Signs and Portents

So when my husband and I were scoping around the property, we spotted this plant. It’s growing around the edges and all over one of the neighbor’s yards. My husband noticed that bees and other pollinators were practically swarming around the flowers, so I snapped a photo to look it up later.


This, my friends, is Tōng Cǎo – 通草 , Tetrapanax Papyriferus, traditionally used to promote lactation. That’s right. There are Chinese medicinal plants already there. Not only is this a Chinese medicine, it’s also widely used to make paper. The translated name is “rice paper plant”. Did I look it up? Nope. I subscribed to a Chinese herb study group and was scrolling back through herbs, and this was the November 12th herb of the day.

Those kinds of things keep occurring. It’s kind of wonderful.