Okay, so, for the past few weeks I've been watching an old water trough that's full of tadpoles.
Fun, I thought, I wonder what kind of frog, or maybe toad, these will grow into. I mean, every elementary kid knows tadpoles swim, then grow legs, lose their tails, and hop out into the world.
But the more I watch, the more questions I have.
Let's start at the beginning.
Many people are familiar with this plant, it can be found in forests, parks, yards, cities; this hearty little plant hides in it a great secret.
But first some facts about it...
It's scientific name is "Impatiens capensis" but it also goes by "touch-me not" due to its seed pods.
In the late summer it grows seed pods that, when disturbed, burst open sending seeds flying. A fun stop on a walk with little ones, and it insures more jewelweed plants in the future!
Now what you might not know...
Jewelweed has many safe and natural uses when you find yourself in the woods.
Have you stumbled through stinging nettles? Then you know how painful and uncomfortable that can be. A solution?
Break open a juicy jewelweed stem off the plant and down the center of the stem and rub the juicy center on the sting. You will find the pain soon dissipates.
It also works to soothe the itch of poison ivy and poison oak as well as insect bites.
Next time you're out, take a second look at these helpful plants and 'pop' a seed pod or two!
Yarrow is considered to be a native species, although varieties have been introduced and hybridized, found in sunny to partially sunny open areas in dry soil. Our native species consists mainly of tiny white flowers but some pale pink varieties occur in the wild.
The gentle fern-like leaves, and delicate flowers, and unique scent have made this a favorite in flower arrangements. Varieties of yarrow in bright, bold, and pastel colors can be found in domesticated gardens.
Medicinally this is an important herb, the leaves providing relief from burns and rashes when crushed and made into a poultice. Dried leaves were brewed as a tea to soothe colds, fever, and headache. A beer brewed with yarrow has been popular in Europe since the Middle Ages. The Chinese considered the yarrow plant to be good luck.
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.