[Please note that when this post was first published yesterday, April 10, 2010, the Silverleaf nightshade was misidentified as a Dayflower. The corrections have been made in the caption of the flower and plant and the notes contain a warning about the use of the Silverleaf nightshade.]
At 9:59 a.m. I drove down to the barn and parked the F-150. Taking my camera and walking carefully, within the next hour I traced a familiar path from the barn thorough the corrals, into the arena pasture and into the grove. I walked along the edge of Salt Creek and photographed these wild flowers of our dry Texas Spring. Salt Creek is an intermittent-running creek, but there are pools of water and tracks abound. The trees are green and lush about the creek and grass, despite the drought, remains verdant.
I picked a blossom of wild verbena in the main pasture and gently pressed it. The fragrance flew about my face and I inhaled deeply. Only a partial blossom I pressed, but it nonetheless imparted its scent that remained for minutes, not seconds, as I walked back up to the barn. Beside the kitchen sink, we have liquid verbena soap, reminding me of the wild as I wash my hands, arms and face.
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My uncle Floyd McRorey used to come in from the field and wash his hands in the kitchen sink with hard Lava soap as Aunt Lennie prepared a meal. I never saw Aunt Lennie wash the dinner dishes. She helped dry, but never washed the dinner dishes. Uncle Floyd always washed the dinner dishes.
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All of the following photographs may be enlarged with a click of your mouse.
The scientific nomenclature for each plant may be incorrect as there are a broad range of varieties. I refer to as many as four books and two databases to identify the plant, but I may be in error, so please verify my identification.
The Silverleaf nightshade is all toxic. Medicinal: Used for rattlesnake bite – root chewed by medicine man, who then sucks on the wound to remove venom, then more root is chewed and applied to swollen area. (Steiner) Southwestern Native Americans used the crushed berries to curdle milk in making cheese, and the berries have also been used in various preparations for treating sore throat and toothache (Lady Bird Wildflower Center Plant Database).
Please see the link for Silverleaf nightshade:
- How to Press Flowers (biologygroup.wordpress.com)
- Drought grips nearly all of Texas, including Harris County (chron.com)
- Spring with Effie and Gywn (swamericana.wordpress.com)
- Sister Creek 2010 Muscat Canelli, Texas Appellation: The Original’s Back (vintagetexas.com)
- Wildfire burns more than 61,000 acres in Texas (dailycaller.com)