The Lovely Echinacea

What a fun little flower these are! Commonly known as a coneflower, the scientific name is derived from the Greek word for hedgehog, echinos, due to its prickly center. How fun is that?

Part of the daisy family it is also considered a type of herb and is used to treat common colds, earaches and is thought to boost the immune system. According to one ethnobotanist the cone flower, native to North America, is probably used as a remedy for more ailments than any other plant. Native Americans (specifically the Cheyenne, Choctaw and Kiowa) used it as a natural cough medicine and to treat sore throats by chewing on the root. The Dakotas would scrap the root and use it to treat snake bites while the Delaware tribe would actually use it to treat venereal disease. Skin conditions, infected wounds, and even toothaches were treated with parts of the echinacea plant.

Today it is most often used as a tea or taken in some other form of herbal supplement. With the advancement of modern medicine it has fallen out of favor with much of the medical community but has enjoyed a bit of a comeback within the last decade with the more natural remedy crowd.

It is a beautiful and dramatic addition to your garden and a big bonus is that bees and butterflies love them too. They also make for a lovely cut flower. They photograph beautifully and tomorrow I will share some “portraits” I enjoyed taking of mine 🙂


Hosta Randomness

Did you know that hosta plants actually flower?

I did not so I was super surprised, and more than a little happy, when the lone hosta plant I bought on impulse started showing signs of flowering a few weeks ago.

Over the last couple of years I have been enjoying some moderate success with my house plants (the ratio of the still alive to oops, I don’t know how I killed that is in my favor) and combined with the results of our flower and veggie beds this year and last have me feeling like a real gardener of sorts.

To be honest, I have no idea what I am doing and I am more than slightly convinced that there is some kind of magic at work with anything horticultural. Basically I am winging it and hoping for the best. And loving every minute of it.

All that to say, I had no idea I would get to enjoy such delicate and sweet smelling blossoms on my potted hosta so naturally I turned to the internets to help fill in my knowledge gap.

Turns out there are over 3000 varieties of hostas spread throughout about 45 different species of the plant.

They’re native to China, Japan, and Korea and came to the United States by way of Europe in the 1800s.

Something else that really surprised me is that they are edible and are actually grown as a vegetable in some Asian cultures. A quick pinterest search yielded some recipes that actually look like they could be tasty. I don’t think I will be in a hurry to add them to my menu anytime soon as I am still trying to make sure it stays in the still alive category but I am definitely interested in the idea of cooking with them. Would you try it?

Because I am me and it’s what I do, you know I had to spend some time taking pictures of the elegant flowers.

The blooms on my plant are a soft white with a hint of pink to them and they also have a pleasant and subtle fragrance.

All in all, they are quickly becoming one of my garden favorites this year.

You can go here to see a few more pictures I took of them that I am sharing on the photo blog. I was really pleased with the dreamy abstract ones I got using the reverse lens method.

Until next time, hosta la vista!

(See what I did there? Man, do I crack myself up!)