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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I have a question for all of you who Gather ALL Types of Wild Edibles...

I NEED a Name of it..

Knight 50 Cal and I were out at Boyds Big Tree farm today sitting at the band shelter up there and watching the many different hawks fly around and talking about the area, the rain and flooding and other issues...

I happened to get up and walk over into the woods to see if I could see any Mushrooms pushing up in the woods where I know they have been in the past...As I stepped thru the weeds, I got a smell of something and Can NOT Figure out what it is but I KNOW Exactly what it is, just can not come up with the name of it!
Need help remembering... I Looked around on the ground for I knew what it is grows low to the ground and I started snipping leaves off the little plants and smelling them but could Not find that 1 plant...

We used to dig it in the fall and Mom used to make Tea out of it...I mentioned to Knight that I KNEW the name of it but could not remember for it has been so long and explained to him about Mom making tea out of it..

When you walk thru it where it is growing you Get a VERY STRONG Smell of Black Licorice....I KNOW There are Many on here that know what I'm talking about, I NEED a Name of it to jar my Memory on what the plant is...It doesn't grow all that tall, maybe 1 to 2 feet high and bushs out...and the Smell, ALWAYS of Black Licorice, Normally only the Roots are dug and used from it to make the tea!

HELP PLEASE!
 

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It could be wild sarsaparilla or wild licorice root. Do the leaves and plant look almost like seng?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
John S said:
It could be wild sarsaparilla or wild licorice root. Do the leaves and plant look almost like seng?
Well John, I can not remember if the leaves look like Genseng, been many years since I have dug it, But what I remember of the plant, I gues you could say they look the same, We had an area near Marysville that we would go dig it each fall and Tea Berries grew in amoung it and also many sassafrass trees and birch trees...We would dig the plant that I can not remember the name of, mom made tea out of it and while we dug that we also would dig sassafrass roots and birch roots and Mom made a syrup from them and made home mad birch beer from the sassafrass/birch roots mixture!

You may be right with the Wild sarsaparilla, but I'm thinking another name, sarsaparilla doesn't sound right...I know Penniroyal Tea plants smell the same and it is Not that, that could have been some how planted up there, I have penniroyal tea growing behind the house, someone must have planted it years ago back behind the house or a critter carted the seeds away and redeposited it like they do with many other type seeds and it grows each year, I know what that looks like and I did look for that aswell to see if it was penniroyal tea but there is none of that growing......I looked around and pulled leaves and crushed them but could not find the plant..

It is going to bug me till I come up with what it is!
 

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Woody, do you remember how she made the syru and birch beer?My family loves to harvest food from the wild-berries, maple syrup, mushrooms, sassafrass tea, etc. The things you talk about sound interesting.

John, thanks for the pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We dug the Roots of the Sassafrass and Birch Trees in the fall after they had started to drop their leaves, normally trees that were about 5 in. round(across if you cut it off, not like measuring around the outside of the tree) We would dig about a Bushel Basket full of each type (Many different small trees)and take them home...Mom would wash them to remove the dirt then boil them in 2 big pots and add sugar to them to taste a little overly sweet and boiled for maybe half hour to 45 minutes then she placed it in a bucket and let it cool, she tasted the syrup water to make sure it tasted right to her...after it cooled she would put dry bread yeast into it, maybe a teaspoon and let it sit over night to 2 days and then into soda bottles and cappped and let to go for 2 weeks...GREAT Tasting Homemade Birch Beer!

I do not remember any Recipe she used, she tasted it and when it tasted right she pitched the yeast and let it sit over night to 2 days and then into the bottles for 2 weeks!
 

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Thanks, Woody.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have been back to this spot a few times and can not find a plant that is producing the smell!

But when you walk thru this area and Disturb the small plants growing in around the trees, you get the smell of Black Licorice!

Could it be a mixture of different plants? Not Sure!

I have YET to find any plant that reminds me of plants I used to help dig with My Mom and Dad and smelled like this!


There is a small Plant/Bush growing among all the other small plants under the trees that has leaves like a "Sticker Bush" (Do not know a name other then Sticker Bush that we called them growing up) they have Oval Dark Green Leaves and have Small Red Berries get on them that we were always told were poisonous berries but the cardinals seems to love them....... but this small Plant/Bush has no needle stickers on it, I have crushed the leaves from it and it has a Lite Smell of licorice, but NOT the same as when you walk around in this area and it just does not seem to be the right plant producing the smell!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
buckassassin said:
what about chicory root
I'm Pretty sure I have seen something like that about 200 yards down over the hill in the field growing but NOT at the place I was walking around and smelling the Licorice!
 

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The plant with the red berries sounds like japanese barberry. The stuff was used for landscaping a long time ago and was spreat by birds and you see it in wooded areas. It also hosts wheat rust so it has made its self unwelcome.
 

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The sap and leaves of Witch Hazel can be quite aromatic, with a licoricey/mediciney smell.
 
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