Appalachia

Appalachia’s Own Valentine

Appalachias own valentine galax

Galax is Appalachia’s own Valentine. If you go out stogging around in the woods this time of the year you’re bound to see the bright green hearts of the Galax plant peeking out at you.

The cheery hearts seem to be saying just hang on and Spring will be here before you know it.

Tipper

*First line paraphrased from John Parris’s February in the Hills.

 

 

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Tipper
    February 15, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    George-thank you for the comment! Galax grows from Massachusetts to Alabama and yes its an evergreen plant. Glad you liked the photo!
    Tipper
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Tipper
    February 15, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Henry-it is normal for some of the galax leaves to turn a redish purple as they age. Thanks for the comment!
    Tipper
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 15, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Tipper,
    and Don….Ha…
    Yes, it is sad that the homes were lost to the park. But, then I am not sure all that would have been living there would have let all these folks that love the mountains…stog, tromp, stomp, romp and muddle around on their land! Now most of everyone can enjoy it! There is always a taste to things….Sweet and Sour!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…I knew Don would never stomp on a Little Brown Jug….WHY?…
    ’cause he prefers wet Maple leaves!
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    February 14, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    b. Ruth, you are a piece of work that only a Master could craft!
    I most certainly did not stomp on that little brown jug!
    As you mentioned, there are some of them at lower elevations, in places where there’s no galax. I spotted that particular one alongside the Old Settler’s Trail on the shady (TN) side of the Smokies during an all day hike a few years back.
    I thought that it was representative of broken-hearted folks whose homes were taken in the pursuit of a national park.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 14, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Tipper,
    and Don….My goodness that is a beautiful, pitiful little brown jug leaf also called wild ginger, no relation to the other Wild Ginger native plant! Something “cracked” it up! But…looksee how it has survived and made itself a beautiful standout! Why! You noticed and took a picture, when I know you see these “jugs” frequently, but this one is special!
    Don, did you step on it when “stogging around” in the woods?…Notice how I borrowed Tipper’s Scottish word…love it!
    Do you hear “stogging” often in your neck of the woods Tipper?
    I used to “tromp”, “stomp”,”romp”,
    “trudge” (get turned around) and “muddle” my way thru the woods! Sure do miss those days!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…The Great American Backyard Bird Count is this weekend….
    Anybody counting birds today?
    Ours are feeding like crazy…cloudy and cold here. I think we will have some snow by nightfall!

  • Reply
    Ken
    February 14, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Tipper,
    Galax is Appalachia’s way of
    cheering you up from the long
    winter’s bite.
    We’re going to get SNOW this time!
    I done got my bowl ready…Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 14, 2015 at 11:23 am

    “HAPPY VALENTINES DAY”
    One ponders the gifts from above of the heart shaped leaves!
    I may be wrong, but they especially seem to be on so many useful, medicinal and beautiful plants and trees…thinking of the latter of the redbud (bloom/herb) and the mulberry (fruity) trees!
    There are so many plants with heart shaped leaves that I have a hard time picking a favorite.
    Here on our place Galax is not so common.
    In our dry woodland the ‘Little Brown Jug’ plant is common at our lower elevation. The plants I see on the bank mostly has a arrow shaped/heart shaped leaf. It is also called heart leaf. Indians used it to treat the heart, whooping cough, etc. When I was a child we would gather the little brown jugs at the base of the plant and the wonderful fragrant leaves.
    I guess my favorite heart shaped leaf is the Redbud tree…I still press them today. Sometimes when they are small the leaf is just the perfect heart shape!
    We have Galax, but I can’t see it from the driveway. I used to hike back to the shady banks to find it a long time ago!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…One time I decided to pick and dry only heart shaped leaves of all the flora I could find here. I love to draw them and use the dried leaves in some of my mixed media art. We have a vine that is a weedy thing but has a beautiful long (modern looking) heart shape…I can’t remember all the botanical names anymore!

  • Reply
    Celia Miles
    February 14, 2015 at 10:55 am

    “Stogging around” is a wonderful expression and I know just what it means but have never encountered it in writing or in speech. Is it new or have I missed it all these years?

  • Reply
    ncmountainwoman
    February 14, 2015 at 10:23 am

    My dad taught us how to make little cups from the leaves so we could drink from the mountain streams. We thought he was magic. And he was.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    February 14, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I just read that it is sometimes called “beetleweed.” Anyone know why?

  • Reply
    dolores
    February 14, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Ah! That is such a precious way to give a message to a loved one. Happy Valentine’s Day to All!

  • Reply
    Henry Horton
    February 14, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Here at Holy Ground Farm they are all purple…is this a wintertime phenomenon, a varietal difference or just the cold? I feel so sorry for the rose bay this morning all shriveled and shivering, but of course as soon as the sun comes and warms em they’ll look just normal. Still…

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 14, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Yes, this cold morning a hope of spring is welcome!

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    February 14, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Is the Galax plant evergreen? In what kind of terrain do they grow? The photo is very artistic – with the sunlight beaming through the notch and also backlighting the top of the heart-shaped leaf.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    February 14, 2015 at 8:02 am

    For Valentine’s Day, I like wild ginger or little brown jug. Here’s a broken-hearted Ginger:
    http://home.comcast.net/~doncasada/Pictures/Ginger.jpg

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    February 14, 2015 at 7:46 am

    As I looked out my kitchen window this morning I see the chives are coming up
    in my railing boxes.
    I did not go out to look in the parsley box but it should be next.
    Spring really is coming.
    I know the snow coming tomorrow night
    will be beautiful for a short time and then maybe we will be blessed with warmer weather.
    This has been a mild winter so far and coming from Penna. I do appreciate it.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    February 14, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Thank you, Tipper, for showing the lovely picture of the Galax plant and reminding us that it is Appalachia’s Valentine. I remember in the woods near our home at Choestoe, we could find galax, and we always delighted that it stayed green and beautiful, even after a heavy snow melted and left if bravely growing profusely. I thought how like true love the galax plant is: Growing despite adversity; always there; and like love, always giving succor and meaning to life.
    I hope you’ve already told someone today that you love him/her!

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