Edible Landscaping Series: Turk's Cap
In the Edible Landscaping series, we take a look at plants that marry form with function. All plants in this series have value as beautiful landscaping plants, while also being useful for food or medicine. You can find out more about these practical plants and how to use them by attending one of my Practical Gardening workshops.
Turk's cap is in full bloom right now in my home state of Texas. Bright red, unique-looking blooms grow prolifically from the upper foliage of this hardy perennial. Turk's cap, also called Mexican apples, wax mallow, or Scotchman's purse, is favored as a landscaping plant because of its beauty, hardiness, and reliable performance through a range of climate and soil conditions. Hummingbird and butterflies also love Turk's Cap. This garden beauty's usefulness doesn't end there though. Turk's Cap shines as an edible plant, making it one of my favorite plants to have in a functional garden.
In the Herb Garden: German Chamomile
For so many of us German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) was our first introduction to herbs as a remedy. We were given cups of hot, honey sweetened chamomile tea when we were sick, had a tummy ache, or had trouble turning ourselves off at night. Chamomile soothed and calmed with its gentle, yet steady action, helping us to digest our food better and slip off to sleep.
It’s that gentle reputation that has made this member of the Asteraceae family so popular as a safe herb for children. Don’t let chamomile fool you though. She’s neither weak, nor just for the very young. She’s there for us when we aren’t feeling quite ourselves, whether that’s from:
So grab a cup of this aromatic, golden tea. Let's get into German chamomile, and talk about how we can grow, store, and best use her wonderful benefits!
I'm Jennifer Capestany, a clinical herbalist and freelance writer with a practice in North Texas. Helping people deal as naturally as possible with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic illness and other chronic conditions is my calling.