The first plant we stopped at was the common blue violet growing in a large patch on a grassy hillside. Its flowers and leaves, Avery said, are both edible and rich in vitamins A and C. Various preparations from it have been used to heal wounds, treat colds, coughs, diarrhea, headaches and viral infections and to make a spring tonic.
Further along, she pointed out an airy, sage-green lichen sometimes called old man‘s beard. “Its scientific name is Usnea,” she said. It has been used as an antibiotic, an anti-fungal, an antiviral and a blood purifier.
For a list of other medicinal plants along the trail and notes on their uses, go to Red Top Mountain State Park’s Facebook page and click on “Notes.”
IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The moon will be full on Friday. Mercury and Venus are low in the east just before dawn. Mars is low in the west around dusk and sets about three hours later. Jupiter rises in the east around midnight; Saturn rises in the east just after midnight.