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Veronicastrum virginianum, Culver’s root Z 4-9
Tall, graceful ivory spires
Tall, graceful ivory spires bloom from mid to late summer
Size: 4' x 18"
Care: full sun to part shade in moist to moist well-drained soil
Native: From Canada to Texas incl. Wisconsin native
Wildlife Value: attracts butterflies
Used by American Indians as a laxative and to induce vomiting and clean blood. Cherokee cured typhus and inactive livers with Culver’s root. Remember Culver’s Little Liver pills? Seneca Indians used the root in their ceremonies. 1st collected by Rev. John Banister who moved to colonial Virginia in 1678. A gunman mistakenly shot and killed him while he collected plants. Colonial Puritan Cotton Mather unsuccessfully attempted to use this plant to cure his daughter’s tuberculosis in 1716.
Zizia aurea Golden alexanders Z 4-9
In spring, golden umbels
Tiny chartreuse-golden flowers, grouped in umbels, spring. Good cut flower.
Size: 30"x 24"
Care: full sun in moist to moist well-drained soil
Native: from New Brunswick south to Florida - west to Texas, Wisconsin native
Wildlife Value: Primary host for the Missouri Woodland Swallowtail butterfly.
Meskwaki used the root to reduce fevers and the flower stalks to ease headaches. Collected by late 1700’s. Good cut flower.