Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Stalking the blooms

[click image to enlarge]


The marsh is in bloom as you can see from this mullein, a biennial. This plant doesn't produce flower stalks its first year but its stalks can reach 6 feet tall in the second year. This plant has been used for treating many ailments like leprosy and tuberculosis; made into tea it offers relief of cold symptoms.

Mullein has had a long history of usefulness: Roman ladies used these plants to die their hair blonde. Roman soldiers dipped the flower stalks in tallow to make torches. Women who were forbidden to use make-up for religious reasons rubbed the rough leaves on their cheeks, to create a beautiful red flush. People who spend time in the woods are attracted to mullein’s large, velvety leaves when they run out of toilet paper, again creating a beautiful red flush on their cheeks. Who knew? Who wanted to know?

4 comments:

b.c. said...

wow, nice knowing :)

brattcat said...

I wouldn't need the herb to put a red flush on my cheeks if I spotted the red flush on someone's other cheeks.

Jacob said...

I'm sure we have these growing in the Florida Greenway, but I never knew what they were. Thanks!

Love the photos!

Anonymous said...

it looks very nice.i want to give the yellower flower to my girl friend.

john

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