Botany at Bastyr: Exploring Unusual Plant Signatures

 Registration is closed for this event
July 20 2019 9:30 am   through   July 20 2019 3:30 pm
14500 Juanita Dr NE
Bastyr University Community Education
Kenmore, WA 98028
Phone: 425-602-3322
Event Registration $ 70.00
Bastyr Alumni/Faculty/Staff/Student Discount $ 50.00
Campus Kenmore Campus
Audience students, staff, faculty, alumni, public, NDs, nurses, nutritionists, caregivers, acupuncturists
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This course will teach you to identify interesting structures that occur in certain plant species and families that point to the presence of interesting, unusual, toxic and medicinal elements or metabolites.

Date: July 20, 2019
Time: 9:30 AM -3:30 PM
Location: Bastyr Kenmore Campus grounds, classroom and lab
This course is part of our Botany at Bastyr Community Education Series

Based on coincidences, the Alchemists’ Doctrine of signatures once stated that divine influence marked plants with certain features allowing an easy conclusion on their healing effects.  In reality, signatures for presence of toxic or officinal constituents do exist.  These signatures are resin canals (common in conifers), lacticifers (milky juice networks occurring in many plant families), plant glands (like in St. Johns Worth leaves, oil vessels (like in citrus rind) and specialized cells (idioblasts like crystal containing grit cells).  These are the true signatures of plants promising unusual, and often officinal or toxic constituents.

The first part of the course is an introductory lecture.  The second part consists of identifying relevant plants in the Bastyr Herb Garden and to further study them in a lab.

Student learning objectives:

  • Recognize plant families that have signatures promising the presence of unusual constituents
  • Recognize and find latex-containing plants. Test latex for making an invisible wound cover and wart remedies.  Compare with synthetic latex products
  • Find young Douglas firs with blisters to harvest liquid resin and convert it to fir lotion and incense cones
  • Learn using hand lens, dissecting and compound microscopes to verify, locate and characterize and estimate the quantity of these plant constituents by microscopy, auto-fluorescence, optical help, stains and microchemistry. 

Course Notes Students need notebook, lab safety requires solid shoes (no open sandals etc.). We recommend students who have an illustrated book about the wild life flora of the Pacific Northwest like the “Pojar and McKinnon”, to bring it. Some books will be provided. We also recommend bringing some lunch and something to drink, a hand lens, and pocket knife.

Botany At Bastyr Series

Click on the links below to find out more about other courses in the Botany at Bastyr series:

Plant Identification - July 13

Herbal Remedies - July 27

Plant-Based Pigments & Dyes - August 3

Plant Fragrances - August 10

Purchase all 5 courses by July 13th for $280 and save 20% off the public rate. Please note, if you register for the full package, the last day for a refund is June 28, 2019. 

Continuing and Community Education Cancellation Policy 

About The Instructor

Rainer Stahlberg PhD
Rainer Stahlberg is a plant researcher. He received a PhD in plant biology in 1979 working on electrical signals in plants. Rainer taught botany in Germany (Humboldt University Berlin), Russia (st. Petersburg), and the United States (University of Washington and Bastyr University).  He also taught Botany together with the legendary Arthur Kruckeberg to public audiences enrolling for weekend classes with the North Cascade Institute.  Arthur introduced Rainer to the plants of the Pacific Northwest from 1998 to 2006.  He also imparted his philosophy that science does not exist in a ivory tower or university and that it is the duty of its participants to report back to and serve the public.  Rainer has taught botany to kids; major and non-major students and normal people and he I developed a hands-on approach that can be understood by anybody anywhere.