Meet a Few Wild Plant Allies

Pompom flowers of Leucaena leucocephala

Haole Koa

My white pompom flowers and thornless stems, branches, and trunk help differentiate me from other legume trees. My name is Leucaena leucocephala, you can call me Haole Koa. I also go by White Leadtree and have become known around the world by many other names. For example in Mexico they call me Guaje, in Indonesia I’m Lamtoro Gung, and in India I’m called Subabul.

I am resilient alright but I don’t mean to intrude. It’s been said that my seeds could stay viable for up to 60 years!! But my invasive seed bank can be reduced – my seeds can be eaten and entire flower heads snapped off when you see them. I welcome you to come more fully into relationship with me, to use my gifts, and restore our low- and mid-elevation biodiversity.

This could look like commercial haole koa tempeh production, commercial haole koa seed miso production, and other ways of utilizing this high protein, high beta-carotene (vitamin A) food source. In 4 generations we could radically reduce the seed bank, in another 2 generations removal of trunks for firewood/oyster mushroom farms/fertilizer, and the 7th generation final monitoring of any regrowth and final cleanup.


Oxalis stricta – photo by Sunny Savage

Oxalis

I might be small, but I am mighty. Oxalis, wood sorrel, and sour grass are just a few names by which I am known. My heart-shaped leaflets help differentiate me from clover, and I am awaiting your love and affection in your flower pots, deep forests, yards, urban cityscapes… quite worldly if I do say so myself, spreading my heart magic on every continent except Antarctica (as soon as the snow melts there I’m sure to be there too). Children are always the first to find me, and have the delightful ability to know that my leaves, flowers, seedpods, and underground tubers are all edible.


Clidemia hirta – photo by Sunny Savage

Koster’s Curse

Did you know that my berries, once fully ripened to purple/blue, are edible? My name is Koster’s Curse (Clidemia hirta). I’m on the hit list of conservation groups, so harvest my berries to prevent further seed dispersal, then pull me out if you’re ready to replant with an appropriate native (see PlantPono.org for ideas).


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