Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Dutchman's Breeches

For 65 years - Dedicated to Protecting, Preserving and Promoting
The interests of The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

Garden Plant of the Week

White Baneberry

White Baneberry
Actaea pachypoda Elliot

This native perennial is indigenous to the Wildflower Garden and provides interest both in Spring, when the white flower clusters are open, but also in late Summer when the flowers develop into white berries with a conspicuous dark spot on the end, each berry connected to the main stem by a thick red stalk. The dark spot earns the plant the alternate common name of "Doll's Eyes". The plant is similar to the Red Baneberry except that the flower cluster is more cylindrical and the berries are white. One exception is that the Red Baneberry can also have plants with white berries, but there, the berries are stalked with thin green to brown stalks, not red ones. As the name "baneberry" implies, the plant is poisonous to humans, and the berries most poisonous.


Natural History Note

"Bare only yesterday, the treetops along the brook today are clothed with blackbirds. A hundred fifty or more swirled down to alight among the leafless branches before dawn today. All are males. The females arrive later. We watch the birds, in the richness of their breeding plumage, flying from tree to tree, each alighting with its scarlet epaulets exposed. Their surging energy is contageous. We feel a sense of elation, a wave of optimism. The stolid endurance of the deepest winter drops away" Edwin Way Teale, from A Walk Through the Year.

A Seasonal Poem

For ages on our river borders,
These tassels in their tawny bloom,
And willowy studs of downy silver,
Have prophesied of Spring to come.

For ages have the unbound waters
Smiled on them from their pebbly hem,
And the clear carol of the robin
And song of bluebird welcomed them.

But never yet from smiling river,
Or song of early bird, have they
Been greeted with a gladder welcome
Than whispers from my heart to-day.

They break the spell of cold and darkness,
The weary watch of sleepless pain;
And from my heart, as from the river,
The ice of winter melts again.

Taken from "The First Flowers" by
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807 - 1892)

Keep the Date

Announcing a Special Celebration at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary:

Showy Lady's-slipperThis year the Friends are hosting a 2 day event to mark the bloom time of the Showy Lady's-Slipper, our Minnesota State Flower, rarely seen in modern times, and one of Eloise's favorite Garden plants. On Saturday, June 10th from 10-4 and on Sunday, June 11th from 12-4, we invite you to join us for :

Free Naturalist-led Garden tours..

Special Friends membership offers with new bonus premiums.....

An Eloise Butler GIFT TABLE with Lady's-Slipper themed items, such as totes, dishtowels and bibs, as well as posters and notecards from our famed Jennifer Davis Garden painting..

Meet Eloise Butler via character actor Anna Anderhagen..

Light refreshments for sale..

All funds raised will go toward the construction of Phase II of the Garden's Wetland Boardwalk. You can walk on the award-winning completed Phase I portion to see the Lady's Slippers and visualize where Phase II will complete this beautiful and functional walkway over the entire Wetland.

Please consider making a donation to this critical Garden project. Details on the boardwalk, and how to donate at this link. More details and additional events to be announced in coming weeks - CHECK BACK.

Common Spring Plants in the Garden


Illustrated Article: The 25 most common Spring blooming plants at Eloise Butler with average bloom dates.

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Last site update: 04/29/17. Next planned update: 05/06/17