Plant Profiles

Heirloom plant profiles. Categories include edible, fiber, medicinal and ornamental.

Deadly Dinner: Potentially Poisonous Crops

By Amy Stewart

To help avoid having a deadly dinner, here is a list of a few food crops that can become poisonous under the right circumstances.

Oh, Fiddleheads: Edible Spring Fern Fronds

By Randel A. Agrella

Named for the ornamental scroll at the end of a violin’s neck, fiddleheads are the beginning of a fern frond of certain fern species and is often considered a springtime delicacy.

Moringa Oleifera: A Great Immune Booster

By Avtar Singh

Every part of the Moringa oleifera plant is useful and beneficial in a variety of ways; from treating infections and acting as an immune booster to being used in perfume and machine lubricant.

Edible Colors: The Many Colors of Corn

By Kristen Davenport

Learn some history of Native American corn and the many corn colors, with a special look into blue corn.


Vanishing Seeds: Value of Seeds in Himalayan Culture

By Ritu Varuni

Seeds are integral to human agriculture and must be preserved. Here is a Himalayan perspective about how seeds are an important part of our culture.

The Delaware Tobacco

By Lawrence Davis-Hollander

Learn of an interesting history about tobacco and its connection to the Delaware Indians.

Heirloom Stories: Plums, Roses, Bulbs and More

From letters from our readers

Readers share heirloom stories about treasured plants that have been saved, grown, cooked, and enjoyed for generations.

Corn Mother: The History of Corn

By Jamie Jackson

Corn was highly valued by the native peoples across the Americas and their dependence on corn created many “Corn Mother” creation myths and folklore.