Friday, May 14, 2010

I'm Very Mousy This Week









Congradulations Dawn Treader and Squirrel Queen! Somehow, I knew that you would both identify my yellow flower. Squirrel Queen recently identified two wildflowers for me, and Dawn Treader is a wealth of information on the subject. This frilly yellow flower is Mouse-Eared Hawkweed, and my husband is it's sworn enemy. This is because it's a very invasive weed that spreads on runner-like roots. But this little flower also relaxes the muscles of the bronchial tubes, reduces mucous, and stimulates the cough reflex. This makes it wonderful for asthma, bronchitis, and many other respritory problems. Ah, but now to that wonderfully strange name! There is hair underneath the leaves, see it in my leaf picture? Mine is sparse, but some look quite furry, resembling a mouse ear. Now to the hawk part. There is a myth that hawks tear the plant open and wet their eyes with it's juice to improve their vision, so they can see their prey better. This plant is very common almost everywhere and thrives in bad soil, so next time you think you see dandelions, take a closer look. But watch out for swooping hawks!

"Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom and spread his wings toward the south? Does the eagle soar at your command and build his nest on high? He dwells on a cliff and stays there at night; a rocky crag is his stronghold. From there he seeks out his food; his eyes detect it from afar." Job 39:26,29

10 comments:

DawnTreader said...

Wow, I can't believe I was right, even down to the mouse-ear. I'm really only a beginner at using my Flora (book) to identify flowers. (It all came with my increased use of the camera, and blogging!) Thanks for the explanations of the name, I didn't find those yesterday.

Stacey Dawn said...

Such smart people!

Kilauea Poetry said...

Hi there Ginny..well we have our share of the invasive but not always topped with sunny yellow! At least this
medicinal has redeeming qualities! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Stephanie V said...

I feel really dumb. I have a cousin of this plant in my garden - Leopard-leaved Hawkweed. Your husband won't believe that I actually planted it. But it has such beautiful spotted leaves and cheerful yellow flowers.

Sandra said...

amazing amount of info here. never heard of the name or story, but have seen them and knew they were a yellow weed. good job SQ and DT

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Isn't it interesting how so many wildflowers have some medicinal purposes??? I don't know one wildflower from another --except for those dreaded Dandelions...

Interesting post. Thanks, Ginny.
Hugs,
Betsy

Glenda said...

I always learn something new here, Ginny! It's so interesting that this tiny, but beautiful, little plant has medicinal value.

Have a great Sunday!

George said...

Thanks for the education. I still think it's a pretty plant!

Bird Girl said...

Ha - I had to laugh as I read your post because I would go to where they have this and camp out JUST to see the swooping hawks and photograph them ;-) It really is amusing how these plants get their names (I think some people had too much time to think about such things ;-) Can you really imagine a hawk needing to put a solution on their eyes to see better? Maybe they wear contacts and we don't know it - haha!

SquirrelQueen said...

I'm a little surprised too that I got this one right. Hawkweed was the only plant I could think of that looked that much like a dandelion. I had no idea it had such medicinal properties, thanks for the info Ginny.

The plant that produced the flower I posted today also has a few useful qualities.