Saturday, June 16, 2007

Wildflower Paper #3: Red Columbine

Red Columbine is a pretty little flower that blooms in Kentucky when Spring is well underway. The flowers are roughly bell shaped and draped downward, and is in the Buttercup family. Four or five structures stick out of the top of the blossom (or the back if you consider the opening of the petals to be the 'front') that remind me of a jester's cap. They also give the columbine one of it's other common names: jack-in-trousers. It likes a woodland setting, especially near clearings where it has plenty of access to sunlight.

Columbine is a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds, and receives special mention at http://www.rubythroat.com, a site for ruby throated hummingbird enthusiasts. The hummingbirds and butterflies presumably gain valuable nectar from the flowers, and in return spread the pollen to other nearby columbine plants.

The plant has been used in the past by humans to ease a number of ailments. The seeds have been used to treat headache, sore throat, poison ivy rash, and the roots have been used for gastrointestinal problems. (source: http://www.easywildflowers.com)

1 comment:

Terri said...

Sis, just wanted to say Hi. I've really enjoyed reading through your blogs tonight. We have so much in common. I'm so proud you are my sister.

I've been thinking of joining the Tualatin riverkeepers. That's who I was kayaking with when you called me Saturday. They're looking for new tour leaders and will give training on the local flora and fauna. But I'm so busy I'm talking myself out of it for this year. Once I finish school I give it another look see.

We should plan a trip together - like a San Juan Paddle or something. I'd love to do a kayaking trip with you.

Thanks for the thought provoking commentaries.