Saturday, June 17

The Blue Belles


As promised, here's a photo of the other blue wildflower that's blooming right now. Yesterday I called it tall lungwort, but that's just one of it's names--the one that makes it sound most like a deadly disease. I prefer to call them languid ladies, because they look like Victorian southern belles in ball gowns, don't they? Yesterday as I tried to get this photo, they were not languid at all, but were energetically dancing in the wind. Perhaps there was a ball I was not invited to.

The tall lungwort are also known as northern bluebells or chiming bells. I like the name languid ladies best, since I grew up calling harebells by the bluebell name, and I'm not about to stop now. Harebells grow here, too, but I haven't seen any yet this year. They bloom, I think, a little later in the season.

If you like eating wild plants, you'll be happy to know that as a member of the borage family, these girls are edible. You can add the little ladies to salads, and, no, they don't taste like chicken! They taste like fish. The leaves can be steeped for a delicately fishy tasting tea, as well. At one time, the tea was thought to be useful for treating lung diseases. And now you know where the lungwort name cames from.

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