Nature — How Sweet It Is!

Nature — How Sweet It Is!

( – Nature provides everything humans need to survive. Native Americans commonly used plants for a number of reasons, even to take care of the occasional sweet tooth. Let’s enjoy some plants that have grown popular over the years due to their sweet nature.

Red Grass

Red grass grows in just about any wet place across the US, stretching up to 12 feet tall with a 1-inch stalk, though they commonly only grow to 6 or 10 feet. Indians in the Mojave Desert utilized these plants to boost their sugar intake.

They found that by puncturing the stalk of the plant, they could secrete a pasty substance from the wound. The resin eventually hardened into gum, which the Indians pressed into balls and consumed. You can also dry red grass stalks and grind them into flour.


Also known as Aligatorwood, sweetgum trees commonly grow from Connecticut through Florida and onto Texas along the coastal plains. You can also find it to the north throughout Missouri, Illinois and the Mississippi Valley. The tree’s grey, rough bark and corky ridges make it easy to identify.

Behind the sweetgum’s bark sits a scented sap that hardens into a resin or gum. Indians would peel the bark back and scrape the sap from the tree then chew on it for its sugary taste. Modern day uses for Aligatorwood sap primarily involve using it as a substitute for storax.

Sugar Maple

A list of sweet-tasting plants wouldn’t be complete without some mention of maple trees, namely the sugar maple. These trees grow just about anywhere in the US and are the most popular gum trees you can find. The tree is often a valuable resource in American furniture and flooring thanks to the quality of its hardwood.

Sugar maples are just one of the many different maple species present in North America. You can differentiate them by their widely spread lateral branches. As these trees age, their bark transforms from smooth to scaly.

People often begin tapping sugar maples for their sap in March through early April, which they boil down into sugar or syrup later. Native Americans allegedly taught the settlers and other white men how to collect and process the sweet substance.

It’s weird to think that at one time, people felt maple syrup and sugar tasted “burnt.” Most people now consider it one of the best sweets money can buy.

While none of the trees on this list will surprise people, there is one plant that’s likely to shock you with its survival uses. Be sure to check out this essential survival plant — you probably have some growing in your area.

Have you ever tried one of these plants? Do you know of any other plants that most would otherwise overlook? Reply to your email and let us know, we would love to hear from you!

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