8.3.13

Berries for the Birds

Yaupon (Ilex vomitoria)

 technically Yaupon is not a berry but a "drupe"

We have berries all over the yard growing from
'volunteers"
that the birds have left us at the bases of the trees and bushes..
 Amazing how birds are such gardeners
who plant for their future!
 It is edible and enjoyed by more than the birds in our garden. See below one of my favorite links on Yaupon.
 " 

"Yaupon is a small evergreen holly tree native to the coastal plain of the southeastern US..... The young leaves contain caffeine and may be used to make a delicious tea, which is comparable to the yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) that Argentinians drink in copious amounts. The tea is a fine drink — don't be put off by the scientific namevomitoria, which refers to the effect of drinking gallons of tea at a sitting .. Hollies are dioecious — trees have either male or female flowers.


 " Cattle and Sheep delight in this Plant very much, and so do the Deer".....  This Plant is the Indian Tea, us'd and approv'd by all the Savages on the Coast ofCarolina, and from them sent to the Westward Indians, and sold at a considerable Price. All which they cure after the same way, as they do for themselves; which is thus: They take this Plant (not only the Leaves, but the smaller Twigs along with them) and bruise it in a Mortar, till it becomes blackish, the Leaf being wholly defaced: Then they take it out, put it into one of their earthen Pots which is over the Fire, till it smoaks; stirring it all the time, till it is cur'd. Others take it, after it is bruis'd, and put it into a Bowl, to which they put live Coals, and cover them with the Yaupon, till they have done smoaking, often turning them over. After all, they spread it upon their Mats, and dry it in the Sun to keep it for Use.

http://people.duke.edu/~cwcook/trees/ilvo.html