Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

upland garden

Now in our 67th year - Dedicated to Protecting, Preserving and Promoting
The interests of The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary


Current Issue of The Fringed Gentian™
Summer 2018

Download pdf of printed copy:
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Newsletter archive - all back issues.

The Fall 2018 issue will be published in October.

Photo Identification Book of Garden Plants

graphic Spiral bound booklet, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches, 142 pages, thumbnail photos of 437 species of flowering forbs, small shrubs and ferns of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. All plants are native or introduced to Minnesota. Additional 578 images and notes to aid in identification. Photos are approximately 1.5 inches by 2 inches.

In addition, 114 grasses, sedges, large shrubs and trees of the Garden are line listed without photos. Full index. Information about the Garden, the curators and about The Friends. $19.95 plus $3 shipping.

More Details and Order Information

partridge peaFive unusual late summer plants.

Here are five plants usually not found in nurseries but can be seen at Eloise Butler. Some are aggressive and should be watched, but all have beautiful flowers. Eloise loved them all. The Full Story.

Garden Boardwalk

boardwalk bridgeThe Friends and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board have raised funds to complete the boardwalk through the marsh. Installation may take place this year in late Summer. Boardwalk Details.

Garden Plant of the Week

Selected from the many species in, or historical to, the Garden.


Bracted Spiderwort
Tradescantia bracteata Small

Click link on name for information and photos of this plant.


Natural History Note

“What is called the Canada Thistle is the earliest, and the goldfinch, or thistle-bird, (Carduelis tristis), for he gets his name from his food (carduus being the Latin for ‘a thistle’, knows when it is ripe sooner than I. So soon as the heads begin to be dry, I see him pulling them to pieces, and scattering the down; for he sets it a-flying regularly every year all over the country, just as I do once in a long while. The thistle seed would oftener remain attached to its receptacle till it decayed with moisture or fell directly to the gourd beneath if this bird did not come like a midwife to release it --to launch it in the atmosphere and send it to seek its fortune, taking toll the while by swallowing a few seeds.” Henry Thoreau, from The Dispersion of Seeds.

A Seasonal Poem

And even when it dies, to pass
In odors so divine,
As lowly spices gone to sleep,
Or amulets of pine.

And then to dwell in sovereign barns,
And dream the days away,—
The grass so little has to do,
I wish I were a hay!

Taken from "Grass" by
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

The Basswood tree and its many uses

Basswood is found in most counties of Minnesota except for many in SW section - the old prairie area. It is the only species of Tilia native to the State. Every woodlot should have one or two, if only to keep the bees busy.

In this article we discuss the practical and very interesting uses of this tree. Chocolate anyone?