ATP Podcast #54: Weeds? Weeds!: Smilax vs. Devil's Walking Stick

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ATP Podcast #54: Weeds? Weeds!

By dave
April 29, 2014

In today's podcast we talk about weeds. What to do about weeds? Is there such a thing as a good weed? What weeds can be tolerated, and even used to your benefit? And for the rest, how do you get rid of them? We cover all that, plus the usual segments, along with a bonus pinboard of bad ideas, in today's episode!

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Name: joelsephus
Huntingdon Valley, PA (Zone 5b)
May 14, 2014 12:03 PM CST
Hi Dave,

This is a great podcast and I'm enjoying it as I write this. I just wanted to ask whether or not you may be conflating Smilax and Devil's Walking Stick. I think that the common name for smilax around here is "catbrier", and it is edible raw. As are the COOKED tender shoots of devil's walking stick (aralia spinosa). But you don't want to confuse the two and eat the latter raw, as it is poisonous.

Also, I think the "weed" plantain is pronounced like PLANT-in.


Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
May 14, 2014 1:01 PM CST Admin

People around here also call the smilax catbrier. There are specific things to look for to identify it so you don't get it confused with devil's walking stick. Most notably, the tendrils on smilax are opposite each other. So I always look for the opposite/forked tendrils and I know I've got the right one.
Name: joelsephus
Huntingdon Valley, PA (Zone 5b)
Jun 6, 2014 1:52 PM CST
Just wanted to let you know that I finally tried eating some devil's walking stick today. I harvested some of the tender shoots from the tops of the plants and sauteed them in a little coconut oil and sea salt. They were pretty good, but had a bitter aftertaste. It could be that it's getting too late in the season for these.
Thumb of 2014-06-06/joelsephus/f8cf28

Thanks for sharing the info!

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