Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Wildflowers

"Creeping Charlie and the Other (Unnoticed) Wild Flowers of Spring"

For the last few days, we've had more sun than rain in the Shire.
And that warmth has caused many spring wildflowers to proliferate.
Spring wildflowers to me or, depending on your point of view, lawn weeds.
I've noticed that the wildflowers of spring grow much lower to the ground
than summer wildflowers do.

photo courtesy of morguefile.com

For example, the purple blooms of henbit 
and the tiny white flowers of chickweed
are nestled in the grass for a long time before they stretch out.
The henbit gets taller, the chickweed spreads wider.
On my drive to work, I pass whole fields of henbit.

And yesterday, while stopped at a stoplight, I noticed the median
was full of golden-yellow buttercups
and ubiquitous fuzzy yellow dandelions.
And other yellow blossoms pop up from oxalis and purslane.
This time of year, little drops of sunshine all.

photo courtesy of morguefile.com

The tiny ground flower that I like the best
 is the one with the scalloped round leaves and the tiny blue blossoms.
I learned it is commonly called "Creeping Charlie."
Wikipedia.org says glechoma hederacea has many other names: 
Alehoof, Catsfoot, Field Balm, and Run-away Robin.

photo courtesy of morguefile.com

The English Herbalists considered Creeping Charlie or Gill-over-the-Ground
to be an effective remedy for tinnitus, eye inflammation,
and a variety of intestinal ailments.
However, today the plant is considered poisonous. 
Even if it's not grown for its medicinal purposes,
I read that it can be grown in a flower pot.
That would be an interesting experiment.
I wonder if a planter could be filled 
with creeping charlie, henbit, chickweed, etc. 
What might that look like? 
It could be quite beautiful if they 
were all brought together in the right proportions.
Or not.

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