We are fortunate to live in a community where the developer had an environmental conscience and designed the place in such a way that the lakeshore remained undeveloped and that some of the woodlands were left intact.
While walking along the edge of these woodlands, Anne and I saw an unusual looking flower that, to me, reminded me of a cartoon sun designed by artists in the 1960s. To say the flower was beautiful is an understatement, it was exquisite. It is part of a vine that climbs other plants including elderberry and the tall grasses here.
Christian missionaries coming to South America in the 16th century named this plant – Passion Flower – because the anatomy of the flower looks like the crown of thorns worn by Jesus in the crucifixion.
But what is interesting about this plant is that it has a history of medicinal uses. This plant historically treated a variety of medical onditions including anxiety, insomnia, seizures and high blood pressure. Basically there is a chemical in the plant that makes you feel more relaxed. It is still an ingredient in herbal remedies today.
There are other wildflowers in these woodlands including goldenrod and members of the mint family and many of these plants also have either medicinal uses or applications in the kitchen. More will be highlighted on this site in the future.