I live alone with my preschooler in an off-grid cabin on a remote island off the coast of British Columbia.
"Don't wish me happiness I don't expect to be happy all the time....It's gotten beyond that somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. I will need them all." Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
The sign part two
Let's just say that if you haven't read The sign part one than you are reading the ending first. The plant growing outside my gate along my fence and the back lane is petasites palmatus. It's common name is butterbur, palmate coltsfoot and their are probably other's. It is a member of the composite family - that's the same family that aster's and sunflower's belong to. At lower altitudes on the BC coast it is a native woodland plant. Native Americans used the herb specifically to treat respiratory issues. There was a study done in Japan in the 1970's that concluded the plant should not be used for internal purposes. However there is some dispute with the study. One being that only the blossoms were tested the other parts - the leaves and roots were not. My next door neighbour, Mrs. B told me years ago that she used it regularly from time to time. At that time she was gathering her plant material from the plants along my fence. I don't have respiratory issues so I am not familiar with using it. I think the plant is very decorative and that it would look good at the back of a wildflower bed as it grows about 3 or 4 feet high. The friendly hand shaped leaves are attached to a sturdy stalk that doesn't fall over. As the thick stem emerges from the earth it begins to flower. It's amazing really. How is it that it blooms first before the leaves appear? This plant has undampened enthusiasm for spring and since it is such an early bloomer it provides for the bees while everything else needs a caffeine dose of spring sunshine to wake up. Maybe one day I will get around to that wildflower bed. And I really need to put it right outside my gate.