Bentsen RGV State Park shares the benefits of edible plants

Local News

MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral)- The Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park hosts a monthly ‘Useful & Edible Plants Tour’ to educate visitors on the plants they can eat straight out of the ground as well as their benefits.

According to Park Ranger, Bianca Banda the plants found in the park are much healthier than the ones in the grocery store.

“Nutrients are packed in. That’s where the big difference is, so instead of getting a whole bunch of sugar and carbohydrates, you’re getting a whole bunch of nutrients,” added Banda.

McAllen resident, Matt Ruszczask who attended Nov. 27’s tour told ValleyCentral that he has recently become more interested in camping, and so one of the biggest motivators he had coming to the tour was the ability to learn about the “new snacks” and experiences he could have on the road.

Banda said that when picking out plants to eat though, you have to be careful. She added that if a poisonous plant is ingested that “very bad things could happen.”

The consumption of a poisonous plant can lead to a rash, dizziness, or the feeling of your heart beating too quickly or too slowly.

To figure out if a plant is poisonous or not, Banda suggests looking at the veins and patterns of the leaves. If it looks perfect, it’s most likely poisonous.

Edible plants also contribute to the making of teas, soap, shoes, bags, mats, and buildings, according to Banda. Plants can even be used for aromatherapy.

“Plants have a whole bunch of uses and if nobody knows about it we’re eventually going to lose them,” said Banda. “That’s what I’m trying to prevent. I’m trying to get the public excited about the plants that are already growing in their backyard.”

The next edible plant tour will be on December 18 at 9:30 a.m.

For more information, visit Bentsen RGV State Park’s website or Facebook.

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