Plant Profiles

Heirloom plant profiles. Categories include edible, fiber, medicinal and ornamental.

Cacao Tree

By Christina Harrison and Tony Kirkham 

Love chocolate? Check out the fascinating history behind the cacao tree and its introduction to Europe in the sixteenth century.

Family Foraging: Beech Nut

Story by David Hamilton; photo by Jason Ingram

Discover how to forage for beech trees and edible nuts. Peeled beech nuts can be toasted in the oven for a tasty snack.

Family Foraging: Sweet Chestnut

Story by David Hamilton; photo by Jason Ingram


Learn to harvest sweet chestnuts with this guide, and identify the difference between chestnuts and their poisonous lookalike, conkers (horse chestnuts).

Family Foraging: Giant Puffball Mushroom

Story by David Hamilton; photo by Jason Ingram 

Learn how to identify and pick this unusually large, ball-shaped mushroom. You can find it in North America and Europe.


All About Apples

Story by James Rich

Learn about how the characteristics of the apple are shaped by its methods of propagation: either through cross pollination or rootstock.

Apple Varieties

Story and photos by James Rich

Discover the many varieties of apples with a special focus on twenty unique and delicious varieties, including how to best prepare them.

Goldenrod: The Wildflower with a Heart of Gold

By Dawn Combs

Far from being a nuisance, sunny goldenrod offers a variety of health benefits, and hides an intriguing secret role in industrial history.

Family Heirlooms: Christmas Cactuses, Fig Trees, Hostas, and Gooseberries

By Readers

Readers share tales of treasured family plants.

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