Flowers ~ the wild kind

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This book is the inspiration for today’s post.  It is the easiest thing to use because it has the flowers categorized by color…then picture.  If it grows wild in Texas, you’ll find it in here.  The plant growing behind it is liatris.  I planted these from corms (I call them bulbs) that I bought at WalMart.  This book says the corms are sometimes used for treating sore throats and rattlesnake bites !

A favorite memory is when my 6 year old daughter met me at the car after I’d been shopping.  “I found a wood betony !  I found a wood betony ! ”   Visions of bugs and lizards came to mind.  I had no idea what she had found.  Then she showed me in this book…a yellow plant in the figwort family…and there was one growing right by our front steps !  Clearly, she was a scientific genius…and this book helped me realize it.

I was pretty excited to be blogging while traveling down highway 21 to Austin.  The flowers that are blooming beside the roads are beautiful.

First, I wanted to document the flowers blooming in my yard.

 

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This is white clover, an excellent plant for enriching the soil.

All the info about each flower came from the Wildflowers of Texas by Geyata Ajilvsgi.

 

 

 

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This is a showy primrose, also known as a buttercup because of the cupping of the flowers and the abundant butter-colored pollen.
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Oxalis or violet wood sorrel is a scary plant.  The leaves can be chewed or brewed into tea that will stop vomiting, but in large amounts it can be very dangerous due to the poisonous oxalic acid crystals.

 

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This is most definitely a verbena, but my guess that it is a tuber vervain could be questioned. All of the verbena are very attractive to butterflies.

 

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This daisy-looking plant is fleabane.  Like a lot of the flowers growing wild, it was sometimes brewed into tea to help a sore throat.

 

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This tiny flower is henbit, a flower enjoyed by bees and small insects, but considered a nuisance in people’s yards.

 

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I couldn’t find this flower in the book, but I know after the bees visit and fertilizer it, delicious dewberries will form.

 

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These tiny flowers are bluets, often one of the first flowers to open in spring.  Their miniscule size makes them hard to see….but once you tune your eyes in, you’ll realize…they are everywhere !

 

Then we stopped on the road so I could photograph a few flowers there.

 

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This is our lovely state flower, the bluebonnet.
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This white flower with the double level of petals is a mystery to me.

 

 

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I’m guessing brown-eyed susan on this one.  If that’s what it is, the Cherokee used juice from the roots for earache. It also can be used for green and yellow dye.

 

 

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Huge clumps of these tall, showy blooms are sure to catch your attention.  As one of the largest flowers on the side of the road, queen anne’s lace, seems to have the most uses.  Its taproot can be cooked and eaten like a carrot.  Some tribes used it for tea or a bath to reduce swelling.  Recent studies have linked the root and seeds to cancer prevention.  Butterflies love its nectar, and the black swallowtail sometimes lays eggs on the foliage.  Strangely enough, this flower, originally from Europe, is considered a nuisance because of its invasive nature. 

 

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This is a Texas paintbrush or indian paintbrush.  Because it sends its roots out to feed off the nutrients from other plant’s roots…it is considered semiparasitic.

 

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This final beauty is called blanketflower , indian blanket, and gaillardia.  It grows so abundantly that it has great commercial value.  If you plant this, it is almost guaranteed to spread voraciously.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed the wildflowers of Texas.  Keep your eyes pealed for more that will be blooming later.

 

 

 

 

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