Wildflower Stories: Part 1

ATwildflowers_agrimonyThe wildflowers along the Appalachian Trail impressed the heck out of me during a recent hike. My inner biologist began counting the number of plant families represented. The artist inside distracted my count with constant “ooo, pretty!” comments. This drawing highlights just a few of the flowers from the trip – and launches the first of a host of posts.

 AGRIMONY (Agrimonia sp.)

Once upon a time, Agrimony was a go-to herb for the local physician. It was reported* to cure or alleviate eye and liver problems, intestinal troubles, back pain, gunshot wounds, snakebites, sore feet, pimples and coughs. The most horrifying treatment combined Agrimony with “a mixture of pounded frogs and human blood, as a remedy for all internal haemorrhages.”1

We’ve come a long way (thank you, Scientific Method). While Agrimony may contain compounds beneficial to our health, rigorous controlled studies are lacking or do not show the benefits claimed above. Still, Agrimony is sold today as an herbal remedy.agrimony_flower_close

A lack of data doesn’t mean Agrimony won’t help ailments – it doesn’t mean it will either. As a member of the Rose family (the flowers’ many stamens clued me into its familial origins), Agrimony shares traits with apples, lemons, nectarines, almonds, and of course roses. So it’s in good company with a lot of wonderful foods that offer beneficial properties and nutrients.

*This blog does not endorse the use of Agrimony to treat any of these ailments.

1. A Modern Herbal by M. Grieve. 1971. Dover Publications, New York.

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10 thoughts on “Wildflower Stories: Part 1

  1. Beautiful! I like that you only coloured the featured flower. Very cool. I wonder if the pounded frog was supposed to be raw or cooked… I probably won’t try it either way :}.

    • Haha. Not sure!
      And I’ll have a few more posts with different flowers highlighted – then a completed piece at the end .
      Well, that’s the plan anyway. 🙂

  2. Losing our Plants – RedNewtGallery

  3. Stumbled upon your keen article on teaching your biology students to draw…which led to your blog, the beautiful wildflower illustration, and your thoughtful observations. I love how you’ve put together the art and science of nature. The wonder and the knowledge. You’ve inspired this fledgling watercolor nature journalist! Thank you for your lovely work.

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