Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

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


Current Issue of The Fringed Gentian™
Spring 2018

Download pdf of printed copy:
Hi resolution 7 mb (best for printing).
Lo resolution - 1.3 mb.


Web file (HTML): - Phone, tablet, and desktop friendly.

Newsletter archive - all back issues.

The Srummer 2018 issue will be published in July.

Photo Identification Book of Garden Plants

graphic Spiral bound booklet, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches, 142 pages, thumbnail photos of 437 species of flowering forbs, small shrubs and ferns of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. All plants are native or introduced to Minnesota. Additional 578 images and notes to aid in identification. Photos are approximately 1.5 inches by 2 inches.

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. $19.95 plus $3 shipping.

More Details and Order Information

cedar creek aerial viewThe Garden and Cedar Creek

Former Curator Martha Crone sourced plants for the Garden, built a cabin there, and eventually sold the land to the University for inclusion in the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. The Story.

Garden Boardwalk

boardwalk bridgeThe Friends and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board have raised funds to complete the boardwalk through the marsh. Installation should take place in mid to late Summer. Boardwalk Details.

Garden Plant of the Week

Sweet Betsy

Sweet Betsy
Trillium cuneatum Raf.


Cultural Note

Eloise Butler wrote: Trilliums are closely related to the lilies. All have a thick underground stem, bearing a single aerial stem, which supports a whorl of three large leaves varying somewhat in size and shape in different species. Above the leaf whorl arises the lovely flower, with or without a stalk; erect or drooping; white, red, purple or pink striped, according to the species. The flower is also on the plan of three green sepals, three colored petals, six stamens in two rows and one pistil made up of three united carpels. The name trillium probably comes from the three leaves. The plant has a number of local names - wake robin, bath flower and “way down east.” May 21, 1911.

A Seasonal Poem

It took eleven thousand years
to make this place as it appears.
When the glacier last withdrew,
the land it left was brown and blue,
a lifeless, gravelly moraine. . . .
and I have turned it all to green.

The seeds that came by floating, flying,
I coaxed to root her and keep trying.
Leaf and husk and stalk would perish
and give me crumbs of loam to cherish.
Shrub and moss were my recruits;
my hillsides twine their reaching roots.
I have protected all I could
from winter wind and summer flood.

Taken from "A Letter of Thanks from the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden " by
Betty Bridgman (1916 - 1999)

April Weather Woes

Snow and ice in April can frequently keep the Garden from opening on April 1st. Once open, later weather can make conditions less than desirable. Read here a chronology of April events from 1907 to the present. Article.

The photo below was taken on April 5, 2018, with the Garden still closed.

Garden gate in snow