Thursday, December 13, 2007
Rabbit Tobacco Revisited
One of the most frequent searches of this blog is for Rabbit Tobacco (Gnaphalium obtusifolium). I propped a dried bunch against the toolshed wall and made a photo. Cut before it dries in the field, it retains a stronger fragrance. Chamomile is the only thing I can think of that it resembles. I set a little bunch of the leaves on fire and sniffed. Smelled like any other leaves burning to me. The herbal books I've read did not advocate using this plant for anything, just mentioned uses handed down for generations that were possibly not a good idea. I think the best use is probably as an ornamental plant with roots in folk history, as a conversation piece.
Frequently I pinch leaves of rosemary, sage, thyme, cardamon ginger and oregano for visitors to the garden to sniff. This is another that has a distinctive fragrance to the leaves, very pungent. Common cudweed has no fragrance. When I'm weeding, I often pinch leaves to distinguish whether a plant stays.