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September 3, 2008 / Bo Mackison

Tall Grass Prairie Wildflowers

New England Asters

New England Asters

The last show of wildflowers in the prairies are in bloom. The prairies are full and thick, now beginning to yellow a bit. The New England Asters are easily cultivated, and found in many gardens, but they are especially handsome in the thickets of grasses on the prairie.

Rosin Weed

Rosin Weed

What a name for one of the most perfect prairie wildflowers I’ve seen in a long time! Rosin Weed is an excellent flower for the prairie, and used extensively in prairie restorations as it is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.  Its sap contains resin which was once used as a chewing gum. (Ick – I’d rather have peppermint myself.)

Blue Vervain

Blue Vervain

This would be an easy flower to miss, except it grows so tall the flowers tend to stick out over many of the shorter grasses. The Blue Vervain flowers themselves are tiny – less than 1/4″ wide – but the plant stands up to 6 feet tall.

Vervain was a popular plant, well-known for its many medicinal uses – made into a brew and used as a tonic, an aphrodisiac, and a sedative. Centuries ago it was hung on European peasants’ doorways to ward off the devil and other evildoers, and it was worn as an amulet to bring good luck.


  1. ceanothe / Sep 4 2008 2:56 am

    Le monde des fleurs un vaste sujet qui procure beaucoup de plaisir.

    The world of the flowers a vast subject which gives much pleasure.

  2. ybonesy / Sep 4 2008 8:38 am

    The Blue Vervain is just wonderful. I also love the asters. I always know October in the Rio Grande Valley because of the blooming purple asters.

  3. Joanna Young / Sep 4 2008 11:51 am

    Bo, what a wonderful set of pictures and I always enjoy learning about the plants and flowers from you too.

    A small thing – you seem to have moved to partial feeds just now – could I put in a plea to return to full feeds? I’m much more likely to dip in and comment if I can read the whole thing from my feed reader – and see the pictures too of course!


  4. Gandalf / Sep 4 2008 11:58 am

    Very striking series of the waning flowers of summer. I’ll miss them when they go.

  5. Marcie / Sep 4 2008 4:51 pm

    Beautiful wildflowers. Sad that they are so quickly fading.

  6. Amelia / Sep 6 2008 11:56 am

    I’d love to walk through a prairie. This must be awesome.

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