Herbology 101 (Befriending your Fauna)

Venus Fly Trap

Venus Flytrap Overview

GENUS NAME: Dionaea

COMMON NAME: Venus Flytrap

PLANT TYPE: Houseplant, Perennial

LIGHT: Part Sun, Sun

HEIGHT: 1 to 5 inches

WIDTH: 3 to 5 inches

FLOWER COLOR: White

FOLIAGE COLOR: Blue/Green, Purple/Burgundy

SPECIAL FEATURES: Good for Containers

ZONES10, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

PROPAGATION: Division, Leaf Cuttings, Seed

Hindu Rope Plant

Botanical Name: Hoya carnosa 'Compacta', Hoya carnosa 'Krinkle Kurls'

Common Name: Hindu Rope Plant, Porcelain Flower, Krinkle Kurl, Wax Plant

Family: Asclepiadaceae

Plant Type: Succulent, perennial

Mature Size: Up to 15 in. long

Sun Exposure: Indirect sun, 6 hours daily

Soil Type: Well-drained

Soil pH: Acid, neutral, alkaline

Bloom Time: Spring, summer

Flower Color: Pink

Hardiness Zones: 10, 11, 12

Native Area: Asia, Australia

Ric Rac Cactus

  • Light : High
  • Water : Medium
  • Humidity: Medium
  • Temp: 52℉ - 77℉
  • Zone: 10|11
  • Fertilizer: Monthly
  • Repotting: 2 Years
  • Cleaning: As Needed
  • Propagation: Cuttings

If you're a night owl, you may get to see this one bloom and enjoy its nocturnal pollinators! The blooms are orchid-like and vary from white, pink to maroon with starburst blossoms to go with the night sky! To promote blooming, move it to a shady, cool spot in the winter months at 52°-57°F. Give it three years of growth before she's mature enough to bloom! In the meantime, enjoy its unusual stem shape of zig-zagging!

Rabbit's Foot Fern

Common Name: Rabbit's-Foot Fern, Hare's Foot Fern

Botanical Name: Davallia fejeensis, da-VAH-lee-a

Decorative Life: Years.

Availability: Year Round

Family Roots:

  • Member of the Davalliaceae.
  • Native to the Fiji Islands.
  • Related ferns include Staghorn, Maidenhair, Sword, Brake and Holly.

Storage Specifics:

Chill sensitive, store above 55F.

Tidbits:

  • The genus was named for the Swiss botanist, Edmund Davall, 1763-1789.
  • Members of this family do not produce flowers as they reproduce by spores. Spores are contained in sori or “fruit dots” and appear as dark spots on the lower surface of mature leaves called fronds.

Cacao

Cacao, (Theobroma cacao), tropical evergreen tree grown for its edible seeds, whose scientific name means “food of the gods” in Greek. Native to lowland rainforests of the Amazon and Orinoco river basins, cacao is grown commercially in the New World tropics as well as western Africa and tropical Asia. Its seeds, called cocoa beans, are processed into cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and chocolate.

Dragon Eye Fruit- Longan

Longan and lychee are tropical summer fruits. You can even call them close relatives in a fruit family. Once peeled, both fruits appear as white flesh surrounding a large seed outside. However, longan fruit is smaller than lychee. It has much smoother, harder, and darker skin. Therefore, you should peel it off before consumption. Lychees have pinkish outer skin with a rough texture due to small bumps.

Longan fruit has a musky flavour, while lychee has a floral taste. Unlike fresh lychees, it is pretty challenging to find fresh longans. You will often find them frozen, canned, or dried in grocery stores. In other words, fresh varieties of this fruit are not very easily available.

Black Sapote

Black Sapotes are round, squat fruits that look similar to a persimmon albeit a green version. The skin of a Black Sapote is initially an olive green and it will darken as it ripens and will develop the occasional black speckles. The pulp is white when unripe and turns dark brown to almost black when ripe. It has a sweet, custardy, chocolate-like flavor, which is how it got its nickname. There are somewhat large, inedible, almond-shaped seeds clustered at the center of the fruit like a pit. Typically, the fruit is purchased unripe; it can take up to ten days for it to ripen.

Yellow Dragon Fruit

Yellow Dragon fruit is a small to medium-sized species, averaging 8 to 10 centimeters in length and 6 to 7 centimeters in diameter, and has an oval to elliptical shape. The fruits are smaller than red and pink dragon fruits, and the size largely depends on cultivation regions and growing conditions. The fruit's skin is thick, semi-smooth, and slightly rubbery, covered in small knobby protrusions that used to hold spines when the fruit was young. As the fruits age, the spines naturally fall off. The skin also ripens from green to golden yellow with maturity. Underneath the surface, the white, translucent flesh is dense, crisp, aqueous, tender, and succulent. The flesh is said to have a texture reminiscent of a cross between a kiwi and a pear, and there are many tiny black seeds that are edible and add a layer of crunchiness to the mouthfeel. Yellow Dragon fruit should feel soft to the touch when ripe and will be heavy for its size, indicating its high juice content. The skin of the fruit is not consumed and should be discarded. Yellow Dragon fruit flesh is mild, sweet, and slightly tangy with floral and subtly fruity nuances.

  • Bay Leaf

    The bay leaf is widely known for its powers of manifestation, but this herb can do more than just make wishes come true.

    Historically, the priestesses of Delphi were said to eat bay leaves in order to open up their psychic channels. This may have been effective due to the leaf's slightly narcotic properties. They can be used in dream work and to open the third eye and crown chakras. The ancient Greeks created laurel crowns for revered members of society including philosophers and poets. It was also believed to protect against thunderstorms.

    Other magical properties of bay leaf include:

    • protection
    • healing
    • purification
    • strength
    • wishes
    • exorcism
    • inspiration
    • wisdom
    • creativity
    • victory
  • Agave

    The spiritual meaning of agave flowers is largely linked to their connection to the divine. It is believed that these flowers carry the energy of spiritual healing and renewal. They have a transformative power that can help people to let go of the past, release negative emotions, and move towards a brighter and more fulfilling future.

    Some people believe that agave flowers can also help to connect us to higher realms of consciousness, allowing us to access spiritual wisdom and guidance. They can help us to tune into our intuition and gain a deeper understanding of our purpose in life.

    Additionally, agave flowers are often associated with the concept of resilience. These flowers are known for their ability to thrive in harsh environments, such as deserts, and can survive even in the most challenging conditions. This resilience is seen as a symbol of strength and perseverance, and can inspire people to overcome their own challenges and obstacles.

  • Pine Needle

    Associations with Deities: Pine is associated with several deities, including Pan, Diana, Bacchus, Cybele, Attis, and Saturn. Incorporating pine into rituals and spells dedicated to these deities can strengthen your connection to their energies and enhance the effectiveness of your workings.

    Luck

    1. Joy
    2. Balance
    3. Purification
    4. Banishment
    5. Healing
    6. Fertility
    7. Prosperity
    8. Longevity
    9. Happiness

    Zodiac: Pine is associated with the zodiac signs of Aries and Scorpio. Individuals with these sun signs may feel a particularly strong connection to the energies of pine trees and may find their magical practices amplified when working with pine.

  • Roasted Chestnut

    Chestnuts carry masculine energy and resonate with the fire element and the planet Jupiter.

    The chestnut tree is associated with the God Zeus. Chestnuts can be eaten to encourage fertility and desire and may be carried as a charm by women who wish to conceive. Keeping chestnuts around the house (and eating them) encourages abundance.

    Staves made from chestnut wood are said to encourage longevity, increase energy, enhance intuition and help with grounding and centering of energy. Chestnut wood can also be used to make talismans for justice, success, to gain the sympathy of your audience and to encourage your mind to take in information.

    • Abundance
    • Protection
    • Fertility
    • Grounding
    • Divination Aid
  • Honeycrisp

    In the mythology of the people from the North Caucasus, there is a tree that groows magic apples capable of guaranteeing a child to whoever eats them.

    During the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah, people dip apples in honey and eat them to bring in a sweet year ahead.

    Wiccan lore views apples as a sacred symbol. This is because, when cut in half horizontally, their seeds and core form a pentagram.

    An old bit of boat builder’s lore holds that it’s bad luck to make a boat from apple wood, since apple wood was used to make coffins. Doing so was believed to doom the sailors to an early grave.

    A common bit of marriage folklore says that, if an unmarried woman peels an apple in one long, continuous piece, then throws it over her shoulder, the peel will fall in the shape of the first letter of her future spouse’s name.