Cool plants, Cool Springs August 18, 2007
Today was the grand opening for the new Ashland County Park District's Park, Cool Springs. Lots of people were on hand for the hog roast and the "speech"ifying. It was a great event and it should bring attention to the entire complex. Cool Springs has wonderful wetlands, streams, woodlands and aptly enough, cool springs bubbling out of the ground. I encourage everyone to visit soon.
While there I met some fellow botanizers who were admiring this lovely plant along the stream bed. One of my favorites, Great Blue Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica is often associated with stream beds, ditches and generally wet areas. It is found in all but 5 counties of Ohio, so while rather common, it is anything but common looking. This member of the Campanulaceae family can reach 1-3 feet tall and its flowers are spectacular.
It was once thought to cure a lot of things; according to Native Americans it is listed as a cure for everything from worms to preventing divorce. It got the unfortunate species name from the (incorrect) belief that it would cure syphilis.. which certainly could lead to divorce!
Just enjoy the beauty of the blossoms and thank your local Ashland County Park Commisioners and the Division of Wildlife for setting aside this property for the enjoyment of all types of fauna and flora.