imageSaw Palmetto, Serenoa repens, a Florida native palm, grows in zones 8 to 11, in the Arecaceae family.  They aren’t fussy at all, growing in sandy soil, without adding any type of fertilizer or amendments.  Berries turn from green to black when ripe.

imageThis time of year, in late September or October I remove fronds with mainly ripe black berries.  The berries aren’t known for it’s taste, more for the many medicinal properties, soothing and restoring.

imageMany people remove the flowering stems.  I prefer to leave them, not only for the insects, but also to harvest the berries, also enjoyed by other wildlife.

imageBefore the berries or fruit appear, the Saw Palmetto is covered with aromatic flowers visited by insects including honey bees.

imageAfter I collect the ripe berries I rinse them off with water.

imageThen I lay them out on a sheet of paper inside the house, a dry environment.  Once dried, they shrivel up and I store them in glass jars.  As needed I grind them in a coffee grinder and decoct them to make tea, with a host of other medicinal plants.   

Acerola, also known as Barbados or West Indian Cherry, Malpighia emarginata, in the Malphighiaceae family grows in zone 9a to 11.  Just one cherry contains about 80 milligrams of vitamin C, no wonder it’s used in vitamin C supplements.  It’s also high in antioxidants.

There’s about 3 seeds in each cherry-like fruit.  I eat them raw or in a fruit salad, removing seeds, and plan to make a tincture or mead from those I froze.  I prefer not to heat them, thereby you lose vitamin C content.  It tastes slightly tart, the more ripe or darker red the sweeter.

A tropical or subtropical perennial shrub or small tree, our Barbados Cherry, has flowered and fruited several times this year.  It likes full sun and moist, well-drained soil.  Propagate from seed or cutting.When it’s fruiting, at times, daily I go out and get a large handful.  Eat a few and freeze the rest.  In bloom and when fruiting the fruits looks like Christmas ornaments.  

imageGotu Kola, also known as Indian Pennywort, Centella asiatica, in the Apiaceae or Parsley family grows as a perennial in zone 7 to 11.  It loves moisture and likes to creep with it’s above-ground runners.   Easy to propagate from the runners here in South Florida.  I use it in salads, can also make a drink or tea, rice, stew with it.   Familiar to Indian and Thai culinary wise.  

imageBesides culinary, it’s medicinal properties include alterative, antioxidant, cytophylactic, diuretic, hypotensive, nerving sedative, refrigerant, among others.  

Decided to create more with stained glass, here’s a couple butterfly mobiles. 

Garden goddess’s look more vibrant now they’re fired.  I added strings of beads and ceramic hearts I made, to dress them up.

 The two sister goddess’s sit on either side of ceramic house number.