Blooming this week on the farm …. Pinks ( Dianthus sp.) have been a popular garden plant since at least medieval times. Check out this painting “The Unicorn in Captivity” http://blog.metmuseum.org/cloistersgardens/tag/clove-pink/ from 1505. Pinks are an attractive ornamental, culinary and medicinal plant. Click on the photo and head down under to find an excellent in-depth article on Pinks by Penny Woodward.
I found this surprise flower last week near the Lavender garden. Anthyllis vulneraria spp. also known as Woundwort most commonly has yellow flowers. We have this showy sub species growing on the farm. Like many members of the pea family it has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria contained in root nodules that fix atmospheric nitrogen into a form of nitrogen that can be used by plants.
“Arnica has been used for centuries to treat bruises, arthritis and other inflammations.”(ref Thomas J. Elpel Botany in a Day 5th Ed 2010 ) . We grow a large bed of Arnica chamissonis on the farm. The flowers are harvested and used to produce a solar infused oil which forms the foundation for many herbal products. Click on the photo to read a wonderful summary of various solar infused oils.