There is a seldom visited natural area just north of the zoo which straddles the Little Rouge Creek:
It is so seldom used that I had difficulty finding the now overgrown path that leads to the meadow. Eventually I did and found myself surrounded by wildflowers just as tall or even taller than I am.
Joe-pye Weed – Joe Pye was a native medicine man who recommended this plant for whatever ails you.
Elecampane – a gorgeous sunflower-like plant which arrived here in the 19th century from central Eurasia.
Boneset – The name boneset was derived from the plant’s use in the treatment of breakbone fever, a term describing the high fever that often accompanies influenza.
Blue Vervain – One of my favourites!
Water Hemlock – Water hemlock can be deadly. It contains a toxin called cicutoxin, a violent convulsant, which acts as a stimulant in the central nervous system. Ingestion of hemlock can be fatal and symptoms can occur 15 minutes to 6 hours after the plant has been ingested.
This garden plant which commonly escapes into the wild has edible flowers. Orange Day-lily.
Deep in the greens of summer sing the lives
I’ve come to love. A vireo whets its bill.
The great day balances upon the leaves;
My ears can hear the bird when all is still. – Theodore Roethke (1908–63)