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™
Spring 2018

Download pdf of printed copy:
Hi resolution 7 mb (best for printing).
Lo resolution - 1.3 mb.


Web file (HTML): - Phone, tablet, and desktop friendly.

Newsletter archive - all back issues.

The Srummer 2018 issue will be published in July.

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

great st. johnswortFive mid-summer plants.

Here are five plants to be considered for your wild garden. Four are native and grow nicely in central Minnesota. The fifth is an introduced plant, with pleasing flowers and not aggresive. 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.


Rubus parviflorus Nutt.

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


Natural History Note

“The summer of the year 1783 was an amazing and portentous one, and full of horrible phaenomena; for, besides the alarming meteors and tremendous thunder-storms that affrighted and distressed the different counties of this kingdom, the peculiar haze, or smokey fog, that prevailed for many weeks in this island, and in every part of Europe, and even beyond its limits, was a most extraordinary appearance, unlike any thing known within the memory of man. By my journal I find that I had noticed this strange occurrence from June 23 to July 20 inclusive, during which period the wind varied to every quarter without making any alteration in the air. The sun, at noon, looked as blank as a clouded moon, and shed a rust-coloured ferruginous light on the ground, and floors of rooms; but was particularly lurid and blood-coloured at rising and setting.” Gilbert White, from A Natural History of Selborne

A Seasonal Poem

Up from behind the molehill jumps the hare,
Cheat of his chosen bed, and from the bank
The yellowhammer flutters in short fears
From off its nest hid in the grasses rank,
And drops again when no more noise it hears.
Thus nature's human link and endless thrall,
Proud man, still seems the enemy of all.

Taken from "Summer Evening" by
John Clare, English (1793- 1864)

Ferns in Eloise Butler

Ferns have always had a prominent place in the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. Here are several pages to look at:

Thumbnails of ferns in the Garden - now and historically.

Eloise Butler writes about ferns in the early years.

Christmas Fern