Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Upland Garden

Now in our 66th year - Dedicated to Protecting, Preserving and Promoting
The interests of The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

Garden Plant of the Week

White Vervain

White Vervain
Verbena urticifolia L.

The White Vervain is one of four Verbena species native to Minnesota and one of three found in the Garden. Unlike the other two which have a more stately inflorescence, the White Vervain has a wildly spreading branched panicle of very small white flowers, only a few of which are open at any one time on each panicle branch in late Summer. It grows in moist thickets, wood edges and disturbed areas, a different habitat from the other two in the Garden - the Swamp Vervain, V. hastata, prefers moist sunny areas and the Hoary Vervain, V. stricta, prefers sunny dry upland areas. An alternate name for this species is “Nettle-leaved Vervain” as the lance-like leaves resemble those of nettles of the genus Urtica.


Natural History Note

"Every July I watch eagerly a certain country graveyard that I pass in driving to and from my farm. It is time for a prairie birthday, and in one corner of this graveyard lives a surviving celebrant of that once important event. It is extraordinary only in being triangular instead of square, and in harboring, within the sharp angle of its fence, a pin-point remnant of the native prairie on which the graveyard was established in the 1840’s. Unreachable by scythe or mower, this yard-square relic of original Wisconsin gives birth, each July, to a man-high stalk of compass plant or cutleaf Silphium, spangled with saucer sized yellow blooms resembling sunflowers. It is the sole remnant of this plant along this highway, and perhaps the sole remnant in the western half of our county. What a thousand acres of Silphiums looked like when they tickled the bellies of the buffalo is a question never again to be answered, and perhaps not even asked."
Aldo Leopold from A Sand County Almanac.

A Seasonal Poem

I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;

Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.

The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.

And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.

"A Minor Bird" by
Robert Frost (1874 - 1963)

Phase Two of the Garden Boardwalk

The Friends need your help! Phase One of the Garden's Boardwalk was dedicated in 2015 and has won three landscape architecture awards. Phase One only covered a portion of the wetland area that needs a firm boardwalk surface.

Your donation can help us continue the boardwalk further into the wetland.

All funds The Friends raise will go toward the construction of Phase Two of the Garden's Wetland Boardwalk. You can walk on the award-winning completed Phase I portion to see wetland plants and visualize where Phase II will complete this beautiful and functional walkway over the entire Wetland.

Please consider making a donation to this critical Garden project. Details on the boardwalk, and how to donate at this link.

Garden Boardwalk