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lancewildcraft lancewildcraft

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Lance Staples  Full-time Forager from Victoria, B.C. Currently travelling in Nicaragua!

This tree caught my attention the other day as I was waiting for a bus..as I looked closer I realized it was a mango tree! I've never seen them in their flowering stage. Their composure reminded me of the flower clusters of the native Red Elderberry back home on Vancouver Island, as both species are somewhat pyramid-like in shape.
I'm unsure of what exact species this is, so Mangifera indica, the common mango, will do for now (got more exact info? Share please!). Mangoes actually belong to the Anacardiaceae family, also known as the Cashew family. Other members of this family include Sumac, Poison Ivy, and Pistachio (which was recently reclassified into this family, formerly in Pistaciaceae). Here in Nicaragua, the growing season for mangoes are year round, but the peak harvest is March-April. In the second photo you can see recently pollenated flowers, some of which are beginning to swell into what will eventually become the ripe drupes that are mango fruit.

#worldwidebotany #Nicaragua #theOrangesTasteLikeLemons #mango

Noni fruit in 3 different stages. Never seen this before! Noni (Morinda citrifolia) is a member of the Coffee family (Rubiaceae family...other members of this family include Cinchona bark and the Bedstraws (I.e. Cleavers and Sweet Woodruff)). If you examine the flowers of Coffee, Cinchona, Noni and the Bedstraws, you can see an interesting resemblance in their shape, and color (all have 4-5 petaled, curved white flowers (Cinchona often with pink hues)). The flowers of Noni attract species of weaver ants, and together they form a symbiotic relationship. The ants feast on the nectar and pollinate, and in turn they also protect against other parasitic insects.
Noni is native to Southeast Asia and Australasia, but is now cultivated or naturalized in many other tropical areas. One of its common names is 'Cheesefruit', because of its distinct flavor/smell. Though the flavor of Noni is absolutely vile when ripe (in my opinion), it is rich in phytochemicals and nutrients. This grants it numerous health properties including immuno-stimulant, anti-cancer/anti-tumor, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory (skin, digestive system, joints). It also contains 17 amino acids and has a powerful array of antioxidants (selenium, coenzyme Q10, flavonoids, etc.).

A fascination for Fabaceae....this plant is Mimosa pudica, a member of the Pea Family (Fabaceae). It has a remarkable characteristic of retracting its leaves if disturbed, as do a number of other species in the subfamily Mimosoideae. I got really excited to see this plant today, as its been 7.5 years since our last meeting deep in the Amazon.
This defense mechanism is intensive on the plant, as it inhibits its photosynthetic mission. It is likely an adaptation to protect against herbivores, or to ward off insects looking for a nibble.
This species is native to Central and South America, but has become an introduced weed in many other parts of the world including Japan, Thailand and India.

Fun fact!! The leaves produce a substance that is chemically similar to adrenaline!

#travelmore #anEntireWorldAwaitsYou #mimosa #worldwidebotany #theOrangesTasteLikeLemons

You just never know who you're going to meet on New Year's....πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

The "Caviar of Berries": The Evergreen Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) is a west coast phenomenon that can be found from late summer til early winter. These berries have a very woodsy flavor representative of the time of year they're found...during mushroom season! They are a kind balance of sweet, acid, and astringent, with a slightly mealy texture. A real treat to find anything so sweet this late in the year.
This is a different huckleberry species in several ways: its leaves are evergreen, generally the fruits mature in the fall, and this species produces 2 color variations in its berries: one black, and one a dark/dull blue (unfortunately I have no photos of this..) The blues look just like a wild blueberry but are in fact the same huckleberry species, and they taste the same too. I have no idea why this plant does this, but its a great look!

Ahhh Porcini mushrooms...such a short-lived season this year, but it is my absolute favorite time to be out in the woods. The season hardly even happened, but it was incredible to get a sneak peek into the life cycle of this mushroom, and to understand its habits a bit more. It is, in my opinion, the trickiest mushroom to time and pick, but its also the best to pick!! Here's some photos that I wanted to share with you.

#MadeMostOfMyGasMoney #4000km #worthit

The shapes, colors, sizes, aromas and personalities of wild mushrooms never cease to amaze me. Like edible, electric, earth icicles, this rare find is called Bear's Tooth/Head (Hericium coralloides). It is a most precious and choice edible, with a delicious meaty texture and wonderful aroma. It is also a medicinal mushroom, and is closely related to the more powerful medicinal species Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus). Even though studies show Lion's Mane to be much stronger, they share similar properties/chemistry. These fungi are like food for the nervous system, acting as exceptional tonics for the nervous system and helping to protect against neurodegenerative disorders. They are also immuno-modulatory (they restore balance in an over- or under-active immune system), anti-cancer and antimicrobial.
#fuckinAfinds #rarefinds #medicinalfinds #gourmetfinds #gasmoney #comingupshort #noporcini #RenegadeVarietyBasket

Without a doubt, the nicest chanterelle I've ever found in my life. It weighed 5.6 oz. It made me really happy. πŸ˜„

This funky jelly fungus is called Witch's Butter (Tremella mesenterica). It is considered edible, though apparently bland, and I'm not sold on the texture. Pretty striking colors though.

Just can't get over this unique fungi. This unexpected find was right in the heart of a porcini patch! One of this mushrooms medicinal constituents is Polyozellin, which appears to have activity against HL-60 human leukemia cells, as well as a marked activity against gastric cancer cells. It also increases production of Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), which is probably the bodies most important kick ass free-radical scavenging agent! (Seriously though, SOD is worth a read, look it up!) #bluechanterelle #polyozellusmultiplex #rarefinds #gourmetfinds #medicinalfinds

Fall mushroom season. On sale now at your nearest wild produce department.

Had a lot of fun with this one. Its been a slow year for boletes, so I was really stoked to come out of the bush today with a fresh basket of prime porcini, as well as some sweet and totally unexpected mushroom diversity.

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