Once ‘yaupon’ a time in the autumn
So was Mother Nature.
After a prolonged fall, punctuated by warm temperatures and an occasional rain shower, Milam County’s autumn coloring has burst onto the scene in the last couple of weeks.
The count y’s plenti ful oaks have turned somewhere between a muddy brown and delicate dark red, with many shades of gold and amber in between.
Milam’s flowers and blooming bushes have followed suit, especially wild yaupon which sports the reddest berries, and most unfortunate Latin (scientific) name.
It’s still called ilex vomitoria.
Why would such a beautiful plant get such an ugly name.
Blame it on history.
Botanists believed it was made from yaupon plant leaves and christened the shrub ilex vomitoria.
There seems to be some debate as to whether asi was actually made from the yaupon or some other concoction of roots and leaves.
But you still shouldn’t eat it.
Yaupon is classified as a holly—“ ilex” means “holly”— and hollies are toxic (poisonous) to humans.
Besides, it’s too pretty to eat, anyway.