Tag Archives: Flowers

My Little Prairie Article

After a thunderstorm and lots of rain last night, I walked out to our 1-mile labyrinth through our 20-year-old prairie.  I noticed the mist rising through the thick morning air and smelled the freshness of the ground and air.  Dew dripped from the Big Bluestem.  Showy Tick-trefoil was seen drooping its purple head now standing 4 feet high towering over the already bloomed Golden Alexanders.

               

 

Still the Ohio Spiderwort sends out a spectacular 3 petaled blue flower saying goodbye once again to its blooming season.

The Yellow Coneflowers reach skyward with blooms in the green buds ready to burst into their summer yellow suits supporting their cone heads.  

               Mad Dog Skullcap sported its pink and white blooms and stood at attention just below the ever-growing Indian Grass.  

 

 

 

 

 

Cup Plant had reached the overflow mark as its’ cupped leaves held at least 4 ozs. of water after the rain.  It continues its upward growth trying to once again outdo itself having reached over 7 feet in height last year.

A closer look revealed a Cream Gentian trying to get attention but alas all it could show were its waxy leaves waiting for another month to bloom and show off its pale yellow color.  Of course the Butterfly Milkweed needs no search to find as it shows forth its psychedelic orange heads stealing all the attention to itself.

The prairie hides many treasures just waiting to surprise the passerby with its individual personality made up of a hundred species of native flowers and grasses forming a living community adapted to the seasons of time.  A virtual kaleidoscope of dazzling colors turning off and on as the seasons roll by, is there to just enjoy.  Each species alone can be cherished but we sometimes forget that they all joined hands at one time making one of the largest living communities in the world sweeping from Texas to Canada.

Listen closely and you can still hear the pounding hooves of the Buffalo.

Earthyman

To Purchase These Beautiful Wildflowers Visit Us At http://ionxchange.com/

 

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Earthyman Article: Answers Given to Me by Butterflies

While standing on our balcony over looking a remnant prairie adjacent to the ocean on South Padre Island, my mind went still.  Suddenly, an orange butterfly below me appeared in the little prairie.  I noticed that it did not seem to go to some blooming yellow flowers where I expected him to be attracted.  Instead he went to a shrub with no flowers, which seemed nondescript.  He landed there and seemed to be doing something as he went from shrub to shrub of the same species.  He then came within 6 inches of a yellow flower while still remaining on a nondescript shrub.  Then he flew over to a yellow flower and hovered a few seconds and flew off.

In the meantime a small yellow butterfly came flipping up and down between the shrubs.  Then a light came on for me.  I said to myself “if you, the little yellow butterfly, passes straight in front of me and continues north that will be a sign that I am on the right path in making a very difficult decision” that I have been pondering for years.  It did do just that.  The butterfly passed from East and kept going north with no hesitation.  My answer had been given me, “do it”.  Then at that same moment when the little yellow butterfly was just landing on the beautiful bloom of a wild primrose, the orange butterfly showed up again at the very flower that he had passed up previously.  He landed there and stayed for over 2 minutes getting the most out of this flower that he had avoided before.

The meaning of all this then hit me.  I had been given the green flag to pursue the unknown and forget about the old habits of grazing on the nondescript things in life and go for it but stay with it and milk it for all it is worth.  A warm feeling came over me and I will never forget this moment.

Earthyman

To Purchase Native Wildflowers & Prairie Plants Visit Us At http://ionxchange.com/

Summer Blooming Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) at Ion Exchange, Inc.

To Purchase Yarrow Visit Us At http://ionxchange.com/products/ACHILLEA-MILLEFOLIUM-%7C-Yarrow.html

Product Description

Yarrow, (Achillea Millefolium) is very common to fields, pastures, disturbed areas, roadsides, previously disturbed prairies and open sites throughout the Tallgrass biome. Tiny white flowers in umbels at the top of the plant bloom from June to September. Feathery, fern-like leaves up to 5 inches long. Generally reaches about 1 1/2 feet tall but does grow slightly taller in some places.

Achillea after Achilles of Greek mythology who is said to have used it medicinally and millifolia meaning “thousand-leaved”.Asteraceae Family – “Common Yarrow, Gordaldo, Gordoloba, Milfoil, Knight’s Milfoil, Milfoil Thousand-leaf, Bloodwort, Woundwort, Devil’s Plaything, Green Arrow, Thousand Leaf, Thousand-seal, Thousand-leaved clover, Cammock, Carpenter Grass, Dog Daisy, Wooly Yarrow, Nosebleed Weed, Old Man’s Pepper, Sanguinary, Soldier’s Woundwort”

ECHINACEA PURPUREA | Purple Coneflower

ECHINACEA PURPUREA | Purple Coneflower

Product Description
“Purple Coneflower, Black Samson, Red Sunflower”

Echinacea from the Greek word for “sea urchin” or “hedgehog” referring to the spiny chaff at the center of these flowers. Purpurea also from the Greek for the word meaning “purple”.

Favors open prairies and dry open woods of the Tallgrass region and blooms from May to October. Grows to two to three feet in height with pale purple to purple flowers.
Sun Exposure: Prairie, Savanna
Soil Moisture: Wet Mesic, Mesic, Dry Mesic
Bloom Time: Summer, Fall (July, August, September)
Bloom Color: Purple
Max Height: 4 feet
Wetland Code: UPL
Germ Code: A
Seeds Per Packet: 300
Seeds Per Ounce: 6,600

Edible Uses: Unknown

Medicinal Uses: Echinacea is considered to be the most effective detoxicant in Western herbal medicine for the circulatory, lymphatic and respiratory system. Its use has also been adopted by Ayurvedic medicine. Plants in this genus were probably the most frequently used of N. American Indian herbal remedies. They had a very wide range of applications and many of these uses have been confirmed by modern science. This species is the most easily cultivated of the genus and so has been more generally adopted for its medicinal uses. The plant has a general stimulatory effect on the immune system and is widely used in modern herbal treatments. In Germany over 200 pharmaceutical preparations are made from Echinacea. There has been some doubt over the ability of the body to absorb the medicinally active ingredients orally (intravenous injections being considered the only effective way to administer the plant), but recent research has demonstrated significant absorption from orally administered applications. The roots and the whole plant are considered particularly beneficial in the treatment of sores, wounds, burns etc, possessing cortisone-like and antibacterial activity. The plant was used by N. American Indians as a universal application to treat the bites and stings of all types of insects. An infusion of the plant was also used to treat snakebite. The root is adaptogen, alterative, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, depurative, diaphoretic, digestive, sialagogue. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

Herbal Uses: Unknown

To Purchase This Native Wildflower Click on Ion Exchange, Inc., Link Below

http://ionxchange.com/products/ECHINACEA-PURPUREA-%7C-Purple-Coneflower.html

 

Planting Native Wildflowers Spring Bloomers Acorus calamus Sweet Flag

Acorus calamus Sweet Flag

Sun Exposure Prairie
Soil Moisture Wet, Wet Mesic
Bloom Time Spring, Early Summer
May, June July
Bloom Color Green
Height 2 feet
Wetland Code OBL
Germ Code C(60)
Seeds Per Packet 300
Seeds Per Ounce 6,600

 

Native Americans chewed the root or made a tea from the dried root for treating gas, stomachaches, indigestion, heartburn, fevers, colds, and coughs; anti-spasmodic, anti-conversant,  central nervous system depressant; in India it has been used for many years as an aphrodisiac. They also chewed the root to stave off thirst and as a stimulant on long journeys.

German studies showed the controlled dosages of the root helped lower serum cholesterol levels in rabbits.

In Appalachia, freshly cut leaves are still used as an insecticide.

The inner portions of the tender young shoots make a very tasty Spring salad. The Pennsylvania Dutch used the root to flavor pickles and the powdered root has been used to make cachets and scent perfumes.

 

Edible Uses:
The rhizome is candied and made into a sweetmeat. It can be peeled and washed to remove the bitterness and then eaten raw like a fruit. It makes a palatable vegetable when roasted and can also be used as a flavouring. Rich in starch, the root contains about 1% of an essential oil that is used as a food flavouring. The root also contains a bitter glycoside. Some caution is advised, see the notes on toxicity.

The dried and powdered rhizome has a spicy flavour and is used as a substitute for ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

The young and tender inflorescence is often eaten by children for its sweetness. Young leaves – cooked. The fresh leaves contain 0.078% oxalic acid. The leaves can be used to flavour custards in the same way as vanilla pods.

The inner portion of young stems is eaten raw. It makes a very palatable salad.

Medicinal Uses:
Sweet flag has a very long history of medicinal use in many herbal traditions. It is widely employed in modern herbal medicine as an aromatic stimulant and mild tonic. In Ayurveda it is highly valued as a rejuvenator for the brain and nervous system and as a remedy for digestive disorders. However, some care should be taken in its use since some forms of the plant might be carcinogenic – see the notes on toxicity for more information.

The root is anodyne, aphrodisiac, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hallucinogenic, hypotensive, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, mildly tonic and vermifuge. It is used internally in the treatment of digestive complaints, bronchitis, sinusitis etc. It is said to have wonderfully tonic powers of stimulating and normalizing the appetite. In small doses it reduces stomach acidity whilst larger doses increase stomach secretions and it is, therefore, recommended in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. However if the dose is too large it will cause nausea and vomiting.

Sweet flag is also used externally to treat skin eruptions, rheumatic pains and neuralgia. An infusion of the root can bring about an abortion whilst chewing the root alleviates toothache. It is a folk remedy for arthritis, cancer, convulsions, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, epilepsy etc. Chewing the root is said to kill the taste for tobacco.

Roots 2 – 3 years old are used since older roots tend to become tough and hollow. They are harvested in late autumn or early spring and are dried for later use. The dry root loses 70% of its weight, but has an improved smell and taste. It does, however, deteriorate if stored for too long.

Caution is advised on the use of this root, especially in the form of the distilled essential oil, since large doses can cause mild hallucinations. See also the notes above on toxicity.

A homeopathic remedy is made from the roots. It is used in the treatment of flatulence, dyspepsia, anorexia and disorders of the gall bladder.

Warning! – Some species are thought to contain the carcinogen beta-asarone. Vapors from the roots do repel some insects. The root, when candied, was a long-time pioneer confection. It was boiled all day long, cut into small pieces, and then boiled again for a few more minutes in thick maple syrup. This “candy” was used most often used to aid digestion, but also used to serve as a tonic and physic.

Sweet Flag