Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Upland Garden

Now in our 66th year - Dedicated to Protecting, Preserving and Promoting
The interests of The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

Garden Plant of the Week

Prairie Dock

Prairie Dock
Silphium terebinthinaceum Jacq.

Prairie Dock is the tallest flowering forb in the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, reaching to 10 feet at times on the hillsides of the upland section of the Garden. The stems are naked with the large arrow-shaped leaves only at the base. It flowers with the goldenrods and asters in late Summer into Autumn. It is not native to Minnesota, but to states further east - east of the Mississippi. It was first planted by Eloise Butler in 1923 and then by Martha Crone in 1939 and in the 1950s when she developed the upland part of the Garden. Like other species of the Silphiums the plant contain a resinous juice. The species name, terebinthinaceum, means "like turpentine" which may refer to the odor of the resinous juice. In another member of the species, Rosinweed, S. laciniatum, this resin has been used to make a crude chewing gum. It is not known if the same can be made here.


Nature Note

Move to fall. The scales have tipped and the days have more of early fall than early summer in them. Mornings dawn with heavy mists that burn away in time. The annual overturn in sound has already taken place. The chorus of the singling birds has diminished, the music of the singing insects has swelled. Tree swallows, moving south, swirl above the meadows. The tide of the goldenrod is rising. In the wood the beaked hazelnuts are large and plump within their snouted envelopes of green. All across the fields seeds seem more numerous than flowers. That, perhaps, marks the time of the seasonal shift in balance, the time when the number of plants that have produced their seeds outnumbers those that are still in bloom.
Edwin Way Teale, from A Walk Through the Year.

A Seasonal Poem

O Earth, that is parched and white in the rage of a mad desire,
All in the sun-tide of Summer,
darkened in deathly pain,
Hot to the centre and core, and mad in a living fire,
Now, there is rain,–there is rain!

Rain thro’ the quivering air; rain on the misty hill;
Rain on the soul-touched seed, that long in the
earth has lain;
Under the blaze of the sun, it has holden its secret
And now, out of Heaven, is rain!

Taken from "The Fingers of Rain" by
Dora Read Goodale (1866 - 1915)

Phase Two of the Garden Boardwalk

The Friends need your help! Phase One of the Garden's Boardwalk was dedicated in 2015 and has won three landscape architecture awards. Phase One only covered a portion of the wetland area that needs a firm boardwalk surface.

Your donation can help us continue the boardwalk further into the wetland.

All funds The Friends raise will go toward the construction of Phase Two of the Garden's Wetland Boardwalk. You can walk on the award-winning completed Phase I portion to see wetland plants and visualize where Phase II will complete this beautiful and functional walkway over the entire Wetland.

Please consider making a donation to this critical Garden project. Details on the boardwalk, and how to donate at this link.

Garden Boardwalk

Photo Identification Book of Garden Plants

book cover Spiral bound booklet, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches, 75 pages, thumbnail photos of 403 species of flowering forbs, small shrubs and ferns of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. All plants are native or introduced to Minnesota. Additional 236 images and notes to aid in identification. Photos are 1.25 inches square.

In addition, 114 grasses, sedges, large shrubs and trees of the Garden are line listed without photos. Full index. Information about the Garden, the curators and about The Friends. $20 plus shipping.

Order Here

Garden theme sale items sponsored by The Friends
Eloise Butler Book
Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden Plant Photo ID Guide
Note Cards

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Last site update: 08/19/17. Next planned update: 08/26/17