Saturday, May 30, 2009

Native Flower - Fringe Cups (Tellima grandiflora)

(Picture taken 5/25/09 at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge)


A couple months while on a walk with one of my children, I commented (as I had done before) about how nice it would be to have someone walk with us who could tell us all the names of the flowers and plants. Then it dawned upon me -- we could look up the names ourselves (why didn't I think of that before?)! And so we started doing that, and searching for new flowers, and we get excited when we see a new flower we haven't seen before. It's really fun!

So sometimes I will be blogging about new flowers we have seen and identified, and tonight I am writing about the flowers known as "fringe cups." We saw fringe cups at two places we visited this past month. We saw them both at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge and at South Hill Community Park on the Nathan Chapman Memorial Trail. They are a type of perennial flower that is native to western North America.

The Rainy Side Gardener's website describes their flowering attributes as "Racemes of fragrant, greenish-white fringe cups that fade to pink, sometimes red, as the flower ages." It describes it's leaf attributes as "Heart-shaped, scalloped, hairy, green leaves."

A fun little tidbit of information is that woodland elves are said to eat fringe cups to help improve their vision. I don't know the primary source of this information, though I wish I did. It doesn't work for humans, though, so don't try it out yourself. :)

Close-up of petals (Picture taken 5/25/09 at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge):


Close-up of Leaves (Picture taken 5/22/09 on the Nathan Chapman Memorial Trail at South Hill Community Park):


Here are some more pictures of fringe cups (tellima grandiflora):

(Picture taken 5/25/09 at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge)


(Picture taken 5/25/09 at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge)


(Picture taken 5/22/09 on the Nathan Chapman Memorial Trail at South Hill Community Park)


(Picture taken 5/22/09 on the Nathan Chapman Memorial Trail at South Hill Community Park)

3 comments:

  1. gorgeous! what a great idea to learn/teach as you go; it's true what my husband's father always told him & his siblings--"if someone else can do it then we can learn to do it".

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  2. Beautiful! We have fring cups that grown just behind our house on the shady hillside next to our marsh. I also home educate our family as we go...and also from the NW! I have been searching and searching the net to find out if fringe cups are edible? I assume they are because of the 'elves' legend and also the bit of info on how Native Americans used the leaves to make a tea to ward off bad dreams and help appetite. But I can't find anything that says it is truly safe to eat....would love to know! Have you come across any info stating it's edibility? Thanks for the beautiful post!

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  3. That's neat that you also homeschool and are from the NW! :) I've looked and tried to find more info, but I haven't been successful (yet!). One site I looked at said they aren't edible, but it didn't give any details. If I learn anything more I'll let you know! :)

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