• Valerian Cover

    Plant Profile: Valerian

    Common Name:  valerian, garden heliotrope, garden valerian, vandal root Latin Name:  Valeriana officinalis, derived from the Latin word valere, meaning “to be well” or “to be strong” Family:  Valerianaceae Habitat:  Native to Europe and Western Asia but grows easily in much of North America.  Grows well in partial to full sun, prefers rich soil and moist conditions and can grow up to 5’ tall.  White flowers in an umbel, bloom through summer and easily self sows.  Lanceolate leaves are opposite and pinnately compound on a reddish stem.  Leaves are larger on the lower ends of the stem and get smaller as you move up.  Flowers have a sweet fragrance, but…

  • Facebook Cover Ginger Plant of the Month

    Plant Profile: Ginger

    Common Name: Ginger Botanical Name: Zingiber officinale; Zingiberaceae Part Used: rhizome Energetics: pungent, sweet, drying, warm to hot Actions: Stimulant, diaphoretic, expectorant, carminative, antiemetic, analgesic Systems: digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular

  • Solstice 1

    5 Tips for New Year’s Planning

    As we enter the new year, we have fresh blank pages in our calendar staring back at us, beckoning us to create the experiences and events we want to bring to life as we write down dates in our planner. But after the hustle of the hectic holiday season, we can feel a little fatigued and off center as the pressure of “New Year’s Resolutions” looms over us. Here are five tips to help us feel centered and calm as we enter a new page on the calendar and new opportunities to create the life we desire.

  • Solstice

    5 Ways to Honor Winter Solstice

    December 21st is Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, or the longest night of the year. It is a great opportunity to connect with the earth and the change of seasons through some simple practices.

  • goldenseal flower and leaves

    Plant Profile: Goldenseal

    Hydrastis candensis of the Ranunclulaceae family. Otherwise known as goldenseal, eyebalm, eyeroot, and yellow puccoon is happiest in rich, open, and hilly woods. It is native to southeastern Canada and the eastern United States.

  • passionflower bud and vine


    This perennial herbaceous climbing vine is native to Central Florida and the southeast United States—found growing mostly from Texas to Florida. It grows easily by cutting and is happy in sandy Florida soil, sunshine, and rain.

  • (Photo credit: Vinayaraj via Wikimedia Commons)

    Turnera ulmifolia – Plant of the Month, February 2022

    Latin Name: Turnera ulmifolia  Common Name: Yellow Alder, Yellow Elder, Ramgoat Dashalong, West Indian Holly, Sage Rose Family: Passifloraceae Habitat: T. ulmifolia is a small woody shrub native to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean basin that can also be found in many tropical parts of the world. It grows in partial sun/shade. However, the plant will branch more and stay fuller when in full sun. Open woods and disturbed areas, such as roadsides and abandoned fields, are some of T. ulmifolia’s favorite places to grow.

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    In Memoriam: Steven Foster (1957-2022)

    Steven Foster is a teacher to many students at the Florida School of Holistic Living, whether or not they’ve ever taken a class with him. Through his 19 books, most notably the Petersen’s Field Guide to Eastern and Central Medicinal Plants, Steven has captured a legacy of plant wisdom for future generations. Steven traveled to Florida to keynote our 2015 Florida Herbal Conference, where many Florida herbalists got to understand the depth and dynamism of this humble herbal legend.

  • Yaupon Holly

    Yaupon – Plant of the Month, January 2022

    Plant of the Month Blog, by Maggie O’Halloran Common Names Yaupon Holly, Yaupon, Cassina    Latin Name Ilex vomitoria Family Aquifoliaceae (Holly Family)    HabitatLike many other hollies, yaupon holly is an evergreen shrub or tree that is loved for the colorful berries it produces on the female plants. Native to the land now called the United States this bushy holly plant is in the same family as yerba mate and guayusa. Hardy and drought resistant, it grows wild in the Southern United States and Mexico zones 7-9. Native to a variety of areas including sandy woods, dunes, open fields, forest edges, and wet swamps, often along the coastal plain and…

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