As you  might know,  I don’t write about indigenous North Americans’ use of  plants on this blog.  That is not my history to tell.   When I do write about the history of a new world plant, I first look at what was going on in the old world with alternate species and reason out how the new plant worked its way into that system.  Because that’s the system I know.

Most frequently what I have seen is that colonists harvested plants that looked like produce that was used back home and used “old world” receipts to cook with them and use them in medicine.  Then explorers and sailors wrote home about the new plant, it became trendy in Europe, and all of a sudden it was everywhere.  Sound familiar?

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