Plant Language: Kin-centric Ecology within Herbalism

"If we surrendered to the earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees" - Rainer Maria Rilke

In this class we will discuss, from an herbalist perspective, the meaning of plant language which is, in short, the ability to understand how & why a plant manifests the way they do in the world. We can detect this language through taste, touch & smell as well as looking at how the plants shape themselves in response to their environment. Also encoded within these sensory features are clues to their therapeutic uses which can be defined as "the doctrine of signatures," “the art of signs”, "the green tongue” & of course 'plant language'. For example, Plantain (Plantago major or rugelii ) is a low growing herb with a broad leaf, a skin-like texture & parallel veins resembling a human foot. Many colonial travelers to the Americas put plantain leaves in their shoes for blistered, sore feet. This plant is a widely accepted wound healing herb that grows in nutrient poor, disturbed roadside soils which can also be seen as "wounds" to the earth's surface. 

As a way to fully engage this topic we will turn to our herbal ally Goldenrod (Solidago spp.) harvest & prepare a goldenrod which grows in abundance at Horn Farm. We will examine their ideal habitat & discuss their growth cycle. We will then turn to a respectful harvest & preparation of a Goldenrod herbal tincture for each participant to bring home. Join this class to delve deeper into the multi- sensory wisdom of reading signs & symbols of medicinal plant language.

Class will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions with a lunch break from 1-2pm. Students are encouraged to pack a lunch to enjoy during this time.

About the Instructor:

Alyssa Dennis of Eclipta Herbal is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, clinical herbalist, wild-crafter & dirt worshipper living on a 0.7 acre herb farm in Baltimore City MD. In addition to her masters degree in herbalism she has also studied Amazonian plant medicine, permaculture, green roof installation & straw bale/adobe building. She is particularly interested in restoring the importance of kin-centric ecology & considers herself a radicle ecologist. She is passionate about bioregional reintegration & place-based identity with the land that builds mutualistic relationships with non-human life in a post-binary context. Her clinical practice is centered around women's health & continuing the vibrancy of the peoples medicine which utilizes nutritional therapeutics & the contemporary practices of Chinese, Ayurvedic & Western herbal medical traditions. Find out more about her clinical practice, additional class offerings & the herb farm at

Program Notes:

This class will take place outdoors. Please check the weather in advance and dress accordingly. Be prepared for walking on uneven terrain and potentially snowy and/or muddy conditions. 

All programs are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances including inclement weather. Participants will receive an email in the days preceding the program for any changes or cancellations. You can review our current Cancellation and Refund Policy here

Parking takes place in the field above the farmhouse.

September 16th, 2023 from 10:00 AM to  5:00 PM
4945 Horn Rd
York, PA 17406
United States
Phone: (717) 757-6441
Event Fee(s)
Class Fee $125.00