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Monday, October 17, 2011

They're everywhere!

The asters have certainly been putting on a grand show this Fall. Between the horse pasture fence and the driveway the Brown-eyed Susans and the Calico Asters have dazzled us with their natural beauty.

I found it interesting that Brown-eyed Susans are a member of the Aster family, but Black-eyed Susans are members of the Sunflower family. Of course, there are obvious differences in the two flowers...differences that are traits of the families they belong to. For example, Brown-eyed Susans bloom in late summer and early Fall like most wild Asters do. They also grow up to five feet high and have multi branched stalks with lots of flowers. Aren't they gorgeous? I took the following photo from the truck, so you can imagine how tall they've been this year!

Black-eyed Susans bloom during the summer and grow much closer to the ground, with one flower per stalk, just like their cousins the Sunflowers.

I didn't realize there were some medicinal uses for Brown-eyed Susans until I did a little research. Native American tribes used a poultice of the plant for snake bites, a tea to treat colds and worm in children and a juice made from the roots to treat earaches.

The Calico Aster flower was used as a smudge (smoke) to cure crazy people! Good stuff to know in case I ever get bitten by a snake, have an earache or go bonkers!

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