Walking About The Post Oak Savannah: Some of My Favorite Herbs and Wildflowers
Well... I like them all, really! And they just might all end up here when it's done, but I'm starting with some that aren't as commonly known. Some of them are herbs growing in the wild, which I really have a special fondess for. I also especially like herbs with medicinal vurtues and find it very interesting to learn about them. Maybe you will find a new herb to grow by learning a bit more about some of these favorites.
Echinacea, Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea is a perennial herb that can grow as tall as four feet. It has a thick root called a rhizome and has pointed, lance shaped leaves. The deep pink to purple daisy like flowers have a raised golden/orange spiked center. It grows wild in prairies and grasslands in sun or part shade. It's good to cut the flowers back to encourage new blooms throughout the spring and summer. Echinacea makes a nice tea and is used to treat colds and flue due to its immune boosting properties. There are so many cultivars of echinacea out there nowadays, some are really pretty too! But I still love this original native wildflower the best.
Sweet Goldenrod, Solidago odorata is a 2-5 foot tall perennial herb and wildflower that grows here in open woods, and amoung the oaks and hickory trees. Sweet goldenrod is the only species of goldenrods that has licorice scented and flavored leaves. In late summer and into fall, blooms with clusters of small yellow flowers appear at the top. The leaves and dried flowers can be added to iced teas or used as a licorice/anise flavoring. All varieties of goldenrod have a long history of important wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties; and it's still used today by herbalists for a number of uses. This is definitely one of my favorites ~
Yoeme Basil is highly fragrant and very ornamental ~ two positive attributes to have in the garden! It's actually considered one of the most attractive varieties of basil out there. I like cooking with it and using in beverages, teas,and prepared vinegars. *For a recipe using Yoeme Basil look in the recipes thread.