Size: 24-36”x 12” Care: part shade in moist well-drained soil Native: Eastern Canada to Florida, west to New Mexico, Wisconsin native. Wildlife Value: Rich, sugary nectar important food for ruby-throated hummingbirds. Buntings and finches eat the seeds. Sole food source for columbine duskywing caterpillar.
Seeds are fragrant when crushed, used by Omaha, Ponca and Pawnee as perfume. Pawnee used the plant as a love charm by rubbing pulverized seeds in palm of hand and endeavoring to shake hand of desired person. Crushed seeds also used to cure fever and headaches. Cherokee made a tea for heart trouble. The Iroquois used the plant to cure poisoning and to detect people who were bewitched. Grown by Englishman Tradescant the Elder in 1632. He may have received it from France. Cultivated by Washington & Jefferson.