Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Upland Garden

For 65 years - Dedicated to Protecting, Preserving and Promoting
The interests of The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

----Gloria Miller ----

Keep the Dates

Announcing a Special Celebration at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary:

This year the Friends are hosting a 2 day event to mark the bloom time of the Showy Lady's-Slipper, our Minnesota State Flower, rarely seen in modern times, and one of Eloise's favorite Garden plants.

Showy Lady's-slipperAt the Garden on Saturday, June 10th from 10-4 and on Sunday, June 11th from 12-4, we invite you to join us for :

Free Garden tours led by Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Naturalists ..
(Tour Topics and Schedule)

Special Friends membership offers with new bonus premiums.....

An Eloise Butler GIFT TABLE with Lady's-Slipper themed items, such as totes, dishtowels, chef's aprons and bibs, as well as posters and notecards designed from the original Jennifer Davis Garden painting..

Eloise Butler is expected to make an appearance..

Light refreshments for sale..

Buy raffle tickets for a deluxe custom out-fitted bike from One on One Bicycle Studio. Bike show at Utepils where drawing will be held on June 11 at 5 PM..
Bike Details and photo of equipped bike.

At Utepils Brewing on Saturday, June 3rd and Saturday June 10th from 4 to 8 PM both days, and on Sunday, June 11th from 3 to 6 we invite you to join us for :

Special Friends membership offers with new bonus premiums.....

Buy raffle tickets for a deluxe custom out-fitted bike from One on One Bicycle Studio..
Come and see the bike and talk bike talk with One on One Bicycle Studio.
Raffle drawing will be held at Utepils on June 11, 5 PM.

All funds raised will go toward the construction of Phase II of the Garden's Wetland Boardwalk. You can walk on the award-winning completed Phase I portion to see the Lady's Slippers 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. More details and additional events to be announced in coming weeks - CHECK BACK.

Garden Boardwalk

Garden Plant of the Week

Cow Parsnip

Cow Parsnip
Heracleum maximum Bartram

Cow Parsnip is a native erect perennial forb growing from 3 to 8 feet high. The stout stem is ridged, hollow and usually fuzzy. Identification is by the very broad cluster (up to a foot wide) of very small white 5-parted flowers in fairly flat-topped umbels that are atop the stout stem; leaves can be 2 feet wide. The genus name, Heracleum, named after Hercules, is fitting for this plant as it is truly the robust giant of the flowered plants that form umbels. It is indigenous to the area around the Garden. Moist soil, even roadside ditches, and sunlight are its requirements. In her study of the Minnesota Chippewa, Frances Densmore lists several native uses for this plant, the most important being in the treatment of boils. Merritt Fernald reports that white settlers generally shunned the plant due to the disagreeable odor and taste of raw green stalks and shoots. However it was used by natives and when cooked (boiled) with two waterings it becomes an agreeable and delicious vegetable. The roots, when cooked, resemble and taste like Rutabaga. See Eloise Butler's comments in the next column.


Natural History Note

Eloise Butler wrote this about Cow Parsnip: "It seems necessary to write a work in favor of what are usually called weeds, which may be defined as plants out of place, growing where we wish something else to grow. The Cow Parsnip shows fine decorative possibilities. A rampant growth of this herb gave character to a certain roadside. Barely an hour after a photograph was taken, the plants were mown down and nothing left in their place by monotonous stubble. A plea is offered for the next season: O scytheman, spare this weed! It is harmless, and does its best to make glad the waste places. It is named for the god Hercules on account of its massive bulk. Compare it with the Castor bean occupying the central post of honor in an ornamental mound of flowers. Has it not as vigorous a growth; are not the leaves as large and finely formed and the flowers as beautiful as that of the favored imported canna?" Published in the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune July 2, 1911

A Seasonal Poem

There are no bleachers here
But benches
Benches set at infinity
Like country churches
Dockets of calm
Steeped in essence
Spare and spacious
As an Amish Schoolhouse.

It’s a garden born free
The faintest drone
Of the commerce of sound

Weeds lean against weeds
A weed free society
A space not called upon
Its measure its being.

Taken from "Morning at Eloise Butler Wild Flower Garden" by
Preben Mosborg, 1997

Saving Lady's-slippers

Showy Lady's-slipper

Illustrated Article: Past rescue missions to save Showy Lady's-slippers from road construction.

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Last site update: 05/27/17. Next planned update: 06/03/17