Very interesting piece, per usual.

In Philadelphia our version of similar plant is "Devil's Walking Stick" 5 leaf aralia, Arilia Spinosa. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aralia_spinosa

I tell volunteers working in the park that it grows mostly in places where a person is likely to loose their footing and grab at one to avoid falling. Sure seems that way. They are annoying and immediately fill any opening in the canopy. Birds eat their seeds and I presume spread them via endozoochroy (thanks for that word--following you advice and using it in a sentence today, though perhaps not too soon again in the future)

We also have a less invasive "calophanix" that has big almost maple like leaves and enormous thorns; it was brought in as an ornamental. I can't figure out what it's scientific name is and I have probably butchered the common name.

Anyway, don't eat the pointy parts.

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Love it. At first I read the last sentence as "horrific" rather than "honorific" -- which in this case works! Bear seed dispersal a great tidbit to know. The phrase "scatter-hoarding small mammals" -- nice.

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May 25Liked by David B. Williams

I should have known you were intentional with your dual use of "bears." I had to read the sentence about geology 3 times before I understood it. And then I was starting to criticize your choice until I read your comment. You are so mischievous!

I WILL use endozoochory tonight as we are playing Wingspan. I'm sure it'll come up!

Question: I've always wondered when I see ethnobotany notes about how natives used plants medicinally - does it it mean it IS effective?. I'm guessing it sometimes is true, sometimes not, and/or maybe just not scientifically verified. Thank you.

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Those bears really strip those plants bare!

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May 26Liked by David B. Williams

I totally remember Devil's Club growing up on the Peninsula on the interior Puget Sound side.

And not to be the bearer of bad news, but we must also remember that Native Americans were called "Red Devils" (meaning demons, not "the Devil") by the European immigrant settlers . . . so many places (such as the Devil's Canyon or the Devil's Tower) may be referencing Native Americas and special or sacred places to Native Americans. I choose to, instead, reflect on them in a more animist way, and consider these places sacred

Thank you for what you do.

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Good to give devil's club its day in the sun!

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