Saturday, May 2, 2015

Wildflower Nature Study

Recently I've been reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  While I have a great many problems with the story, one being how quickly she adapts to her new situation, I do admire one talent in the main character.  She knows her botany.  Something I admired in my own father.  So for this new growing season I have set a goal to learn about the wildflowers growing around me.

These beauties are Dame's Rocket, a member of the mustard family.  They were originally planted by the early settlers but eventually became naturalized.

Yellow rocket, Barbarea vulgaris, was named for Saint Barbara the patron saint of artillerymen.  They used it to soothe wounds caused by explosions. 
I love seeing them in the grass fields.
The Star of Bethlehem, a bulb flower, is another that escaped cultivation and became naturalized.  You would think with the religious reference it would be a nice plant but the entire plant is poisonous and causes harm to livestock. 
This structure, according to local history was built as a stage coach stop.  The rock corral where they kept the horses is actually on our land.
In the 50's it was owned by a woman named Cass Coe.  Legend has it that her flowers were so beautiful she became the envy of the community.  And people would come from all over to sit and listen to her tell tales of local history.  Now we can only see glimpses of the flowers she tended, themselves becoming wildflowers of sorts.
So this is what I've learned so far about what's growing along the roadside and in the fields near me.  Of course I could be wrong.  So many look alike.  If indeed you know that I am mistaken I would love to hear from you!

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