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Margaret Conover
A botanist, master gardener, and science educator, retired.
Recent Activity
Back in 1998, (when he should have been working on his Ph.D. dissertation on Surf Clams at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences of Rutgers University), Eric J. Weissberger published this entertaining but superficial treatment of the evolution of... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Chia Power
This image depicts a seller of "agua de chia." "La chiera" is a lithograph by the artist, H. Iriarte. From: Los Mexicanos pintados por si mismos, por varios autores. Edicion de m. Murguia. published by Casa de m. Murguia portal... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2023 at Chia Power
Some time ago I received this question from a reader: From: J.B. Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 8:20 PM To: 'Margaret Conover' Subject: RE: L. Hi Margaret, Do you also know why Salvia hispanica has the ’L.’ in its name?... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2023 at Chia Power
NOTE: I received the following email last week from Sean D. and have gotten his permission to publish the letter along with my answers (highlighted). I hope you find this information to be helpful. Hi Margaret, We found your site... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2023 at Chia Power
Keiko Ti in Toronto has posted a really really easy recipe for a chia breakfast. She says I poured some chia seeds and cinnamon into a little bowl & kept dipping my banana into it . Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2023 at Chia Power
You could just sprinkle chia seeds in any old can of chowder, but here's what I did: 1/2 cup chopped veggies (onion, red pepper, celery) sauteed in 1 tsp butter stir in 1 tbsp flour add 1 cup low fat... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2023 at Chia Power
The seeds of chias have been eaten for centuries by native North Americans, either raw or parched. They are used in sauces and as thickening agents. When soaked in water the seed envelops itself in a copious mucilaginous polysaccharide, excellent... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2023 at Chia Power
One of the first modern studies on growing chia seed for commercial use was presented in 1988 at the First National Symposium on New Crops, held at Purdue University. The proceedings of this symposium were published here: In it, Howard... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2023 at Chia Power
Salvia hispanica is the scientific name for the chia plant. The genus Salvia includes hundreds of species, many of them ornamental and many of them pictured on the website of this English Salvia collector. His website includes a photo and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2023 at Chia Power
Illinois Cooperative Extension created a chia activity flyer suitable for elementary and middle school student use. It mentions the little-known fact that Chia Pets were invented in Illinois. You can download this two-page pdf file HERE. Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2023 at Chia Power
First published on April 3, 2007, this was my first post blog post. The label comes from seeds that I purchased in the fall of 2006 from Wayne Coate's first company, Arizona Chia. Here's what his webpage looked like at... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2023 at Chia Power
In bloom now, along our roadside. Only about an inch tall! Erodium cicutarium, also known as redstem filaree, redstem stork's bill, common stork's-bill or pinweed. Public Domain, Link Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2022 at Botanizing .....
Posted Oct 27, 2022 at So Eugene
Posted Jan 10, 2022 at Chia Power
Posted Apr 30, 2021 at So Eugene
Today at Mt. Pisgah Arboretum, we were surprised at the size and prominence of the native dogwood: Cornus sericea. I always thought it was just a shrub, but there were trees standing 20+ feet tall all through the wetlands area.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2020 at Botanizing .....
Rubus parviflorus is one of the few plant species that grows both in Oregon and in Upper Michigan. USA Plants Database shows it growing across the upper midwest and Canada. But I'm going to hypothesize that there are 2 subspecies.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2020 at Botanizing .....
I knew it was Apiaceae, but had to get home to look it up. Sanicula bipinnatifida (Purple snakeroot) and Sanicula crassicaulis (Pacific snakeroot) have both been observed at Mt. Pisgah. So which is it? I'm so grateful to have the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2020 at Botanizing .....
Thalictrum occidentale is in bloom at Mt. Pisgah Arboretum, along with Camas and Trillium albidum and at least 2 species of Delphinium and Ranunculus. I photographed these male flowers with dangling anthers, but looked everywhere for the female plants and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2020 at Botanizing .....
Many commercially sold food products use gelling agents to improve viscosity or mouth-feel. Seeking examples, I cruised my fridge and found xanthan gum in salad dressing, barbecue sauce and frozen lasagna and locust bean gum in a stir-fry sauce. Guar... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2020 at Chia Power
Our earliest and most common Trillium bears a white flower on a short stalk above the leaves: T. ovatum. Our other local Trillium (pictured here) is T. albidum, sometimes known as Sessile Trillium, because the flower lacks a stalk and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2020 at Botanizing .....