"Grass of the Edge" September 03, 2007
Throw out your Peterson and Newcomb's guides- 'cause they won't do you any good for tonight's post. Yerba-De-Tajo, Eclipta prostrata isn't found in either of them. You could check in the Ohio Floristic Quality Assessment Index and at least you would find a listing.
This miniature member of the Asteraceae family is known from nearly half our counties, according to the maps on the USDA Data base. So, although it is not rare, it is not very well known to most plant enthusiasts. Another common name is Pie-plate-plant, and the flat little flowers could remind one of a pie plate. Yerba-De-Tajo translates to "flower of the edge" and Illinios Wildflowers lists possible uses as a blue dye for tattoos and as a snake bite remedy.
This photo was taken on the bank of the Ohio River in Adams County, the southern wonderland for botany and butterflies. Shawnee is often called the "Little Smokies of Ohio" and rightfully so. Many of the most southern hold outs of Ohio plants are found in Adams and Scioto Counties. A wonderful place to find rarities and an abundance of basic botany, the "Grass of the Edge" or is one more example of the best kept secrets from southern Ohio.