Building a personal plant and specimen library is one of the most fun, informational and aspiring endeavors I have done in my herbal training. It has saved countless hours of staring at books ( although, there are GREAT books out there ) when all you have to do is go out and see it for yourself. Make your own observations. Gathering plant specimens has been a past-time for leisure, amateur and professional botanists alike. The Bay Area has a plethora of local and non-local plants to witness in their own habitats. I might add, there are so many helpful plants here (evasive) that are hard to come by in other regions of the country. For instance, people here don't think twice about morning glories but in the Southeast, these plants are revered for having magical healing properties. We encourage everyone to get a deeper sense of relationship with our plant allies through just admiring their beauty. Studying plants and their communities broadens our knowledge of how humans and plants can/should work together. Foraging haunts we enjoy are a mere five-minute walk in any direction inside Berkeley. You can meet us every third Sunday at Strawberry Creek Park at 11am for a nice stroll around to catch our plant relatives in action.
The Magnolia kobus flower is used for preparation of tea as it offers a rich fragrance and is often fermented to improve its flavor.Japanese Magnolia (Magnolia kobus) in Southeast Berkeley.