Ethnobotany at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

By Rebekah Heppner, Pinellas County Master Gardener Volunteer

What the heck is Ethnobotany? Good question. Ethnobotany refers to the scientific study (like botany, get it?) of how people (that’s the ethno part) have traditionally used plants for medical, religious and practical purposes.

And you can, too.

We don’t suggest you cut down a bald cypress tree (Taxodium distichum) to build a canoe, or cut out the heart of a sabal palm (Sabal palmetto) for dinner, but did you know that you can add the new growth of that thorny Smilax vine (Smilax laurifolia) as well as all of the beautiful Spiderwort wildflower (Tradescantia ohiensis) to your salads?


If you join us at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve on January 10th, Master Gardener Linda Smock will share these uses with you and discuss how Native Americans and early settlers used local plants.  She will also share personal stories of growing up here and how her parents and grandparents used our native plants. Hint: It wasn’t just for food.

This talk will appeal to gardeners, nature enthusiasts, history lovers and, well, anyone who has an interest in people, plants or both. Feel free to bring your lunch and stay late or come early to enjoy a walk through this beautiful nature preserve.

Register for this free class here: 


Wednesday, January 10, 11:30-12:30

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, Maggiore Environmental Education Center

1101 Country Club Way S, St. Petersburg, 33705


Posted: December 22, 2023

Category: Events, Home Landscapes, Natural Resources, SFYL Hot Topic, Work & Life
Tags: Botany, Ethnobotany, Florida Gardening, Gardening, Master_gardeners

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