Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

upland garden

Now in our 67th year - Dedicated to Protecting, Preserving and Promoting
The interests of The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary


Current Issue of The Fringed Gentian™
Summer 2018

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Newsletter archive - all back issues.

The Fall 2018 issue will be published in October.

Photo Identification Book of Garden Plants

graphic Spiral bound booklet, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches, 142 pages, thumbnail photos of 437 species of flowering forbs, small shrubs and ferns of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. All plants are native or introduced to Minnesota. Additional 578 images and notes to aid in identification. Photos are approximately 1.5 inches by 2 inches.

In addition, 114 grasses, sedges, large shrubs and trees of the Garden are line listed without photos. Full index. Information about the Garden, the curators and about The Friends. $19.95 plus $3 shipping.

More Details and Order Information

partridge peaFive unusual late summer plants.

Here are five plants usually not found in nurseries but can be seen at Eloise Butler. Some are aggressive and should be watched, but all have beautiful flowers. Eloise loved them all. The Full Story.

Which Oak is that?

Need help identifing the various Oak tree species in our area. Try our "oak leaf key"

Bur Oak leaf

Garden Plant of the Week

Selected from the many species in, or historical to, the Garden.

Gray Goldenrod

Gray Goldenrod
Solidago nemoralis Aiton

Click link on name for information and photos of this plant.


Natural History Note

“In the goldenrod’s gleaming glory is the certainty of greater glory in birch and maple and aspen. Scattered bursts of flame in the sumac light fires that will spread to woodbine and swamp maple and dogwood and chokecherry. Asters frost the roadsides, reminder of frosty mornings ahead, and milkweed floss and thistledown are glinting reminders of chill, misty dawns to come. Fireflies are gone, but the stars begin to glitter in the deepening dusk. The cicada is stilled, but cricket and katydid are loud in the lengthening night. Bees are busy with a final honey-hoard. The chipmunk lines his winter bedroom and stocks his granary. Squirrels harvest and hide the nut tree’s bounty.” Hal Borland, 1987.

A Seasonal Poem

The quiet August noon has come,
A slumberous silence fills the sky,
The fields are still, the woods are dumb,
In glassy sleep the waters lie.

And mark yon soft white clouds that rest
Above our vale, a moveless throng;
The cattle on the mountain's breast
Enjoy the grateful shadow long.

Oh, how unlike those merry hours
In early June when Earth laughs out,
When the fresh winds make love to flowers,
And woodlands sing and waters shout.

Taken from "A Summer Ramble" by
Wm. Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)

Those Valuable Birches

The Garden once hosted five species of Birch trees. The wetland was once filled with White Birch as the historical photo shows. Learn more how birch canoes were made, Oil of Wintergreen and a Maple Syrup equivalent.

In this article we discuss the very interesting uses of these trees. Birch Beer anyone?

Birch in the wetland