This post focuses on plants found on our lake’s shoreline in late summer
Blue Lobela (Lobelia siphilitica)
This native plant, also known as Blue Cardinal Flower, can be adapted to moist areas of gardens. Its species name, siphilitica, refers to its use by the Iroquois in treating venereal disease — a use that European studies failed to verify.
Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata)
It looks innocuous, but Water Hemlock is a deadly poisonous plant to people and animals. It is considered the most toxic native plant in North America. Cicutoxin, its main poison, is concentrated in the plant’s roots. Mistaking the root for similar edible parsnips can have fatal results.
An alternate name, cowbane, reflects its toxic effects on cattle.
Common Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
Boneset is a native plant found throughout Minnesota and the eastern United States. In the picture to the left above, its stem appears to be growing through two fused opposing leaves. This characteristic suggested to ancient herbalists that boneset could be useful in mending broken bones. This claim is very questionable, but boneset has been used through the years as a remedy for colds, fevers, and other ailments
Wild Mint (Mentha arvensis)
This plant, also called Field Mint or Corn Mint, is the only true mint native to North America. It is edible, a few leaves provides a minty taste to salads. It is also commonly used in herbal teas.
The most commonly cited medical benefit of Wild Mint is to relieve upset stomach.
Mint plants are notoriously invasive in gardens. Wild Mint, or any mint, is best planted in containers to avoid having it take over gardens.
American Water Horehound (Lycopus americanus)
This plant is also in the Mint family (Lamiaceae), however it does not have the characteristic minty scent. A commonly-used alternate name for it is American Bugleweed.
Common Goldentop (Euthamia graminifolia)
Also known as Grass-leaved Goldenrod, this plant prefers wetter environments than other Goldenrod species.
Common Goldentop is a good choice for Wildlife Gardens or Meadows.
Wildflowers described in previous posts have predominantly been from the roadsides. Some other plants from the water’s edge have appeared previously, including Ontario Lobelia, Jewelweed, and Swamp Milkweed.