Quote of the Week, Perhaps a Bit Longer

"The biological community is a vast and complicated system for sharing and distributing the energy of the sun among a diversity of life forms." ~Martson Bates

6/3/09

A Pleasant Surprise

Oh... the joy of seeing an unexpected treasure can bring such pleasure. Last week Dan and I camped at Chicken Creek, an old hunting camp with a creek and a beautiful meadow. The meadow is currently filled with wild flowers. The flowers in the meadow were ones that I expected to see, Wild Irises (Iris missouriensis), Slender Penstomen (Penstonmen gracilentus), Wild Geranium (Geranium caespitosum), blue-eyed Marys (Collinsia parviflora) among others. When I wandered over by the stream I got an extremely pleasant surprise... mountain bluebells (Mertensia ciliata). Mountain bluebells are in my Great Basin plant book, but I didn't think there were many of them around and I didn't think they would be in the Pine Forest range, but there they were, so pretty and delicate.

Mountain Bluebell flower

Mountain Bluebell flower

Bluebells are amazing plants. The flowers and leaves can both be eaten. Both can be eaten raw, however the leaves are covered with small hairs so they are more palatable when cooked. Since there were so few bluebells along chicken creek I decided against tasting them. When I was in Alaska in 2006 we found thousands of them and I ate a few flowers, they really are quite tasty. Medicinally, an infusion of the leaves has been used for smallpox and measles and an infusion of the whole plant has been used by women to increase milk flow after childbirth.

Mountain Bluebell leaf

Mountain Bluebell whole plant

2 comments:

danwinnemucca said...

cool ~ there definitely were tons of flowers blooming on our trip! Now we just have to get back up there :)

Renee said...

I would love to go back up :^)