lady's thumb

noinwiSeptember 17, 2005

Hs anyone dried lady's thumb? It looks like it would be a good filler if it will keep it's buds. I gathered some and removed the foliage and will hang it upside down. I haven't done much drying aside from a few herbs. Thanks for any advice.

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sylky00(z6 KY)

Do you know the botanical name of this plant? I'm not sure what 'lady's thumb' is. If not, maybe you could post a picture.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 10:14AM
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neil_allen(z5/6 Chi IL)

It's Polygonum persicaria. A very similar flower, P. pensylvanicum, Pennsylvania smartweed, is a fairly widespread weed. We've got a lot of it and I was thinking of trying some last weekend. I suspect that, like many plants with weedy habits, it will try to go to seed as soon as it's picked, but there's no harm in trying.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lady's thumb

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 2:05PM
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Yes, it is a weed, but kind of pretty. I tried spraying them with hairspray(when I hung them) but they fell apart anyway. Maybe I'll try a different method next year, glycerin perhaps.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 4:38PM
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sylky00(z6 KY)

Thank you, Neil, for the link. I've dried this before, and it does shed, but still retains a lot of the little beads. The color doesn't hold too well, and I like to use dyes or sprays as little as possible, but if that's not an issue for you, try again-maybe they were just too far along when you picked them. The Silbers' book says to pick the Polygonum types when the spike is fully developed, but not mature. I've dried the smartweed, too, & it kept its color better. There's a white weed in the same family that dries really well, also. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 5:30PM
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I think the ones I picked were too far gone. After reading your info, I know I will definitely try again next year. Thank you!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 3:04PM
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