The Everglades Tomato Plant: Solanum Pimpinellifolium

   The Everglades tomato, or Solanum pimpinellifolium, is a plant native to the Florida Everglades. It is an important source of nutrition for native wildlife and humans alike. This article will provide an overview of this unique species, discussing its characteristics and benefits.

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Sambucus Simpsonii: All About the Elderberry Plant

Written by Don Richardson
Elderberry (Sambucus Simpsonii)
Plant Type
Perennial Shrub
Size
Upto 12’ tall - Spreads
Sun Exposure
Full Sun - Part Shade
Soil Type
all
Soil pH
6.8-7.2 prefers slightly acidic
Bloom Time
Spring - Fall
Hardiness Zones
4a-10b   Florida Native Plant
Moisture
Moist, rich, well drained
Cold/Heat 
-20°F –
Pollination
Self-pollinates 
Edible Plant
Yes – Berries only cooked
Medicinal Plant
Yes
 
Any reference to medicinal or culinary use of plants or plant parts should in no way be considered an endorsement by The Ocala Food Forest or its staff. Research is crucial in safe and proper consumption or experimentational use of any plant.

   The Sambucus Simpsonii, or elderberry plant, is a deciduous shrub that is native to North America. The elderberry plant is a member of the Adoxaceae family and can grow to be up to 12 feet tall. The elderberry plant has dark green leaves and produces small white flowers that turn into dark purple berries. The berries of the elderberry plant are used in pies, jams, and wine. The elderberry plant is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used to treat colds, flu, and other ailments for centuries.
 
The History of the Elderberry Plant 
The elderberry plant was introduced to North America by European settlers in the 1600s. The history of elderberries dates back centuries. Native Americans used elderberries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments. The plant was also used by early settlers in North America as a food source. Elderberries can be made into jams, pies, wines, and cordials.
During World War II, British pilots ate elderberry jam to prevent getting homesick. It was thought that the sweetness of the jam would help boost morale. After the war ended, interest in elderberries declined due to their short shelf life and lack of availability.
In recent years, there has been a resurgence in interest in elderberries due to their health benefits. Elderberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins C and E. They are also a good source of fiber and potassium. Studies have shown that elderberries can help boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and fight off viral infections.
 
The Uses of the Elderberry Plant 
The berries of the elderberry plant are used in pies, jams, and wine. In recent years, elderberries have gained popularity as a superfood due to their high levels of antioxidants and vitamins.  
The elderberry plant is also known for its medicinal properties. Studies have shown that elderberry juice can help boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and fight off viral infections. If you're looking for a delicious way to improve your health, add some elderberries to your diet!
 
How to Grow Your Own Elderberry Plant 
If you're interested in growing your own elderberry plant, you'll be happy to know that they are relatively easy to care for. Elderberries prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade. They prefer well-drained soil but are tolerant of a variety of soil types. Elderberries are generally low-maintenance plants but may need occasional pruning to keep them from getting too large.
 
Conclusion: 
 The Sambucus Simpsonii, or elderberry plant, is a deciduous shrub that is native to North America. The elderberry plant is a member of the Adoxaceae family and can grow to be up to 12 feet tall. The elderberry plant has dark green leaves and produces small white flowers that turn into dark purple berries. The berries of the elderberry plant are used in pies, jams, and wine. The elderberry plant is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used to treat colds, flu, and other ailments for centuries. If you're interested in growing your own elderberry plant, you'll be happy to know that they are relatively easy to care for.

What You Need to Know About the Piper Sarmentosum, Pepper Leaf Plant

Written by Don Richardson
Pepper Leaf (Piper Sarmentosum)
Plant Type
Perennial Vine
Size
30’ tall, 8’ wide
Sun Exposure
part sun – full shade
Soil Type
sand, loam
Soil pH
5.0-7.0 acidic – neutral - loam
Bloom Time
Summer - Fall
Hardiness Zones
8a-11   Food Forest Plant
Moisture
Moist, rich, well drained
Cold/Heat 
15°F –
Pollination
Self-pollinates 
Edible Plant
Yes – Raw or cooked spice
Medicinal Plant
Yes
 
Any reference to medicinal or culinary use of plants or plant parts should in no way be considered an endorsement by The Ocala Food Forest or its staff. Research is crucial in safe and proper consumption or experimentational use of any plant.

The Piper Sarmentosum, also known as the Pepper Leaf or Betel Leaf plant, is a species of flowering vine native to Southeast Asia. It is most commonly used as a flavoring and aroma enhancer in traditional Asian dishes such as laksa and nasi lemak. This plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and cuisine and has gained popularity recently due to its purported health benefits. In this blog post, we will explore what exactly the Piper Sarmentosum is, how it can be used, and why it should be included in your diet.
 
Description of the Plant 
The Piper Sarmentosum is an evergreen vine that grows mainly in tropical climates such as Malaysia and Indonesia. It belongs to the pepper family and is closely related to black pepper. Its leaves are glossy green with a pointed tip and have a unique flavor. Its taste has been described as sweet, spicy, and sour all at once. The flavor is often compared to that of peppermint or green tea with a slight bitterness.  The plant also produces small white flowers that have a sweet smell.  
 
Traditional Uses 
For centuries, the Piper Sarmentosum has been used in traditional medicine and cuisine across Southeast Asia. In terms of medicinal uses, the leaves are said to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain and inflammation in the body. They are also believed to have antibacterial properties that can help fight off infections caused by bacteria. Additionally, consuming Piper Sarmentosum has long been thought to improve digestion and overall health.  
In terms of culinary uses, one of the most popular dishes made using Piper Sarmentosum leaves is curry laksa – a spicy noodle soup dish popular throughout Malaysia. The leaves are added to give the soup an extra tangy kick while still providing a balanced flavor profile. The leaves can also be eaten raw or cooked into other dishes such as stir fries or salads.  
 
Health Benefits 
The Piper Sarmentosum plant is full of antioxidants and vitamins C, E and B-complex which are essential for a healthy diet. Recent studies suggest that consuming Piper Sarmentosum may offer various health benefits due to its high concentration of polyphenols – compounds found naturally occurring in plants shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. Additionally, it’s been hypothesized that the polyphenols found in this plant may improve cardiovascular health by reducing levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing levels of good cholesterol (HDL) as well as blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes. Other potential health benefits include lower blood pressure levels, improved digestive health, enhanced immunity against infection, and reduced risk for certain types of cancer.
 
Conclusion: 
 There are many reasons why the Piper Sarmentosum plant should be included in your diet including its health benefits and unique flavor profile. It adds an interesting twist to traditional Asian dishes while providing valuable nutrients that are beneficial for your health. So next time you’re at the grocery store, consider picking up some Pepper Leaf! for culinary inspiration or want to take advantage of its potential health benefits – incorporating more Pepper Leaf plants into your diet might just be worth it!

The Passiflora Edulis, Passion Fruit Plant

Written by Don Richardson
Passion Fruit (Passiflora Edulis) Purple Possum
Plant Type
Perennial Vine
Size
30’ tall
Sun Exposure
part shade – full shade
Soil Type
sand, loam
Soil pH
5.5-7.5 acidic - neutral
Bloom Time
Most all year, harvest in fall
Hardiness Zones
9-12   Food Forest Plant
Moisture
Moist, rich, well drained
Cold/Heat 
25°F –
Pollination
Self-pollinates 
Edible Plant
Yes 
Medicinal Plant
Yes
 
Any reference to medicinal or culinary use of plants or plant parts should in no way be considered an endorsement by The Ocala Food Forest or its staff. Research is crucial in safe and proper consumption or experimentational use of any plant.

   The Passiflora Edulis, commonly known as the passion fruit plant, is a beautiful and fragrant vining plant native to South America. It's a member of the Passifloraceae family, which contains over 500 species of plants. This plant produces an edible fruit that has become popular around the world for its sweet and tart flavor.  This article will provide an overview of the Passiflora Edulis and discuss its many benefits.
 
Origins of the Passiflora Edulis Plant 
The Passiflora Edulis is believed to have originated in Paraguay and southern Brazil before being spread throughout South America and other regions by Spanish missionaries. It was first introduced to Europe in 1771 by French Botanist Charles Plumier and later spread to other parts of the world. Today, Passion Fruit is cultivated in tropical climates across the globe from Southeast Asia to North America.
 
Characteristics of the Plant
The Passiflora Edulis vine can grow up to 30 feet in length with intricate leaves that range from 5-9 inches long. The flowers are white on top with purple petals that measure 2-3 inches in diameter. The flowers are very fragrant and attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. The fruit itself is round or ovoid shape with a yellow or dark purple skin depending on the variety. Inside each fruit you will find hundreds of seeds surrounded by a sweet yet tart pulp which can be used fresh or processed into juices, jams, jellies, and syrups.  
 
Fruit Production & Uses
The Passiflora Edulis plant requires warm temperatures between 65–90°F (18–32°C) for growth and optimum yields of fruit production can be achieved when temperatures are between 75-85°F (24-29°C). The fruits are usually harvested once they turn yellow or dark purple and drop off their vines naturally. Afterwards they may be sold fresh or processed into various products such as juice concentrate, jams, jellies, ice creams, smoothies, sauces, syrups, liqueurs and other culinary preparations because of its intense flavor and aroma.
The Passiflora Edulis has been used for centuries in folk medicine due to its high content of vitamins A and C as well as minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. It's also used in teas due to its calming effects on the body and mind. Additionally, the oil from the seeds is often extracted for use in cosmetics and perfumes due to its moisturizing properties.
 
Growing & Care Tips
The Passiflora Edulis grows best in warm climates with plenty of sunlight but can tolerate light shade for part of the day. It prefers well-drained soil that's high in organic matter (like compost) but can tolerate some clay if drainage is adequate. To keep your passion fruit plant healthy, it's important to water regularly (especially during dry spells) but avoid over-watering as this can lead to root rot or other fungal diseases. Additionally, you should periodically prune back any overgrown vines to encourage new growth while keeping a neat appearance. Finally, be sure to fertilize at least once every two months using a good quality fertilizer specifically formulated for passion fruits plants or citrus trees (which share similar nutritional needs).  
 
Conclusion: 
 In conclusion, the Passiflora Edulis (Passion Fruit Plant) is an attractive evergreen vine that produces fragrant flowers followed by edible fruit packed full of nutrients. Not only does it have medicinal uses but also culinary applications due to its strong flavor profile making it perfect for jams and jellies as well as liqueurs or even cosmetics! With proper care this beautiful plant can thrive indoors or outdoors bringing color and life wherever it grows! If you're looking for an easy-to-care-for plant that packs a punch with flavor, then look no further than the Passiflora Edulis!

Get to Know the Abutilon Striatum, Parlor Maple Plant

Written by Don Richardson
Parlor Maple (Abutilon Striatum)
Plant Type
Perennial Shrub
Size
6-10’ tall, 4-8’ wide
Sun Exposure
Full sun – part shade
Soil Type
sand, loam, chalk
Soil pH
5.6-6.0 acidic - alkaline
Bloom Time
Summer - Fall
Hardiness Zones
8-11   Food Forest Plant
Moisture
Moist, rich, well drained
Cold/Heat 
20°F –
Pollination
Self-pollinates 
Edible Plant
Yes (Flowers raw or cooked)
Medicinal Plant
Yes
Any reference to medicinal or culinary use of plants or plant parts should in no way be considered an endorsement by The Ocala Food Forest or its staff. Research is crucial in safe and proper consumption or experimentational use of any plant.

   If you’re looking for a low-maintenance houseplant that doesn’t require a lot of attention, then look no further than the Abutilon Striatum, also known as the Parlor Maple. This plant features lush green foliage and vibrant blooms throughout the year, making it an ideal choice for anyone who wants to add a bit of tropical vibes to their living space! Let’s take a closer look at this beautiful houseplant.
 
Appearance:
The Abutilon Striatum is an evergreen shrub with smooth oval leaves that are slightly serrated on the edges. Its leaves are dark green in color and can reach up to 6 inches in length if left unpruned. In late spring and early summer, this plant produces bright yellow bell-shaped flowers with red veining that are sure to add life to any space!
 
Care Instructions: 
The Parlor Maple is easy to care for and requires minimal maintenance. It prefers bright indirect sunlight or partial shade and well-drained soil that is slightly acidic (pH 5.6-6.0). Water when the top inch of soil feels dry and feed once every three months during its active growth period (spring through fall). Prune back any dead or damaged foliage when needed; otherwise, there is no need for pruning. This plant is also resistant to pests, making it a great choice for indoor growing!
 
Uses:
The Abutilon Striatum makes an excellent addition to any home or office space due to its beauty and low maintenance needs. It can be grown indoors or outdoors as long as it is kept away from direct sunlight or frosty temperatures. The foliage can also be used in flower arrangements due its vibrant colors and delicate texture. Finally, this plant has been known to purify the air quality inside your home by removing toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene from the air around it - making it even more beneficial for our health!  
 
Conclusion: 
The Abutilon Striatum is an ideal choice for anyone looking for an easy-care houseplant that adds life and color into their home, garden, or office space. Not only does it require minimal upkeep while providing beautiful blooms throughout the year, but it also offers numerous health benefits such as air purification and stress relief! Whether you’re a novice gardener or a seasoned pro, you’ll find that these plants are fun and rewarding additions to any indoor environment!

 
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