Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wordless Wednesday 137: Goat's-Rue

A not-so-wordless post this week. Last night (Tuesday, June 24), I took a walk up to Grady Tract of the UW Arboretum, my destination being the Grady Knoll. Everything is a couple weeks behind "normal" this year, due to the long, hard winter followed by a cold, wet spring. Goat's Rue has been coming up for weeks but hadn't yet flowered, and I wanted to see if it finally had, what with all the rain and warm, humid temps we've had recently. I was in for a pleasant surprise. Not only has it started to flower, but there is a vast abundance of it this year, probably owing to the controlled burn done in early May. Here are some of the photos taken Tuesday evening.




Goat's-Rue, also known as Rabbit-Pea (hey, I don't name these!), are pretty flowers with lemon-yellow outsides, whitish insides, and "wings" that are rose, bright pink or purple in color.





Goat's-Rue is a member of the fabaceae or Pea/Bean family, and usually bloom in June and July, and sometimes into August. Look at all of it blanketing the Knoll -- it was practically covering the path in some places.







Native Americans used the roots in many medicinal teas, as well as shampoo. The roots have small quantities of rotenone, which has both cancer-fighting and cancer-causing properties. Wild turkey and quail eat the seeds.





In Wisconsin, they are most prevelent in the southwest, in oak barrens, sand prairies, old fields, and along roadsides and railroads -- wherever they can get full sun and well-drained soil. As you can see, they are quite attractive to bees.






LINKING TO:

Wordless Wednesday

Create With Joy




* Information used in this post was taken from the awesome Prairie Plants of the University-Madison Arboretum, an invaluable resource not only for visits to the Arboretum, but natural areas throughout Wisconsin.



14 comments:

Beth F said...

Lovely!!!

colleen said...

I don't think we have that here but we definitely have stuff in the sweet pea family. I'll have to look more into it. I have coneflowers in crewcuts.

Heather said...

Beth: Aren't they? Seeing so many covering the knoll was simply breathtaking. Photos don't do them justice.

Heather said...

Colleen: Small yellow coneflowers are just starting to bloom. I saw some of those on my walk last night as well. I hope the large purple ones bloom again this year, too.

Jana said...

Pretty flowers! We don't really have anything like that around here. Or if we do, I've never seen them.

Heather said...

Jana: Thank you. They may not be found in your area, depending on soil conditions.

Tammy Hershberger said...

Oh my, what a neat and unique flower! AND I got a nature lesson! :) You would NOT find me wandering a trail like that, but I'll gladly let you do it and take me along. :) I'm definitely an indoors girl. Wanted to say thanks for the sweet comment on my blog... I appreciated it!

Heather said...

Tammy: LOL, thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the virtual walk! I love wandering the trails at Grady Tract, which is only about 200 acres, 50 of it prairie. It's compact enough that you can't get lost, no matter how hard you try, and the only wildlife I usually see are wild turkeys, deer and squirrels.

I visit every week or so in decent weather, and each trip I see something different blooming. Last night's excursion was well-worth the effort. All those flowers in bloom, followed by a stunning sunset made for a perfect summer evening. ☺

Mary Hill said...

Great information and great photos!

Heather said...

Thanks, Mary!

Ann @ Such a Mama said...

Such pretty flowers! Thanks for linking up at suchamama.com!

Heather said...

Thanks, Ann, and thanks for visiting!

PlantPostings said...

Oh, it's beautiful Heather. Thanks for letting me know. I need to spend more quality time at the Arb. ;-)

Heather said...

Beth: I thought you might like that. I was hoping to attend Sunday's guided walk, but the heat and humidity got the better of me (persistent headache), so I ended up not going. Now these endless storms have prevented me returning the last two nights, and I am busy the rest of the week. Hopefully it will still be blooming next week!