Monday, August 01, 2005

Wildflower lore II

Mrs. William Starr Dana, author of How to Know the Wild Flowers: A Guide to the Names, Haunts, and Habits of Our Common Wild Flowers (1893), quotes Thoreau in her discussion of the Pitcher-Plant/Sidesaddle-Flower/Huntsman's-Cup:
In an entry in his journal one September, Thoreau writes of a certain swamp:

"Though the moss is comparatively dry, I cannot walk without upsetting numerous pitchers, which are now full of water, and so wetting my feet;" and continues: "I once accidentally sat down on such a bed of pitcher plants, and found an uncommonly wet seat where I expected a dry one. These leaves are of various colors, from a plain green to a rich striped yellow or deep red. Old Josselyn called this 'hollow-leaved lavender.' I think we have no other plant so singular and remarkable." And November 15th he finds "the water frozen solid in the leaves of the pitcher plant."


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