Summer 2010. Norwood Ontario Canada.
Fuji Finepix S200 EXR Digital.
Black-eyed Susan- Rudbeckia hirta
Plant: Rough-hairy biennail or short-lived perennial 30-100 cm tall
Leaves: 5-17 cm long, ovate to narrowly oblong, with winged stalk; upper leave stalkless.
Flowerheads: Orange-yellow, 5-10 cm across, with 10-20 golden yellow strap-like florets around a dark purple to brown, 1,2-2 cm wide hemisphere or cone of tubular forets; 1 to few flowerheads.
Blooms: June to Sept.
Fruits: Seed-like achenes
Habitat: Open often disturbed sights
Distribution: Central North America; naturalized from Newfounland to B.C. to Mexico.
Ontario Wilflowers- 101 Wayside Flowers.- Linda Kershaw
Norwood Ontario Canada
Common Viper’s Bugloss- Echium vulgare.
Plant: Rough-hairy biennial 30-80 cm tall from taproot.
Leaves: Oblong to lance-shaped, 6-25 cm long, smaller upwards.
Flowers: Bright blue to violet purple (buds pink), asymmetrically funnel-shaped, 1.2-2cm across, with 4 reddish stamens and a slender style projecting from the mouth; many flowers in elongating clusters with uncoiling, 1-sided branches.
Blooms ; June to august.
Fruits: 4 small,rough nutlets.
Habitat: Disturbed sites.
Distribution: Europe and north Africa; naturalized from Newfoundland to B.C., Alaska and Texas.
Pick freely but with caution due to the small prickles all over this plant.
Common Viper’s Bugloss- was intoduced to North America as a garden flower in the 1600’s, by the mid-1800’s, agriculturalists were condeming it as a vile forgein weed. Altough it is said to be edible, it would make a rather bristly dish. In fact, some peole get a rash by simple touching this hairy plant.
I have been known to curse this beauty myself when weeding it out of my garden…picking out tiny fibers of it from my fingers long after I was done. lol!
The beautiful flowers on the other hand, make a pretty garnish when floated in punch or tossed in salads. At one time, common viper’s bugloss was said to have the power to drive away sadness, especially when mixed with wine. It was also belived to counteract viper venom, and therefore cure all snake bites. Unfortunatley, it was most effective when admimisterd before the bite, which required a certain amount of foresight.