Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver’s Root) Snapdragon family

Culver’s Root is a distinguished member of the Snapdragon family and is found abundantly in the Park. The flowers are beautiful but don’t last long enough to make them of interest except to the bees and butterflies (and me).

You will be happy to know that Culver’s Root is available on Amazon in tincture (liquid) form for about $9 a fluid ounce! Wow! Maybe a new career for someone here? Amazon doesn’t tell us what it is used for, but The Herbal Resource Center tells us that Native Americans used it as a “blood purifier.” In those days, blood purifier seems to be anything that could “purge” the body. Hmm? Purge – Think vomit and deficate. Sorry! Very useful but gross. Photos by Stewart Nelson, 2017, © some rights reserved.

To fully appreciate the delicate intricacy of Culver’s Root, let me take you a bit closer. I can’t pass up a teaching moment so please notice the two brown lollipop-like structures (stamens) emerging from each tiny flower. These spikes can grow up to 8 inches long. The flowers themselves stand almost as tall as I am. (Hint – just under 6 feet)

Photos by Stewart Nelson, 2017, © some rights reserved.

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