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Tales from a Plant Addict

Fun (& a few serious) facts, tips and tricks for every gardener, new and old.


Pomegranates are finally getting their fifteen minutes of fame. I remember eating them in grammar school, savoring the juicy red seeds, while classmates wondered what in the world I was eating, and brave souls ventured a taste. Pomegranates have been cultivated and consumed for thousands of years in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Asia. Currently, pomegranates are gaining much attention in...

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Holiday Spices

Many of us find time to make a few special Holiday treats this time of year, while many more of us find time to eat them! There are so many scents and flavors associated with Holidays, especially from spices used in baked goods. It might surprise you to know what part of the plant or what corner of the world these spices call home. Vanilla: Most of us don't give vanilla a secon...

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Poinsettias are one plant that seems to be in Holiday decorations year after year. Have you ever wondered why the poinsettia is considered by many to be "The Christmas Flower"? If it weren't for an observant U.S. ambassador, the poinsettia, or Euphorbia pulcherrima would have remained a plant of Mexican and Central American medicine and legend rather than the Christmas decoration it is...

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'Tis the season for gift giving, and as a plant lover my favorite gifts to give and receive are plants. One of my favorite flowering houseplants is the cyclamen, whose growth cycle is well suited to holiday displays. The cool days of autumn promote dazzling winter blooms in cyclamen. There are 23 different known species of Cyclamen in the world. They are native to the Mediterranean regi...

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Most of us don't give vanilla a second thought. Many people think of vanilla as a very "plain" flavor. But in fact, vanilla has a very colorful past that is anything but plain. Vanilla extract comes from the fruit of the Vanilla orchid, of which there are over 100 species known worldwide. Most of the vanilla grown commercially is the species Vanilla planifolia , also called "Ma...

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