Mar. 18, 2021

climbing hempvine, Mikania scandens

Here we see how well the image captures the spirit of climbing hempvine. Hempvine is just a bit of a mess. It climbs and winds around other plants while it's producing chemicals that inhibit the growth of its neighbors or hosts. It started out in eastern and central North America, and is now across the Pacific into Asia. It's a pest, or even invasive in some of those places. But it has been adopted into the herbal medicine practices of Asia. Here the Seminole used it to treat snake sickness, when their skin got scaly and apparently looked like a shed snake skin. Vines? Snakes? Yeah, there must be a connection there. When your skin is like that, any rationalization works? Snake oil anyone? Climbing hempvine grows in AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN(E), KY, LA, MA, MD, ME(X), MI(T), MO, MS, NC, NH(T), NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, and VA. Wakulla Co FL, 10/19/15. Aster family, Asteraceae.