Thursday, December 20, 2007

Prairie Dock

Prairie Dock
Silphium terebinthinaceum
(SIL-phee-um) (ter-ee-bin-THIN-uh-see-um)

This is from late summer and was taken at the Bartlett Arboretum. Kris at blithe had a post asking about what names people should put on plant labels and the species name for this plant sure makes the argument for using common names. If you have time wander over to her blog she is a talented and knowledgeable gardener, one of my favorites. Speaking of blogs I sure did visit a lot of them in the last couple of days. It was a very interesting tour and thanks to all the people that returned visits to my site. I mainly went looking for some Christmas spirit and boy did I find it out in force. I saw Santa, Christmas Trees, Christmas food, family get togethers, kids, lights, religious passages, a few flowers and much more. It all helped me kick it up a notch on the spirit end of things.

This plant has a beautiful flower that is held erect over what I consider large coarse foliage; you could definitely call the foliage bold. It is a tall perennial that can be found growing wild and in gardens. The yellow color and symmetry in the flower looks like it would be nice in the back of a mixed border, the woodland garden and the edge of the woods. It is a very hardy (USDA Zone 4) and tough plant that can grow in part shade or full sun. It is not fussy as to soil or water requirements either. Prairie Dock does have some medicinal uses including a tea that has been used in the treatment of coughs, lung ailments and asthma. Resin from the stems can be used to make a gum for cleaning teeth and the mouth.

Here is a backlit Begonia leaf I saw at work the other day. I should take more opportunities to photograph backlit flowers they can be quite striking.


Anonymous said...

striking indeed! That is a fantastic shot! Right up my alley. I haven't replied to your email yet because we are tentatively going to do something else instead of a lens.

AVCr8teur said...

Wow, that is an artistic way to photograph plants. You've done such a nice job photographing the Prairie Dock. I can picture it on my off-yellow wall of my house.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Hi misti, please let me know what you decide. I would love to hear.

Do you remember those San Diego postcards you sent me? I have them sitting on my office windowsill and they are the last thing I see before looking out to the frozen, windy, icy wasteland that my backyard is now. So thanks I can dream about being out in San Diego whilst I look at them.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I like all the Silphiums. They're so big & bold. I can't decide if Prairie Dock is my favorite, but it is my 9 yr. old son's favorite prairie plant.

DigitalShutterMania said...


This post is very fantastic. I am really stunned with your flower/leaf photos.