Saturday, October 10, 2015

Seedy Saturdays- Coral Bells and Wild Bergamot

Happy Saturday Everyone!  This week you will receive information on two types of plants.

This particular flower is native to North America, spanning from the Arctic down to Mexico, with approximately 37 varieties.  These bloom in many colours, as an ornamental plant in summer.  The Native Americans used coral bells in some medicines, as a remedy for inflammation, a pain reliever and also to stop bleeding.  Though these flowers are enjoyed by us now, in the Victorian era they were not an eye-grabber to the masses. 

This species scientific name is Heuchera, named after a German doctor from the 1700s, Johann Heinrich von Heucher.  Johann was a friend to the father of taxonomy, Linnaeus, who was known to honour his friends by naming plants after them.  This is what happened with Johann in 1738.   

This plant is actually a wildflower that is part of the mint family and is native to North America.  In the summer time, it blooms with white flowers and is used often as a honey plant, a garden ornamental or for medicine.  A number of Native American groups used it for its last purpose, as a medicinal plant.  They used it in a tea to treat colds, and even families today still use it for the same purpose, adding a little honey to sweeten its strong taste.  Other groups used =wild bergamot to treat skin infections and small wounds, as well as mouth and throat infections caused by gingivitis.  Wild bergamot is used in flower arrangements and is used for nectar by bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.    

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