Friends of the Wildflower Garden

Website Archive

Educational Activities and Articles

In the Archive pages you will find links to all the content on the Friends of the Wildflower Garden web site. Unlike the main pages, links here are arranged by topic. These topics include links to articles previously published in the Friend's newsletter - The Fringed Gentian™.

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Original date of published articles is given in brackets

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Eloise Butler's Writings

Nature and Life

Plants and Habitat

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A Birdwatcher's Eloise Butler - Historical reflections on birding in the Garden and other activites in the 1940s and '50s'. By J. S. Futcher (1992)

Avery Birding Terrace – Photos and background on the Avery Birding Terrace.

Baby Songbirds have Hard-working Parents. - MPRB Naturalist Tammy Mercer writes of the life of young songbirds. (pdf file) (2018)

Birding at Eloise Butler: A review of why the Garden makes a great Bird Sanctuary and other current birding articles; Curator's birding notes from the first 70 years of the Garden. (2018)

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher – historical sighting of the bird at Eloise Butler.

Cardinals - Juveniles – A photo page of what juvenile Northern Cardinals look like.

Downy and Hairy Woodpecker comparison – A photo page showing the size differences between the two similarly colored woodpeckers, with a link to more photos.

Green Herons - article by EBWG Naturalist Tammy Mercer (PDF)

Native Plants - for the Birds – EBWG Naturalist Tammy Mercer writes about interactions of plants, insects and bird life. Illustrated.

Owl Rescue in Wirth Park – Finding a downed Great Horned Owl near the Garden and transfer to rehab, then release after rehab. (2014)

Owls - Great Horned Owls in the Garden – All about the nesting process. (2021)

Warblers 1 - Naturalist Tammy Mercer discusses Spring Warblers and the little time there is to see them. (Spring 2015 - 1.0 mb pdf file)

Warblers 2 - Warbler viewing tips by Howard Towle (Spring 2022 - 1.0 mb pdf file)

Winter Birds – A photo essay on 15 common birds most likely to be seen during winter in central and southern Minnesota

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A Butterfly in Your Hand? – EBWG Naturalist Diana Thottungal tells you how to attract butterflies to your hand.

Baby, It's Cold Outside – An illustrated article by MPRB Naturalist Diana Thottungal on how some creatures physically survive the winter temperatures.(Winter 2009)

Bee Survey – 2013 season survey of bees in the Garden for baseline data

Eyeshine (pdf) – An article by MPRB Naturalist Diana Thottungal on the origin and use of glowing eyes in various creatures. (Summer 2011) (245kb pdf file)

Monarch Butterfly - How to save them, plants they need. By Naturalist Diana Thottungal. (2018)

Secret Life of Winter – MPRB Naturalist Diana Thottungal writes on the hidden life of winter. Illustrated. (Winter 2010)

Water in Winter - (pdf) – An illustrated article by MPRB Naturalist Diana Thottungal on the magical characteristics of water in the winter time.

Winter Survival of Warm-blooded Critters – MPRB Naturalist Tammy Mercer writes of how some of the birds and animals survive the winter in the Garden. (Winter 2009)

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Plants, Habitat, etc.

Asters and Goldenrods – A photo look at asters and goldenrods in the Garden. 2009

Autumn Fruits and Seedpods – A photo thumbnail sheet of Autumn fruits and seeds that you are likely to see from September to Garden Close in October.

Basswood - a versatile tree (2018).

Birch Trees - Commentary on the Valuable Birches of the Garden. (2018)

Cedar Apple Rust – Information and photos of the fungus that uses Eastern Red Cedar and other junipers as an alternate host. (2013)

Cedars and Spruces - Life-saving Trees - How they prevented scurvy among early mariners. (2018)

Collecting native seeds (2021)

Densmore, Frances - Native American Ethnobotany - Historical Minnesota Research (2020)

Dogwoods - our six native species (2020)

Earliest Blooming Spring Plants – The five earliest bloomers - text and photos. (2013)

Earliest and latest bloom dates – For 25 common spring wildflowers, with photos (2014)

Edge plants - 5 obscure late season plants – Plants you hardly notice - Burnweed, Canadian Horseweed, Black Nightshade, Arrow-leaved Tearthumb, Willowherb.

Eloise Butler's writings - see list below.

Fern Talk – A glossary of common terms used in describing ferns - illustrated (2012)

Ferns in the Garden – An illustrated index sheet of the ferns in Eloise Butler, both current and historical, most with links to detailed information sheets.

Ferns – Cultural tips for planting. (1957 article by Martha Crone.)

Flying Squirrels - Our hidden neighbors (2020)

Friends' Newsletter Archive – Past issues of The Fringed Gentian™ in download-able pdf format.

Fruit and Seed Quiz – A photo identification quiz on late summer fruits and seeds found in the Eloise Butler Garden.

Gentian in the Garden – both now and in the past with photos of all Gentians once or now in the Garden.

Goldenrod galls – Information on 3 insects that cause stem galls on Solidago altissima. and S. gigantea.

Grasses of the Garden – Photos of the Garden grasses with links to detailed information pages.

Heritage Trees in the Garden – Former Gardener Cary George writes of the nine Minneapolis Heritage Trees in the Garden (originally published winter 2000)

Invasive Plants You Don't Want in Your Garden – A summary of six summer flowering invasives to eradicate with photos and link to info pages. (2013)

Kentucky Coffeetree - Its history and uses. (2018)

Late Summer Flowers - 5 less well known – A look at 5 late summer flowers in the Garden that are not usually found in the home garden.

Late Summer Fruits and Seedpods – A photo thumbnail sheet of late summer fruits and seedpods that you are likely to see from mid-July through August.

Leaves: Patterns of Fall Leaf Drop. – Naturalist Diana Thottungal writes on the variations in pattern of how tress drop their leaves in the fall. Illustrated. (Fall 2009)

Lilies in the Garden - A look at the plants called Lilies, Day Lilies, and lilies that are not lilies. (2021)

Magic in the Sky – Naturalist Donna Thottungal shows several unusual sights in the sky. (2019)

Maple Glen - a bowl shaped depression adjacent to the Wildflower Garden.

Mapping Trees in the Garden – Garden Curator Susan Wilkins explains the process of how the trees in the Garden were data based and mapped via a GPS system. (2004)


----Brilliance of the Forest – – Naturalist Ron Spinosa writes of molds, slimes and fungi. (pdf file with photos) (2018)

----Fascination with Fungi – – Naturalist Ron Spinosa writes of his fascination with the mushroom world and that of Eloise Butler and Martha Crone (pdf file, with photos - 2013)

----Meet The Mushrooms – A well illustrated article by MPRB Naturalist Diana Thottungal on mushrooms and some of those found in the Garden. (Fall 2008)

----Mushrooms – – A photo page of a few of the many mushrooms in the Garden (2010)

----Spooky Fungi (pdf - .9mb) – MPRB Naturalist Donna Thottungal looks as some of the strangest fungi that you may encounter. (Fall 2011)

Mid-summer Flowers - 5 less well known – A look at 5 mid- summer flowers in the Garden that are not usually found in the home garden.

Oak Leaf Comparison Key – Leaf comparison of the eight most common northern oaks.

Oaks: Our Native Oaks – Will their dominance last in Minnesota in the face of climate change? (2021)

Orchids: Cherishing Orchids, an Eloise Butler Legacy – Garden Curator Susan Wilkins reviews Eloise Butler's passion for orchids and the Showy Lady's-slipper. (Summer 2005)

Orchids in the Garden – Orchids in the Garden - 36 historical species and 2 today (2020)

Ornamental Grasses for the Home Landscape – A review, with photos, of a selection of ornamental grasses for the home garden that were grown by Gary Bebeau. Growing and cultural tips.

Pea Family Plants in the Prairie – Pea family plants that thrive in the hot prairie sun, by previous Eloise Butler Gardener Cary George. (Updated 2020)

Pitcher Plant - Purple and deadly. (2021)

Rare Minnesota Native Plants in the Garden – Text and photos about 21 plants listed by Minnesota as endangered, threatened or of special concern that are seen in Eloise Butler. (2014)

Ruffians in the Garden – A close look at Curly Dock, Mullein and Nettle and why we should like them. Gary Bebeau, 2009

Secret Life of Winter. – MPRB Naturalist Diana Thottungal writes on the hidden life of winter. Illustrated. (Winter 2010)

Sedges in the Garden – Brief article discussing sedges and overview of those found in the Garden. (pdf file - 2013)

Seeds - collecting native seeds (2021)

Spring wild flowers for a shady garden (2022)

Summer wild flowers for a shady garden. (2022)

Sumac Leaf Galls - information of insect galls on Smooth and Staghorn Sumac

Tall Plants in the Summer Garden – Previous Eloise Butler Gardener Cary George writes about the tall plants and the lilies of the summer Upland Prairie Garden (Summer 2000)

Tamaracks - A review of the tree's history in the Garden. (2018)

The Four Silphiums – Photos and plant information on four representatives of the genus Silphium in the Eloise Butler Garden. Gary Bebeau 2009

Thistle Comparison Key – Flower and leaf comparison of the 7 species of thistle found in Minnesota.

Touch-me-nots – Photos and plant information on the two Touch-me-not species in the Garden - also known as Jewelweeds.

Tree: My Life and Death as a Tree – MPRB Naturalist Tammy Mercer writes about the life cycle of a deciduous tree. Illustrated. (Winter 2010)

Tree Age Calculator. Explanation on how to calculate the age of selected species of trees based on tree diameter.

What's in a (Flower's) Name? (pdf) – An illustrated article by MPRB Naturalist Diana Thottungal on the origin and meaning of the names of some spring flowers. (Spring 2011) (710kb pdf file)

Wetland in the Woodland Garden – History, environment and plant community of the Garden Wetland. (2010)

Willow Pine Cone Gall – An illustrated note about galls that resemble pine cones on willows. These are caused by a small gnat. (2013)

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Eloise Butler's, Life, Writings, Garden Years as Curator

Butler, Eloise – Brief history with photos

Book - The Eloise Butler Years. A year by year account of the goings on in the Garden during Eloise Butler's tenure as Curator. This is an arrangement of the individual history years of 1907 through 1933. 298 pages. More details at this link. 2018

Book - Selected Writing of Eloise Butler. All 24 of the 1911 newspaper columns and the 32 essays about the Wild Botanic Garden that are individually listed below. PDF downloadable format. Details at link. 2022.

Columns published in the Sunday Minneapolis Tribune in 1911, the only year she wrote an entire seasonal series about the seasonal progression of the plants.

April 16, 1911 – –  Pasque Flowers at Easter Time Proclaim Yearly Spring Miracle.

April 30, 1911 – –  Anemones, Hepaticas and Buttercups Prominent in Crowfoot Family Here

May 7, 1911 – –  Bloodroots, Marsh Marigolds, Adder’s Tongues and Dutchman’s Breeches Among Spring Blooms that Delight Eye and Heart

May 14, 1911 – –  Plum Blossoms, Skunk Cabbage, and Modest Jack-in-the-Pulpit among May Arrivals That Please Lover of Life in the Woods.

May 21, 1911 – –  Beautiful Large-flowered Trilliums Grace Minnetonka Wood in May; Violets, Forest, Hillside and Prairie Varieties Flourish Near Minneapolis.

May 28, 1911 – –  Geum, Early Meadow Rue, Lousewort, Phlox, and Hoary Puccoon Are Described as Wild Beauties in Miss Butler’s Weekly Article.

June 4, 1911 – –  Hawthorn of World Fame through Poetry and Prose of England, Virginian Waterleaf, White Lily and Geranium Featured in June

June 11, 1911 – – Wild Roses Know When it is June, According to Miss Butler, Who Describes Blossoms that Delight the Rambler Out-of-Doors.

June 18, 1911 – –  Painted Cup Notable among Wild Flowers Found near Minneapolis; Bog-trotter’s Zeal Repaid by Orchids and Other Swamp Blossoms

July 2, 1911 – – Blue Flag, Native Minnesota Iris, Classed as Richest of Lilies; Early Meadow Rue and Larkspur Treated by Miss Butler

July 9, 1911 – – Milkweed Flowers Much in evidence during July, Harebells, Ox-Eyes, and Water Lilies Also Bloom in Abundance.

July 16, 1911 – – Lily Declared Crowning Wild Flower near Minneapolis in July; Miss Butler Describes, Also, the Blossoms That Kept it Company.

July 23, 1911 – Mint, Abundant in Minnesota, Delights the Senses; Miss Butler Tells of Wild Flowers in Glenwood Park Garden.

July 30, 1911 – Flowering Spurge Graces Roadside and Prairie in Late summer; Varieties of Yellow Blooms Classed as “Sunflowers” Confusing.

August 6, 1911 – Tramp Plants, Migrants from Foreign Lands, Thrive in Minnesota; They Often Preempt Ground, Crowding Out Native Citizens of Soil.

August 13, 1911 – Common Plantain Is Compared with the Alisma Plantago, Otherwise Known as the Water Variety

August 20, 1911 – Wild Balsam Occupies Low Places in Wild Gardens; Leaves Shine Like Silver When Put in the Water.

August 27, 1911 – Prickly Armor Furnishes Protection for the Thistle; Caterpillars Crawl by and Browsing Horses Shun Plant.

September 3, 1911 – – Virgin Minnesota Prairie in Full Bloom Surpasses Flora of Tropics; Earth’s Tapestry Shows a Riot of Color before Autumnal Frosts.

September 10, 1911 – – Fringed Gentian, Termed Loveliest of Blue Flowers, Now in Bloom; Asters and Goldenrod Indicate Autumn Has Reached Minnesota.

September 17, 1911 – – Acrid Taste Gives Name to the Smart Weed; Miss Butler Describes Wild Grasses in the Park.

September 24, 1911 – – Late Blooming Flowers Dot Meadows with White, Blue and Gold; Asters, Gentians, Lobelias, and Sunflowers Greet Field Lovers.

August 17, 1913 – – Article published Aug. 17, 1913 in the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune about her exhibit at the annual meeting of the American Florists and Ornamental Horticulturists

Essays from Annals of the Wild Life Reserve

1913 National Florist Convention – Article published Aug. 17, 1913 in the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune about her exhibit at the annual meeting of the American Florists and Ornamental Horticulturists

Animal, Bird, and Insect Life in the Wild Garden – Overview of what she sees - 1914

Autobiographical Sketch – Eloise Butler writes about her early years prior to the Garden being formed - 1911

Asters in the Wild Garden – A summary of all the asters indigenous and introduced, in the Garden during 1914. Written June 1915.

Attractiveness of vegetables and common weeds – Commentary of how the ordinary can be wonderful. 1911

Attractiveness of vegetables and common weeds - 1931. Second installment, mentioning her likes and dislikes.

Birdbath acquisition – – New Birdbath and seeing a Woodcock - June 1917

Bulletin of the MN Academy of Science – Published article reviewing types of plants in the Garden - 1911

Burning Hat – Her hat catches fire in the Garden - 1911

Children's Forage Plants in the Wild Garden – Plants and fruits that children liked to eat in her era. Dated Jan. 1915.

Cultivation of Native Plants - October 1912

Early History of the Garden - 1926

Effective Coloring in the Wild Garden that is not due to Flowers – Natural color found on leaves, fruits, bark and buds. Dated Dec. 1915.

Experiences in Collecting –  – In Quest of the Walking Fern - 1909

Experiences in Collecting – – Finding the White Cypripedium - May 1914

Experiences in Collecting – Collecting Fireweed and Squirrel Corn - 1911

Experiences in Collecting –  – The contrariness of certain plants - May 1916

Experiences in Collecting –  – Searching for the Fragrant Fern - 1916

Ferns in the Wild Garden – A description of the indigenous ferns and ferns she introduced. Dated June 1915

Ferns in the Wild Garden – An updated version of the 1915 article. Dated Sept. 1919.

Fragrance of the Wild Garden – Agreeable and disagreeable odors of wild plants. Dated Feb. 1915

Garden operation principles. Short notes on care of the Garden. 1920.

Letter to Theodore Wirth 1914 – About the joys and pleasure of the Garden - 1914

Liverworts, Lichens, Mosses, and Evergreen Ferns in the Wild Garden – About these plants in the Garden - 1914

Mallard Pool 1932 –  – The construction and plan for the large pool.

March 1915 – – Notable Features of my Wild Garden including a list of indigenous plants.

Occult Experiences of a Wild Gardener – – Eloise relates how a medium told her that she has two ghostly botanist friends that want her to find the plant she is looking for.

Old Andrew – A recluse lived near the Garden and Eloise would hear him chopping wood after he died.

Shrubs in the Garden, 1926. A review of the population.

Spring Exhibits in the Native Plant Reserve - 1928. A review of the Spring season of 1928 - for the Agassiz Association

The Plateau, 1926. Eloise describes the site of the Garden office.

Trees - Identification points. – Discussion of the method for identifying trees by shape, bud and bark. 1914

Trees in the Wild Garden - 1926. A review of what was there.

Wild Garden in 1925 - A short review of the Garden season - for the Agassiz Association

Wild Garden in 1930 - A review of the 1930 season - for the Agassiz Association

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