If you click on it and buy it, it won’t cost you any more, but I will get a little kickback for the advertising (thank you for your support!). This is a tree that is very abundant in my area and I have eaten small portions of cottonwood leaves before, but they tend to be very bitter. The buds in late winter/early spring are thick with a sticky strong-scented balsamic resin, commonly known as the Balm of Gilead (but that from biblical times actually refers to a different plant). I would think it would be quite bitter, but it is good to know that it is edible and healthy for you. Learn more … Continue reading This means that they can share resources through their networks with something like an eleagnus (endo) on one side, and a hazelnut (ecto) on the other. Measure out the cottonwood buds you want to use and add them to the jar. Because cottonwood trees are so tall, only a professional can safely reach and cover the tippy top of the tree. 44 It is a common tree throughout the Pacific NW. Being a species of a poplar tree, cottonwoods are also related to aspens. The bark is silvery-white, smooth or lightly fissured when young, becoming dark gray and deeply fissured on old trees. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast, Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, & Alaska. In springtime, when we’re craving green leaves, linden leaves are delicious; as are nettles and cattail shoots. Cottonwood trees are also large shade trees and their sprawling branches have a spread of up to 113 ft. (34 m). Listen to the wisdom of your body when it says “don’t eat this.” We know when something is medicinally beneficial; there’s no need to *force* a medicinal plant into a the role of a food-plant. Put 1 parts cottonwood buds in a jar and pour 3 parts alcohol over the top. Additional Notes: The leaves of Populus deltoides are simple, alternate, toothed and broadly triangular. Cottonwood trees are known to grow very large, in fact they are one of the largest deciduous trees in North America, one tree in Pennsylvanian was recorded to be over 100′ tall. Soak the cottonwood buds in oil to extract medicinal qualities. Cottonwoods love to grow on river banks or other water drainages. More beeswax (2 ounces, or ¼ cup) will make a firmer, lotion “bar.” It is handy to have a small container wherever you are most likely to use it – in the medicine cabinet, first aid kit, in your car, purse, with your gardening things, etc. Buds are often resinous (sticky), but both buds and twigs are much lighter in color than P. balsamifera, the only other Populus species with heavily resinous buds. Family: Salicaceae If it is a warm day, the resin will be more sticky, so it is good to gather when it is cold. The resin is also known to promote cell growth, making it good for healing wounds. A. But this is a job you don’t want to DIY. There are no major cautions associated with the plant, buds or leaves other than that some people may be allergic to cottonwood sap. One of my favorite herbal medicines comes from these beautiful Bosque buds. Yellowish twigs, coarsely toothed leaves and gummy end buds distinguish this from the other poplars. The buds, which are high in antioxidants and Vitamin C, can be steeped in a tea for respiratory congestion, tossed in soups, or eaten raw. A mason jar; 1 part cottonwood buds; 3 parts high-proof alcohol; Directions. Cottonwood bark. It is both antifungal / antibacterial and a rooting stimulant. Cottonwood trees do not have a flower - they produce a catkin. Its trunk is deeply furrowed, the leaves are alternate and shaped like a heart, the flowers are male and female catkins that form seeds that burst into fluff and fill the air with a springtime snow. I make a great ointment for arthritis with cottonwood bud, dandelion flower and sweet violet leaves. There is no need to reject these gifts of nature discovered by our ancestors so long ago! Cottonwood tree seeds can make quite the mess, so it’s understandable to want them gone. [table id=12 /], My Wish List 2019 I feel like I am writing to Santa Claus! Medicinal: A salve or oil made from the buds is good for healing all kinds of skin irritations (eczema, rashes, burns, insect bites, dry chapped skin, sunburn, diaper rash, athletes foot, etc.). They are a gift. When to Harvest: Buds appear on cottonwood trees from late winter to early spring. I know this, that usually when you add garlic to these types of deals the bitterness cancels out and it turns semi sweet. Can be taken by the dropperful diluted in a glass of water several times per day. The cottonwood buds in this salve make it a useful assistant for a variety of ailments. Imagine that, in your mouth. Cautionary Note: Those allergic to aspirin should not consume the cottonwood (as well as willow, related poplar species, and feverfew) because it contains the same compound. This was a surprise to me when I learned that not only are cottonwood leaves edible but they are extremely nutritious. Cottonwood trees are also known to be brittle and I personally have seen a number of them break in moderate winds. This bitterness might be able to be reduced by cooking or drying but I have not had the opportunity to experiment with that yet. Fill a jar half full of buds, cover with olive oil plus a bit more, but not to the top, as the buds will expand a bit and the jar will overflow if it is too full. Cottonwood trees are recognized by many people but the edibility of their leaves and health benefits of cottonwood buds are often overlooked. You can smell the fragrance in the air on the first warm days. Because some of the medicinal properties are not water-soluble, they might be better extracted with a tincture, which can be used as an expectorant and for getting rid of coughs and colds. thanks, for the story, Thats encouraging, I wish science would fund more studies into things like this. Harvesting poplar tree buds every March is one of my absolute favorite annual rituals. Extra buds can be dried or frozen (freezing is best). The buds also contain salicin and populin, compounds that reduce pain, inflammation, and fevers. Whenever you make a product that concentrates the compounds of an edible plant the product may not be edible anymore, use caution if using any concentrated product internally. I like your description of the taste. Tightly seal and let the buds steep until the liquid turns a reddish color, which can vary depending on the kind of alcohol and the quality of the plants. In fact, it is like the buds can still gather energy from the branch, because as it gets closer to spring, even the buds on downed branches will start to swell. In my opinion this plant could be an important edible plant because of its high amino acid content, especially for people that don’t eat meat. The resin in the cottonwood buds is not water soluble, so if not using oil, another way to extract the medicinal properties is through a high-proof grain alcohol. This “cotton” acts as a sail to move the seeds as far from the parent tree as possible. Put all these identification features together and you should be able to confidently identify cottonwood trees. There’s also a tree disease called Canker (cytospora canker)that affects members of the poplar tree genus, including cottonwoods. When you pinch the buds and see resin inside, it … I take it with me all the time on hikes. Many medicinal uses. Scientific Name: Populus trichocarpa; Populus balsamifera One good identification feature for cottonwood trees is their size, but that doesn’t help someone who is trying to harvest cottonwood buds or leaves. Another good identification feature is their deeply furrowed bark. Recipe: Cottonwood “Balm of Gilead” Salve This would be used externally or internally for pain relief, inflammation or fever. They taste terrible. They kill very small animals, specifically the insects. One problem I see with eating cottonwood leaves is the taste. These benefits are likely very similar to eastern Cottonwood buds and bark. The buds of the tree, which are available from fall to late winter, exude a resin that many call “balm of gilead.” What I like to do is make a rich, luxurious balm of gilead oil with the buds. I make an infused oil from these buds that I can use directly on my skin and also make a salve that I use externally for pain relief from swelling, arthritis, strains and general muscle pains. (L) denotes seeds that require light to germinate. Cottonwood trees are a riparian species which means that they thrive in wet and semi-wet conditions, but these trees can also handle drought which makes them very well suited to a range of environments. They know good stuff when they see it. If you love to try new wild edibles, give this a try and leave a comment below with your experiences. I haven’t tried cooking them yet. They used the resin to waterproof baskets, and anyone who has picked the sticky buds and had the black resin all over their fingers knows how effective it can be! Cottonwood Tincture. I used 6oz of high-proof alcohol. A closely related species (Populus balsamifera) is used to make a North American version of balm of gilead, a fragrant oil with medicinal benefits. Size (H x W): 60-200 ft high; 2-5 ft. diameter – tallest among the poplar varieties The antimicrobial properties make it ideal for healing infections. This is one of those plants that a lot of people are aware of but many people simply view as a weed tree. Not only is this tree a native plant but it offers impressive nutritional and medicinal benefits as well. Regardless, once you smell the cottonwood resin, you will always remember it. Strain the oil through a cheesecloth. The buds of the Balsam Poplar tree (P. balsamifera) are pungent and powerful. Many of the cottonwoods grown commercially are the hybrid of eastern cottonwood and black poplar, Populus × canadensis (hybrid black poplar or Carolina poplar). but then again I ate these leaves when they were dead so it may taste different (can you eat them when browned?) If you find yourself out in the wilderness, terribly hungry, and without provisions, try munching on a cottonwood catkin. But now, the Cottonwood branches that lie beside the path are laden with tight closed buds. From shop LindenTreeHerbals ... 5-pk Cottonwood tree letterpress notecards emprint. Cottonwood leaves in early fall with both green and yellow leaves. But because cottonwood buds aren’t easily found in commerce, finding and harvesting them yourself is an herbal right of passage. We benefit from the wisdom of a hundred millennia. Perhaps we can make a trade? Cottonwood buds are a very rich source of Salicin. Many people recognize this tree from the cottony substance that falls from the trees in early summer. Named after 19th century American explorer John C. Fremont, it is similar to the Eastern Cottonwood, differing mainly in the leaves having fewer, larger serrations on the leaf edge and small … Usually to the liver and/or kidneys, sometimes other organs as well. Cottonwood Buds, resinous and shiny. 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