About

Learn from grounded, experienced teachers

About Nicole Telkes

Clinical Herbalist, Director and Founder of Wildflower School

Nicole Telkes is an award-winning, community-centered registered herbalist and clinical mentor who has worked with plants for most of her life. She is a first generation citizen of the United States and both her Hungarian and Polish grandmothers used herbs.

After graduating with a degree in Ecology & Botany, Nicole rounded out her herbal and holistic medicine training with Michael Moore at the SW School of Botanical Medicine, Greta de la Montagne, Margi Flint of EarthSong Herbals, Paul Bergner, Filiberto Delgado, Dr. Vasant Lad at the Ayurvedic Institute, and many others. She also added structural bodywork, cranial sacral therapy, MAM, and other hands-on techniques to her practice through the years.

Nicole’s work has always centered around protecting plants. Early in her journey, she did direct action work in the wilderness, protecting old growth trees and protesting against corporate dominance. She spent several years as a direct action, first aid, frontline herbal medic, and in 2001, she co-founded an urban permaculture collective.

More recently, she was featured in the New York Times and Boston Globe for her work to protect the traditional herbal remedy, fire cider. Nicole, part of the Fire Cider Three, fought in federal court to protect the generational remedy from being trademarked. After five years, Free Fire Cider won. The trio received awards from the American Herbalist Guild and American Botanical Council for this effort.

Nicole wrote the book Medicinal Plants of Texas in 2013 and recently finished a new book Herbcraft: the Complete Guide to 21st Century Holistic Western Herbalism in 2021.

Nicole has been training others since 2000. After founding Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine, she added an 8.5 acre botanical sanctuary and apiary into the mix in 2014. The school has expanded to online and in-person courses.

Nicole continues to teach and see clients. She currently resides between the occupied lands of the Duwamish people and Tonkawa and Comanches.

The History of Wildflower

Notable moments that inform our work today

  • 1999 – Nicole begins practicing as a Direct Action Herb Medic.
  • 2001 – Nicole Begins teaching classes and apprenticeships.
  • 2003 – Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine is founded.
  • 2005 – Curriculum grows to over 100 hours of training; Nicole works to provide herbal support around Hurricane Katrina.
  • 2007 – Additional teachers begin to join the School and the curriculum grows to 250 hours. American Botanical Council becomes a main campus.
  • 2010 – Nicole becomes a Registered Herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild. Wildflower School becomes an Educational Member.
  • 2012 – The School expands into a clinical program with 400+ hours of training and multiple guest teachers. Programs begin to run year round. The School throws its first festival: Herbalismo!
  • 2014 – Wildflower acquires an 8.5 acre botanical sanctuary and starts an apiary outside of Austin where students can practice seed saving, stewardship, and weedcrafting. Nicole publishes the book Medicinal Plants of Texas and joins the United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary Network.
  • 2016 – The School’s curriculum expands again to feature more guest teachers, beginner programs, and clinical offerings from teachers around the country. Wildflower’s chapter of Herbalists Without Borders begins. Moonflower Herb Fest is founded by the School.
  • 2017 – The School supports Hurricane Harvey evacuees with over 3 months of sustained food and herbal medicine support.
  • 2018 – Wildflower begins to offer online training as well as onsite learning for local students. Nicole, one of the Fire Cider 3, is involved with a court battle to free fire cider.
  • 2020 – Pandemic begins just after fire cider is freed in federal court. Nicole moves the school, publishes the book Herbcraft and begins the podcast Wild Spirit.
  • 2021 Online Herbal Programs are launched and Wildflower continues educating people in person as well as online.
  • 2022 – What’s next? Join our story!

Austin In Person 2022 Instructors

Caroline Caswell

Caroline is a western folk herbalist, activist, artist, and educator. She is the lead for our Intro Program, works at American Botanical Council, and is co-founder of Earth Commons Apothecary & Wellness Center. Her herbal practice focuses on bioregional medicinals and thoughtful interaction with ecology.

Jenny Perez

An Herbalist, Horticulturist, and Permaculture Design Specialist, Jenny managed Bastyr University’s herb garden for 7 years, transforming the 5,000 sq. ft. herb garden into a living laboratory. She was the Education Coordinator at the American Botanical Council, and teaches in our Intermediate program and our online course Permaculture for Herbalists.

Mo Bonilla

Mo is a community herbalist with a background in sustainable agriculture and food justice. She put her love of herbs to work as a farm manager at a local medicinal herb farm, Herban Austin and then shifted to teaching Outdoor Education to elementary school students. Mo teaches in our Introductory Program, and she oversees the school’s “Apothecary Garden.”

Emily Bradford

Emily is a Registered Nurse and herbalist who spent years near the San Marcos River, growing food and herbs for her community as a member of Dunbar Neighborhood Gardens. Emily teaches classes in our Intermediate program.

Esther Schroeder

Esther Schroeder is a bioengineer, mother, herbalist and yoga teacher from Venezuela. She has worked in major hospitals as a clinical perfusionist and a clinical research associate. She is a distiller, who creates hydrosols, botanical lotions and spagyrics utilizing the philosophical principles of alchemy. Esther teaches classes at the school in Alchemy and Spagyrics.

Eric Knight

Eric is an Austin-born naturalist who works as an engineer in renewable energy. He & his wife, Stacy, founded Local Leaf, a tea company that creates a powdered matcha from sustainably wild-harvested yaupon. He coauthored the book Foraging Texas. He’s taught at Earth Native Wilderness School and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. He teaches botanical identification and foraging ethics at Wildflower.

Danielle Bauman

Danielle is a Community Herbalist and Sound Healing practitioner. She assists in managing student services and school administration.

Jonna Ball

Jonna is a community herbalist and reproductive justice organizer.  She is also our Herbalists without Borders Student Coordinator.

2021-2 Guest Teachers

Aremisia Hailey

Aremisia Hailey specializes in working with herbs for women and wombcare.  She focuses on healing trauma and reproductive health.

Darlene Starr

Darlene is a fabulous clinical herbalist and herb gardener.  She is also the the owner of Road Dog Health and Wellness.  She brings her extensive knowledge of plants to us in our introductory program.

Margi Flint

Margi is clinical herbalist with over 40 years of experience specializing in Body reading and Assessment for herbalists. She’s the author of The Practicing Herbalist. Margi, who practices out of Marblehead, MA, is a regular guest in person and online at Wildflower.

Mary Ayodele

Mary Ayodele is a Prophetess and Community Herbalist in the Gulf of Mexico Bioregion of Houston, TX.

Karyn Sanders

Karyn was first trained in Native American traditional plant medicine. In her mid-teens she apprenticed with a Mexican Curandera and has subsequently studied with various traditional teachers as well as Western herbalists. Karyn has been teaching and practicing herbal medicine from an energetic perspective for over 42 years. Karyn resides in Northern CA.

Olivia Pepper

Olivia is a lifelong herbalist, a professional mystic, Tarot reader, and writer. Olivia spent several years in Austin, TX getting to know the plants and training with wonderful teachers. She’s also worked in the bioregions of the Pacific Northwest, Southern Mexico and Southern California. and currently resides in Taos, New Mexico.

Greta de la Montaigne

Greta de la Montagne, RH(AHG) is an herbalist and bodyworker who has specialized in herbal first aid for 24 years. She operates Gentle Strength Botanicals & Massage Therapy near Arcata, California, where she blends Ayurveda and Bodywork with Clinical Herbalism.

Kathi Langelier

Kathi is an herbalist and owner of Herbal Revolution Farm & Apothecary in Maine.  She oversees 4 acres of medicinal herb production on her certified organic farm. She is the author of Herbal Revolution: 65+ Recipes for Teas, Elixirs, Tinctures, Syrups, Foods + Body Products That Heal.

Past Instructors + Lecturers

Paul Bergner

Catherine Martinez

Filiberto Delgado

Maria Elena Martinez

Carla Vargas-Frank

Dr. Will Morris, Lac

Nicole Finkelstein

Sue Sierralupe

Erika Galantin

Matt Wood

Charlotte Kikel (RH)ANG & CN

Ellen Zimmerman

Our Campus and Classrooms

The American Botanical Council at the Case Mill Homestead

American Botanical Council is the largest herbal education non-profit in the world, and home to our East Austin campus.

We have a classroom, an office, and 2.5 acres of medicinal herb gardens from which to learn. Our Garden Apothecary Interns help manage special herb beds at ABC that we use for Wildflower’s sliding scale and classroom needs.

Big Moon Bee Farm & Botanical Sanctuary

We own and manage 8.5 acres of land as a botanical sanctuary and apiary east of Austin near Bastrop, Texas.

This land has 6 working beehives that forage the land and we take students on visits to the area whenever possible.

The Wild

At Wildflower, we believe being outside in Nature is an essential part of learning herbs. It helps you connect to the medicine of the space you are living in and helps you form deeper connections to the plants. We offer many field classes at different local parks, on the botanical sanctuary, and local herb farms.

Some of the parks we have walked in the past include: Mueller Park, Mary Moore Seawright Park, and Walnut Creek Park.

Ready to learn with us?

Our Projects

Moonflower Herb Fest

A gathering of herb lovers to celebrate and share experience with regional plant medicines, healing, and magic in the beautiful Zilker Park Botanical Garden.

Herbalists Without Borders

We maintain a local chapter of Herbalists Without Borders so that we can easily organize responses in the community for herbal first aid.

Big Moon Sanctuary, Apiary, and Seedsaving

8.5 acres in Bastrop, Texas where we teach seedsaving, wildlife and plant preservation, and beekeeping. We also host an annual seed swap!

Sliding Scale Herbal Community Clinics

Making herbal treatment accessible to all through sliding scale herbal consultations.