Friday, June 4, 2010

Wild Columbine(or "Bengay-of-the-Woods")

Another favorite of mine, these little star-balls of fire are blooming now. The native americans used to chew up the roots and/or leaves to rub on achy joints or keep sore weary runners running into tomorrow. I just like how it shoots up through everything else and dangles there in mid-air.

I've been transplanting some into my garden. Wild Columbine grows alongside wild strawberry, dove foot geranium, nettles, etc, so here it is peeping out at the top of the photo, among strawberries, dead nettle, a mum, along with native veronica and dovefoot geranium in a pear tree guild,which also includes bronze fennel, forget-me-not, violet, and a few bush beans(once this weather warms up!).

Technically the columbine is a full to partial shade dweller, but I've observed that as long as its feet are well shaded by at least 12" of vegetation, it can take the full sun. Perfect example of pushing a plant's comfort zone by having a lot of friends! I transplant them in the early spring when things are still very wet and will be for at least another month--they DON'T like a thirsty new home!

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