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This is the beginning of our 24th year of looking at wildflowers in Cook County, MN. We are three senior women who just love to get out and explore and learn new things. We are even getting together all winter but don't find too many flowers at that time, but no matter.

Meadowsweet - Photo by Lorraine Adele Anderson


July 19th & 20th, 2005 - Report by

Lois & L spent two days hiking trails at Cascade State Park. Tuesday we went on the trail that starts at the Group Campsites. It was an easy trail and after going up we crossed the highway and went down towards the lake, along the lake, then back up. A the intersection of the hiking trail and #61 on the Sorrel_Sheep_cond.jpg (75867 bytes)NE corner was a big patch of Blue Vervain. I believe this is our first sighting of it. It was mostly gone to seed but there were still some flowers. On that hiking trail we saw lots of Shinleaf, Heal-all & Spurred Gentian. We also saw one Purple Fringed Orchis and one Northern Green Orchid.
There were many flowers along the highway: Bird's-foot Trefoil, Black-eyed Susan, Daisy, both Ox-eye & Scentless Chamomile, St. Johnswort, Fireweed, many kinds of clovers including Rabbit's-foot, How & Purple Vetch. Also along the highway the short red grassy things are Sheep Sorrel, the brown, Dock & lavender, Canada thistle.
On Wednesday we took the trail just before the group campsite. That trail was more difficult and no new flowers. We did need to stop occasionally for Raspberries, Strawberries and Dewberries.


Vervain_Blue_cond.jpg (28822 bytes)About Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata) - also known as American Vervain, False Vervain, Indian Hyssop, Purvain, Simpler's Joy, Traveler's Joy, Vervain, and Wild Hyssop-  this perennial herb is native to the northern U.S., England, and Canada.  It can be found along roadsides and in open sunny fields.  The plant reaches a height of 2-5 feet and has serrated leaves, 3- 6 inches long.  The Blue Vervain's blooms June - September, and is in the form of small, deep blue or purplish-blue flowers clustered in dense spikes, 2 to 3 inches long.  The fruit consists of four nutlets which ripen soon after the plant flowers.

The seed, or fruit can be roasted and dried, then pulverized into a pinole flour.

The leaves and roots can be boiled in a tea or infusion.  Blue Vervain is a natural tranquilizer and is used as an antiperiodic for nervous problems.  As a tea it is used to treat fevers and colds, especially as a natural expectorant for getting rid of congestion in throat and chest. It can also be used for insomnia, eliminating intestinal worms, treating kidney stones, and as an anti-diarrheal.  Taken cold, the infusion acts as a tonic. Externally, Blue Vervain tea heals sores and wounds.

Medicinal tea: To 1 tbsp. dry herb add 1 pint boiling water, steep 10 min. take 1 tbsp. up to six times a day and take teacup (2 oz.) warm before bedtime.

This is provided on an informational basis.  It is not recommended for individuals to attempt to identify and use herbs found in the woods.  For any persistent ailment, consult your physician.


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  Be sure to stop back throughout the Spring and Summer to see our weekly wildflower reports from Lorraine Anderson of Grand Marais, Minnesota.




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2006 Wildflower Reports:

August 16th, 2006

August 9th, 2006

August 2nd, 2006

July 26th, 2006

July 19th, 2006

July 12th, 2006

July 5th, 2006

June 21st, 2006

June 28th, 2006

June 14th, 2006

June 7th, 2006

May 31st, 2006

May 24th, 2006

May 17th, 2006

May 10th, 2006

May 3rd, 2006

April 26th, 2006


2005 Wildflower Reports:

August 10th, 2005

August 3rd, 2005

July 27th, 2005

July 20th, 2005

July 13th, 2005

July 6th, 2005

June 29th, 2005

June 22nd 2005

June 15th 2005

June 12th, 2005

June 10th, 2005

June 8th, 2005

June 1, 2005

May 25th, 2005

May 18th, 2005

May 11th, 2005

May 4th, 2005

April 20th, 2005

April 13th, 2005


2004 Wildflower Reports:

September 1st, 2004

August 25th, 2004

August 18th, 2004

August 4th, 2004

July 28th, 2004

July 21st, 2004

July 14th, 2004

July 8th - 11th, 2004

July 7th 2004

June 30th, 2004

June 29th, 2004

June 23rd, 2004

June 16th, 2004

June 9th 2004

June 2nd, 2004

May 26th, 2004

Memorial Weekend

May 19th 2004

May 12th, 2004

May 5th, 2004


2003 Wildflower Reports:

August 27th, 2003

August 20th 2003

August 13th 2003

August 6th 2003

July 30th, 2003

July 23rd, 2003

July 9th, 2003

July 2, 2003

June 25th, 2003

June 18th 2003

June 11th 2003

June 4th 2003

May 28th, 2003

May 21st, 2003

May 14, 2003

May 7, 2003

April 30, 2003

April 23, 2003

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