considered safe for consumption. The same goes for public parks and commercial property. In fact, to be absolutely clear I only advocate foraging your own property or private property that you have permission to forage.

I was initially shocked to learn that normal grass produced edible grain. I laughed out loud at the thoughts of grazing like a cow. In those days the internet was science fiction and I actually blew quite a lot of money at book stores. Ironically, I was leafing through a new acquisition on primitive survival at a Chinese restaurant and eating bamboo shoots at the precise moment when saw the section on foraging grass. My young mind didn’t make the connection that bamboo was a type of grass right away. Okay, but bamboo is a special grass right? Well, as it turns out yes and no. Not all grass is going yield nutrition and in fact the stuff on our lawns is probably not going to be the best forage. In addition, I’m told that all native North American grasses are nontoxic but that several non-native varieties are toxic. And there are entire scientific disciplines based on learning how to identify different types of grass. In fact I am unsure about the identity of the grass in tonight’s post.

Presuming that it is an edible variety it’s still in flower and not ready for harvest. Once the fruit ripens we can strip the seed from the stem and beat it free of the chaff. Tossing it up into the air slightly and allowing the Breeze to carry away the papery part is called winnowing.

The seed can then be ground into flour.

In case you haven’t guessed this is one of the ones I only have theoretical knowledge of. So please pay attention to the disclaimer and seek out someone who is more experienced on this subject. One of my favorite resources is Green Dean and the link takes you to his article about grass .

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

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To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Forage Friday #61 Mock Strawberry

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Mock Strawberry 61220”. The images for tonight were all taken specifically for Forage Friday. All of the photos found on my blog are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Forage Friday is only intended to be a conversation starter and all of the information presented is only intended to be as trivia. It should be mistaken for an endorsement of treatment. Please remember to do further research and be positive about identifying any wild edible before consuming.

There’s probably no other wild edible that causes more controversy than the ones that are referred to collectively as “Wild Strawberry”. I have seen people look on in absolute horror as I popped one in my mouth and swallowed. I can’t help but admit that in my twisted sense of humor I’ve pretended to choke for some. I’ve been told that the berry is deadly poison. One of the common names for mock strawberry is “snake berry” and the old wives’ tale is that snakes eat the mock strawberry in order to get their venom. The truth is that the most dangerous thing about the mock strawberry is the flavor… well, the lack thereof anyway. There’s a little variance depending on genetics and soil qualities but mostly it’s dry and bland.

Image Titled “Mock Strawberry 61220b”

In spite of the lack of flavor mock strawberries like real strawberry are rich in Vitamin C. And, here’s where that lack of flavor might actually be an advantage. It gives us a way to add nutritional value to other foods without changing the flavor. In addition to vitamin C the mock strawberry is reported to be rich in magnesium, potassium, zinc and has trace amounts of selenium. ( depending on soil conditions)

The leaves are used topically in a poultice to treat weeping eczema, insect bites and stings, boils and even though I highly doubt the effectiveness , snake bites are listed among the things that mock strawberry leaves are good for.

Image Titled “Mock Strawberry Flower 61220”

Mock Strawberry superficially resembles Garden strawberry but they’re actually not even the same genus. Real strawberries being genus Fragaria and mock strawberry listed as either Potentillia or Duchesbea.

One thing to note is that true strawberries have a white bloom while mock strawberry gas a yellow bloom.

Image Titled Strawberry Bush 92910. This plant is definitely toxic.

We started with the common belief that mock strawberry is toxic look alike of real strawberry so I decided to include an old photo of Strawberry Bush which is small shrub that is sometimes confused with strawberries. I’ll cover this plant more in depth at a later time but for now it’s a toxic strawberry look alike.

That’s about all I’ve got for tonight. Thank you joining me!

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

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To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤