Plant Literate #5: Wild Columbine

For the uninitiated, prairies call to mind only a few colors: green, yellow, brown--or some mix of the three. In actuality, though, the myriad wildflowers found amid the grasses and on their edges are multi-hued and brilliant, deserving of all the second-looks they inspire.

Say hello to the wild columbine.

My mother and I guessed honeysuckle first, as its little bell-flowers hang similiarly and smell just as sweet. But later we were corrected, and happily so. I would have hated to miss out on details like this: boiled, it can be used for hair wash; and crushed, its seeds can be rubbed on palms as love potion. Why not? You'd certainly smell delightful.

The wild columbine is my fifth Thirty Before Thirty plant, and I must say I've adored this part of my list. I've paid so much more attention this spring, reallyreally slowed down and looked and examined and sniffed and listened. List or not, blog or not, I think I've found a hobby I will enjoy for the rest of my life.


  1. That sure is a pretty flower! We raise some domestic ones here but we don't have the wild ones; wish we did!

  2. Wonderful that you are taking the time to slow down and explore the beauty nature has to offer. She won't disappoint you.

  3. I'm sure you're right, Annie; it's been great fun so far. Thanks for the comments, you two!


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