When will it ever end? I’m starting to think there are few truly native plants around. Today’s photo is of the mullein, a common wild plant with many medicinal uses and cool common names. But, as I seem to discover All The Time, it is not a native plant.
Does that surprise you? It sure as heck surprised me, and I’m getting tired of it. I’m starting to wonder just what this landscape around here might have looked like before all these non-native plants were released. And those non-native plants are so sneaky, too. They are very good at finding a foothold and pretending they have always been here.
Take the mullein for instance. It’s got a whole host of common names that make it sound as though it has always been around—Quaker Rouge, for one. The Pennsylvania Dutch call it Wolla or Wolla Graut (they smoke it). Native Americans used it regularly, usually for congestion, which brings me to one of its most common names—lungwort. Supposedly, one way to use the plant is to take its fresh leaves, pour boiling water over them and then inhale the infusion. I think I’ll give that one a try myself, perhaps tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Of the plant’s many common names, my personal favorite is My Lady’s Flannel. Flannels were an older name for wash cloths and refers to the soft, velvety leaves of the plant.
So I think I’m going to make a mid-year resolution. I hereby resolve that I’m no longer going to post photos of non-native wild plants anymore. Gee, I hope that doesn’t mean I’ll have to give up posting photos. Stay tuned.