Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sweet Cicely, Osmorhiza longistlis

Here is a common woodland wildflower I photographed in Kenney Park. It is at peak bloom right now, and the flowers are very striking. However, it is the root of this plant that can really catch your attention. I love licorice, and this plant smells like the purple and white Good and Plenty candy. One of its common names is actually aniseroot, and if you find some on your property, break a stem or even dig up the root and take a wiff. The crushed stems and broken roots have a very strong scent of black licorice. Although this plant is not used to flavor licorice, Native Americans did readily use it to treat a wide variety of ailments. Licorice itself is named after the licorice plants in the genus Glycyrrhiza. If you haven't yet this year, try taking a walk in your local park and enjoy the wildflowers. Here in central Ohio, summer is rapidly approaching and spring will be a distant memory! I must say, what a spring we have had here. The blog has kept me focusing in on the natural world, and I have enjoyed bringing you the photos and experiences I have posted here.


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