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tv   American Artifacts  CSPAN  October 19, 2014 6:00pm-6:22pm EDT

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>> we have moved from the broadcast era and are still at where broadcast television had dominated. it is moving into a relationship era. if you are going -- when you don't have someone who is advocating for it and influencing their sphere, we have gotten really good at politics. job of to do a better making sure we know who the right messenger is to deliver that message. >> monday night at 9:00 on the communicators. >> each week, "american artifacts" take city museums and historic places. from the founding of the united states, george washington encouraged the creation of a botanic garden in the nation's
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capital that would inspire and educate citizens on plants and their usage. this visage with -- this mission was realized in the 1820's. the most recent addition, the national garden, teachers plants of the mid-atlantic, including a rose garden and regional garden. the plant curator explains the history and the indigenous plants. everybody, welcome to the national garden. this is the most recent garden on our property that opened in 2006. it is really a wonderful place to look at native plants but that is not where the garden got its start. when theits beginning rose became our national floor emblem in the 1980's. they beganer that,
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looking for a place to commemorate the rose. they noted a police of land a little less than three acres -- es,had some grass,, a few tre but nothing formal. raisingan privately money to build a garden on this site. it took quite a few years. fundraising began in the 90's and eventually it opened. there was a design competition held for different elements of the garden and the company was hired to tie them all together, leaving one very large space in the middle that we see right of the national garden, the regional native plant garden. bill mclachlan, i have worked here since 1986. i oversee our plants contents, and i have to say that's native plants are specialty of mine and
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i am happy to show you around. as we enter the regional gardens, you are actually walking on a pathway that has one half on either side. portrayon we chose to it as two different soils is because washington, d.c. lies on the fall line. it is a rough divide between piedmont to the north and west dhat is rocky and hilly, an then to the east lies the coastal plain, the flat soil that is a combination of silt and overlaid with marine deposits over time. very loose and sandy, different from the hard soil of the piedmont. some of the coastal plants that we show -- the wax myrtle. if you go north you will find it more of a very -- more bayberry.
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both are famous for making waxy fruits. they got their names from early colonial use. there was no electricity back then so the wax fruits were boiled, the wax would come to the top of the pot and they would use it to make candles. in our a source of light early colonial days. very aromatic and sometimes it is even used to create pungent seasoning and some dishes. bayberry is very important. it also smells pleasant, and the bayberry candle became a standard. there are lots of goldenrod's native in the united states but older part of it comes from the fact that the foliage smells of licorice.
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tea is made into an herbal and was exported in the 1800s even to china. it has got a little bit of history because that is when the revolution -- the boston tea party, americans looked for native sources for herbal beverages and this was one of the favorites. they were copying the native americans. they used it to get down harsher medicinal teas. another plant i love -- this is witch hazel. this can become a small tree. many of you are familiar with it from the truck store. this is a very mild astringent that has been used for a long time. it is the primary center for production of witch hazel it is in connecticut. about 90% of the world output is from connecticut.
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it has an economic use. there are seedpods developing during the summer and also flower buds being developed at the same time. these flower buds will keep developing right around the fall. for is a striking plant colonists to see blooming at a very odd time of year. they imputed with all these properties -- one of which is the believe that plagues twigs from this plants make dowsing rods. also wasel probably used in bewitching and then it bloomington off-season -- i9it bloomed in off-season. brown and will turn if you are in a wooded dominated beingch hazel -- that's forcibly expelled.
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it has a propulsive mechanism for distributing its seeds. a shadyplant for backyard where you don't want something to large. we talked about the goldenrod that was used for tea. this is another plant that was used very widely for ttea, new jersey tea. there are lots of other plans the southwest but this is the sole representative in the mid-atlantic. this is unusual in that it grows in the mountains as well as the coastal plains and covers all the regions. tasty tea,were very a beautiful looking tea that very much looks like black tea. but it has no caffeine. while it was tasty it didn't quite have the effect that some people were looking for in tea.
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one of the visitors you will enjoy looking at -- it looks a little bit out of place. pawpaw is in a family called the custard apple. they are on their way. look a little bit like blood to bananas and there are many combinations. paw, while it is really tasty and the pulp can make , youing from ice cream won't find it in the average supermarket because of bruises very easily. it has limited commercial potential. this is something to go look for at your local farmers market. is north americans largest fruiting plant. you will notice that we are in
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rocky areas. then on our right is the water feature. this whole garden was made with the idea that with an overly your gated -- that it wouldn't be overly irrigated. clancy would expect to find in upland situations. a small tree, the common hop tree. the little waferlike fruits but it makes are attractive enough, but they were used as a substitute for making homemade brews back in colonial times. it was used as a hops substitute. a lot of people i displayed i expected here. it looks a lot to talk. this is a native familbamboo.
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there are three or four species here. this one goes by the common name river came. -- cane. ways up along river into the ohio and mississippi river valleys. it is now down to a very small percentage of its original holding. tended toolonizers follow the same track native americans -- they would often turn the land for crop growing. we did the same thing afterwards and by the 1930's a lot of the lands these groew on had disappeared. tree is more familiar to people that are walking barefoot. there is that ouch moment. oftentimes what they are stepping on ivs -- stepping on
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our these. sap can exude a nice amber and native american children would chip the bark of history and wait for the sap to harden and then harvested for chewing. it is in the same family as witch hazel so it has a bit of astringency. dramaticke is its fall color. people line up for miles to see fall color. america and north eastern asia have mastered fall color and i think that is probably why a lot of our trees are very popular worldwide. at the goldenrod that is used to drink tea. most people think of goldenrod as roadside, and many of them
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are too aggressive for gardens. but they actually run the gamut. pecies hails from north carolina and was thought to be extinct for a long time. it was not rediscovered until quite recently. sweet gum is definitely not the only fall color. this is one of the shadblow -- it has quite a few common names. it grows and rather moist tickets, a multi-stemmed shrub or small tree. very tasty, blueberry like fruit after spring flowers. we have this planted on low ground. a little bit above it we have onetree service area -- interesting thing about the common name for this plant,
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"shadblow" is a locally common name because these trees tended to bloom and had their flowers shatter. it supposedly comes from the fact that where it grows in the far north its blooms signify the of those who had died over the winter. the flowering of the street happened to coincide with the time the ground thawed. this is the black oak. it was an important plant in colonial times. you will notice where the bark is starting to crack, a little bit of a tan orange color beneath. the product that was made from the bark of this tree was called percetron, the latin mae for "the tree itself." it was a very important leather tanning agent, very acidic and
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high in tannic acid. they were the primary agents for dying leather -- tanning leather until. not everyone loves persimmons but i think they are fantastic trees. they are just adding to develop now. after a few frosts it becomes a edible. it is a favored fruit of wildlife, possums and raccoons. those of the animals that disperse it. ae leaves can be brewed into very nutritious tea that is high in different vitamins. it is in the ebony family, and a lot of the avenues we know are used in woodworking. this native plant often has a little more practical use --
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they were used in drivers and golf clubs. entering an to be area of the garden that is all soil. all the plants and here are the kind of things you would expect to see in the coastal plains. blueberries, white cedar, pine, those are the kinds of things that dominates the coastal plains. this is not the most favorite pine but it is one of the most economically important plants in the mid-atlantic states. this is the source of most of the pine lumber you will see at your stores, the type you have got to look down to make sure -- it is a very fast-growing tree, sometimes called oldfield pine. growing, and the timber people like it's because you can
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get a turn on it in 30 or 40 years. certainly not the finest of the pine trees in my view. you go further south into the coastal plain from virginia to texas, you will find a very commonly this little holly. in the landscape trade they tend to call it yeopine. these plants were made into a drink by the native americans, who first observed using it, nicknamed it the black drink and they mistakenly associated it with a purging ritual, which native americans did with many things. what they were doing was using a bevrage that was already familiar. this was the only safe source of
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caffeine in the southeast, the one they could give them a little bit of a caffeine boost, so they tended to use it before important meetings and hunts. ornamental, like most hollies. the females will make a fruit. instead of turning a solid red, this one makes a beautiful transluscent color. birds, plant for feeding a great history of native american use. its use is mirrored in south america. we have included one willow as a representative of all of them. they have a history of humidity. this is the original source for afrin.
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you sometimes see the herbal remedy as a headache cure. i don't recommend it because in willow there are lots of different compounds. most north american indians still have that use so it is a natural analgesic. at the pine which grows very quickly on any piece longleaf pinehe is probably the most elegant pine in the southeast. very long needles, easy to be exported. as far north as new york city for mental pieces during holidays. but it has much greater history than that. this tree was the centerpiece for the naval stores industries. which tapped for its sap
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was then boiled down into turpentine and rosin. these really help to build navies. a very important tree. the practice of tapping the tree in the woodland -- we have a stump. that is cat-faced. it was once standing up and it has been knocked through. a tin collection cup was placed below. that is where the sap gathered and was poured into kettles and boiled. is a very common practice, especially in north carolina and cities like burlington and savannah, georgia. they are where they are today as a result of this industry. while they shifted out to this timber to supply things like the british navy, the southeast had a real industry. even today you can find logs
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that were sent to downriver, submerged under water for a hundred years and still perfectly good today because of a high resin content of this tree. tilizes poor labor forces. pitchounts of tar and meant that things stuck to their feet. the carolina tar heel probably comes from this industry. this really delicate and beautiful -- it's called twostate grass. the latin name comes from the fact that if you dig around the roots you will find it has a really pleasant, citrusy orange scent. if you chew on the roots your mouth will go numb.
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native americans had a few plants they would use if they had batted toothaches. the united states botanic garden, while most people assume that to a are part of the smithsonian we are actually part of the capitol complex. we are administered by the architect of the capitol. you come out to to this garden and you will see not only plants that change through the season so you have springy femoral's. if you come back -- spring epe m hermals. in the fall, the fall colors in the late blooming with fantastic fall foliage. it's my favorite season in this garden.

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