Monday, February 5, 2018

Putty Root Adhesive and Other Exciting Developments

My friend M and I went up to near the top of Jones Mountain this morning to harvest an Aplectrum hyemale or Putty Root orchid winter leaf and its tuber.  This is the same kind of plant that I drew daily while it was having a rare blooming last June.  For some reason there are many patches of putty root leaves this year in these woods.
Our interest was in macerating a tuber from one plant to make glue.  Above are our notes from this morning. How amazing!  I had read that Native People used the kneaded tuber as an adhesive for mending pottery.  (It was also used as medicine to treat boils or head pains.) The macerated tuber was extremely sticky, and after about 30 minutes of grinding became viscous and stringy.  We added water to adjust the consistency and tested it as a paper glue and then let it cure and grow thicker.  The thicker glue worked well to mend a broken clay dough statue of P that our son E made around 25 years ago.

More drawings of green shoots and the final amaryllis.

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