Soldiers came together during the conflict for a Passover feast known as a Seder. Reporter Shepherd Snyder spoke with Joseph Golden, Jewish researcher and secretary of the Temple Beth El congregation in Beckley, along with Drew Gruber of Civil War Trails, about this celebration’s historical significance.
The Trillium is an icon in Appalachia. Old timers of this region thought picking this delicate flower would bring rain.The ephemeral plant graces us with its beauty in the early spring before the leaves fully grow on the trees. When Trillium is in bloom and has a foothold on the side of a wooded hill, it can stop you in your tracks and make you take a moment to appreciate the amazing garden we live in.
There are six species of trillium in West Virginia and 43 species worldwide with the greatest diversity of species found in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Some common names include Wakerobin, Toadshade, Triflower, Birthroot, Birthwort, and Wood Lily.
The white trillium, abundant in Appalachia, starts its life as white but will progress to a lovely shade of pink, then lavender, and eventually to a very dark purple red as the plant ages. They’ve been used to symbolize the Trinity in Christianity due to its distinctive arrangement of 3 leaves and 3 flower petals.
Trillium plants can live 20 – 50 years, and can take 7 to 10 years to first bloom. Obviously, it is a sensitive plant. In fact picking the flower too close to the leaves can kill the entire plant. So some of these slow growing species of trillium are listed as threatened or endangered, and picking them is illegal in some states.
Trillium is edible for medicinal purposes, mostly as a diuretic and an antiseptic. The young leaves have a pleasant flavor – a bit on the nutty side. But roots and berries are toxic and can cause vomiting. The best advice from experts suggests avoiding consumption.
These beautiful plants have been used to symbolize recovery, strength and beauty. We have countless roads, buildings and many other things named after this elegant lady. It is always best practice to consider conservation when it comes to our wild plants. And when it comes to trillium, let’s admire, respect and preserve them for future walks in our Appalachian woods.
Edible Mountain follows botanists, conservationists, and enthusiastic hobbyists in the field as they provide insight on sustainable forest foraging. The episodes are designed to increase appreciation and accessibility to the abundance found in Appalachia, celebrating the traditional knowledge and customs of Appalachian folk concerning plants and their medical, religious, and social uses.
Tallow is rendered animal fat and has been used primarily in traditional food preparation — as an ingredient and as a cooking oil. In addition, tallow can be used in making soap, candles, healing salves, skin moisturizers and perfumes, as well as lubricants for wood, leather and metal working.