Monday, May 24, 2010

Wildflowers: May 24, 2010

Today I will show you some white flowers..

The Sweet Grass or Hierochloe odorata or Holy Fragrant Grass is in the front wildflower gardens.  The Native Americans burn this grass as a purifier before their ceremonies because it keeps out evil spirits.  It smells a little like something illegal when it burns.  Sweet Grass is a native plant in Minnesota.  I would bind up some of the stems and put them in the trunk of my car (If I had a trunk) or lay them in a damp basement( I don't have that problem either) Far Guy says Sweet Grass smells like vanilla.  He has planted it here and there throughout the yard, when I mow sometimes I get carried away and mow it down..I wonder what the evil spirits think about that?

Common Chickweed or Stellaria media is a non native plant. The little bloom has only five petals but they are divided so it looks like ten petals.  This little plant blooms most of the summer.  This one is found lots of places..this one is from the cemetery.  In the late evening it looks like hundreds of little stars are hiding in the grass.

Wild Strawberry or Fragaria virginiana is a native plant, if you can nab this tiny little fruit before the birds eat them you are really lucky.  Wild Strawberries have very intense flavor.  I am allergic to them, so I just let the birds have them.  Wild Strawberry is found on the edge of the woods..and in the woods.
 Our Trillium May 21, 2010
Last but not least the Trillium or Trillium grandiflorum. We have one of these plants, and it has one bloom every year. Far Guy planted it next to the woods one year when he was really into native plants.  It blooms in the early spring.  Supposedly seeds are dispersed by ants, and the seeds that they don't eat will grow.  I have heard about the Trillium in bloom in Minnesota..but I have never seen huge expanses of them in the woods until Saturday.

Trillium grow only in areas with deciduous trees, apparently they do not grow well in Pine Forests, I am not sure if it is a soil thing or a light thing, or a combination of both. (Some plants need the extra light in the early spring when the trees don't have their leaves yet).  We stopped along the edge of the road so I could get a few photos..I was watching so intently for them that I totally missed the bear that ran across the road:)


  1. Are you serious about the bear?? That is a beautiful trillium, and a fantastic batch of them. We have them in the wild here in the Pacific Northwest early in the season. They are just about all gone now. Great shots!

  2. DJan, Yes a bear ran across the road..and I missed was running really fast:)

  3. I used to collect sweet grass in bunches to dry. I never realized it was associated with Native American rituals. I've never heard of Trillium before. Is it native to Minnesota only? It is very pretty. I am surprised that Chance did not get a whiff of that bear and alert you that is was nearby.

  4. We spent all afternoon photographing trilliums this week, I will be posting them later on...but it was fantastic. I love those!

  5. Sweet grass is interesting. A friend of mine just asked me if I had a picture of it she could use and I had to admit I'd never seen it before.

  6. The only one I know about was the wild strawberry. I like the others, don't think they grow here.

  7. You missed a bear? Wow...

    I love wild strawberries - such a gorgeous rich taste in tiny mouthfuls.

  8. I have always wanted to see what Sweet Grass was, do you think it would grow here in Western Colorado?

    The Indians here burned sage from sage brush.


  9. Those are beautiful flowers. I don't know much about them. I am so glad you made this post. I have learned a lot about those flowers. Thanks.


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