Spikes of yellow flowers and toothed divided leaves with 5 leaflets. This is one of those herbs with a long recorded history of medicinal use, from ancient Greece through the Middle Ages in Europe, and was prescribed for ailments on this continent into the 19th century. A bit of folklore: if you hold it over someone’s head, it will induce a deep sleep until you take it away… Rose family. Native.

Agrimony (Agrimonia)

Bonus photos for A.F. Marilyn, who likes a little context with her wildflowers. This park has 6 meadows with bits of woods separating them (for the most part), and they all serve up different flora. Here is one of them:

Toward the end of the hike, there’s a little creek. It’s running low because it’s such a dry hot summer (about 95 during this walk), but here is Lucy getting all the satisfaction she can from an inch of water:

Oswego Tea

A garden plant escaped from cultivation in New England. Growing at Centennial out in the poison ivy; I shot this in Dover Center. Hummingbird favorite. Mint family.

Oswego Tea, Bee Balm, Monarda, Bergamot (Monarda didyma)

White Joe Pye Weed

Back to Centennial when the temperature was about 95. I don’t have a closeup of this plant because it’s out in the poison ivy field, but it’s about 8 feet tall, and even from a distance you can see the distinctive leaf structure. They’re wilted from the heat and drought I presume, but you can see that it’s several leaves encircling the central stalks (“whorled leaves”). The only giant plant I can find with that leaf is Joe Pye Weed, usually pink, but evidently there are white variations. Who was Joe Pye? It seems he was a colonial-era New England herbalist/doctor (Native American, in some versions) who  famously used this weed to stop an epidemic of typhus. Native. Aster family.

White Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium)


This concludes this particular amazing walk at CRP where all kinds of exciting new stuff was in bloom — catnip, water hemlock, campion, tick trefoil, button bush… Rose family. Native.

Meadowsweet (Spiraea latifolia)

Button Bush

A fascinating plant that presumably in past years I walked by blindfolded. A shrubby little tree growing with its feet in the Charles River. Has medicinal uses, but also considered toxic. Good for butterfly gardens! Coffee Family. Native.

Button Bush, Button-willow, Honey Bells (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Water Hemlock

One of North America’s most poisonous plants, contains “cicutoxin.” Many recorded deaths of people, and apparently it kills a lot of grazing livestock. Can grow to 8 feet tall. Apiaceae family. Native.

Water Hemlock, Cowbane, Poison Parsnip (Cicuta)

Sessile-leaved Tick Trefoil

Sessile-leaved means the leaves are basically growing right out of the central stalk with no leaf stems. You can see the green seed pods that grab onto passersby like ticks. Bean family. Native.

Sessile-leaved Tick Trefoil (Desmodium sessilifolium)

Pink Campion

Have seen loads of white campion and bladder campion, but this is the only little plant of this kind that I’ve noted.

Pink Campion (a hybrid of Silene dioica and S. latifolia — red and white campions)


This is apparently a variety of Snowberry, a shrub in the honeysuckle family. Will have white berries. The inside of the berries looks like sparkling snow. A winter food supply for birds, but poisonous to humans. Native to North and Central America. (Photo by A.F. Aaron.) (He was kind enough to include a bonus Dogbane Beetle, Chrysochus auratus.)

Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)

Bonus bug munching on Milkweed leaves: it’s a Red Milkweed Beetle (Tetraopes femoratus)