(Linnaea borealis) Honeysuckle family

Flowers - Delicate pink or white tinged with rose, bell-shaped,

about 1/2 in. long, fragrant, nodding in pairs on slender, curved

pedicels from an erect peduncle, 2-bracted where they join. Calyx

5-toothed, sticky; corolla 5-lobed, bell-shaped, hairy within; 4

stamens in pairs inserted near base of tube; 1 pistil. Stem:

Trailing, 6 in. to 2 ft. long; the branches erect. Leaves:

Opposite, rounded, petioled, evergreen.

Preferred Habitat - Deep, cool, mossy woods.

Flowering Season - May-July.

Distribution - Northern parts of America, Europe, and Asia. In

the United States southward as far as the mountains of Maryland,

and the Sierra Nevadas in California.

With the consent of modest Linnaeus himself, Dr. Gronovius

selected this typical woodland blossom to transmit the great

master's flame to posterity -

"Monument of the man of flowers."

But small and shy as it is, does Nature's garden contain a

lovelier sight than scores of these deliciously fragrant pink

bells swaying above a carpet of the little evergreen leaves in

the dim aisle of some deep, cool, lonely forest? Trailing over

prostrate logs and mossy rocks, racing with the partridge vine

among the ferns and dwarf cornels, the plant sends up "twin-born

heads" that seem more fair and sweet than the most showy pampered

darlings of the millionaire's conservatory. Little wonder that

Linnaeus loved these little twin sisters, or that Emerson

enshrined them in his verse.

Contrary to popular impression, this vine, that suggests the dim

old forest and exhales the very breath of the spring woods, will

consent to run about our rock gardens, although it seems almost a

sacrilege to move it from natural surroundings so impressively

beautiful. Unlike the arbutus, which remains ever a wildling,

pining slowly to death on close contact with civilization, the

twin-flower thrives in light, moist garden soil where the sun

peeps for a little while only in the morning. By nodding its head

the flower protects its precious contents from rain, the hairs

inside exclude small pilferers; but bees, attracted by the

fragrance and color, are guided to the nectary by five dark lines

and a patch of orange color near it.



(Eupatorium purpureum) Thistle family

Flower-heads - Pale or dull magenta or lavender pink, slightly

fragrant, of tubular florets only, very numerous, in large,

terminal, loose, compound clusters, generally elongated. Several

series of pink overlapping bracts form the oblong involucre from

which the tubular floret and its protruding fringe of

style-branches arise. Stem: 3 to 10 ft. high, green or purplish,

leafy, usually branching toward top. Leaves: In whorls of 3 to 6

(usually 4), oval to lance-shaped, saw-edged, petioled, thin,


Preferred Habitat - Moist soil, meadows, woods, low ground.

Flowering Season - August-September.

Distribution - New Brunswick to the Gulf of Mexico, westward to

Manitoba and Texas.

Towering above the surrounding vegetation of low-lying meadows,

this vigorous composite spreads clusters of soft, fringy bloom

that, however deep or pale of tint, are ever conspicuous

advertisements, even when the goldenrods, sunflowers, and asters

enter into close competition for insect trade. Slight fragrance,

which to the delicate perception of butterflies is doubtless

heavy enough, the florets' color and slender tubular form

indicate an adaptation to them, and they are by far the most

abundant visitors, which is not to say that long-tongued bees and

flies never reach the nectar and transfer pollen, for they do.

But an excellent place for the butterfly collector to carry his

net is to a patch of Joe-Pye weed in September. As the spreading

style-branches that fringe each tiny floret are furnished with

hairs for three-quarters of their length, the pollen caught in

them comes in contact with the alighting visitor. Later, the

lower portion of the style-branches, that is covered with

stigmatic papillae along the edge, emerges from the tube to

receive pollen carried from younger flowers when the visitor sips

his reward. If the hairs still contain pollen when the stigmatic

part of the style is exposed, insects self-fertilize the flower;

and if in stormy, weather no insects are flying, the flower is

nevertheless able to fertilize itself, because the hairy fringe

must often come in contact with the stigmas of neighboring

florets. It is only when we study flowers with reference to their

motives and methods that we understand why one is abundant and

another rare. Composites long ago utilized many principles of

success in life that the triumphant Anglo-Saxon carries into

larger affairs today.

Joe-Pye, an Indian medicine-man of New England, earned fame and

fortune by curing typhus fever and other horrors with decoctions

made from this plant.

TRUMPETFLOWER TRUMPETCREEPER TWINLEAF RHEUMATISM ROOT facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail