Life Finds a Way


Columbia Falls, United States

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Wall Art

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9/22/11 – Featured in the WILDFLOWERS OF NORTH AMERICA Group.
11/2/11 – Featured in the HERBAL COLLECTION Group.
11/18/11 – Featured in the WILDFLOWERS OF THE WORLD Group.

In 2005 the Robert Fire decimated over 100,000 acres of land in Glacier National Park. It jumped the river into the park near Great Northern Flats, where this photo was taken. These flowers are growing along the bank of the Northfork of the Flathead River, along with several other varieties of wildflowers, a sign that life has started the cycle of regeneration. The burned trees in the background were left standing, but the trees near the raft launch were cut down to protect the rafters who flock here in the summer.

These beautiful flowers belong to Ragwort (Senecioneae Jacobaea), which is a noxious weed and highly poisonous. Because so many cattle have been killed by Ragwort, the state of Montana is trying to eradicate it. In spite of being poisonous, ragwort is used by herbalists. I found the following information at natural medicine herbs.

The plant is astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue and expectorant. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and is dried for later use. Use with caution, when applied internally it can cause severe damage to the liver. See also the notes above on toxicity. An emollient poultice is made from the leaves. The juice of the plant is cooling and astringent, it is used as a wash in burns, sores, cancerous ulcers and eye inflammations. It makes a good gargle for ulcerated mouths and throats and is also said to take away the pain of a bee sting. Caution is advised here since the plant is poisonous and some people develop a rash from merely touching this plant. A decoction of the root is said to be good for treating internal bruises and wounds. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of dysmenorrhoea and other female complaints, internal haemorrhages and other internal disorders.

Photo taken across the river from the western edge of Glacier National Park, Montana (USA), August 13, 2011, with a Kodak EasyShare Z712 IS camera.

Artwork Comments

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