Taste & smell the prairie

“Taste this,” I say, pulling leaves off a small prairie plant and handing them to friends who tour my prairie.

“Taste it?” they ask, skeptical.

I nod.

With some hesitation, they do.

“It’s licorice!” they exclaim.

Watching the recognition dawn on their faces is such fun. The licorice taste of a Anise Hyssop leaf surprises everyone.

The prairie surprised me this fall when it revealed a new plant. Boneset is in full bloom – a drift of fresh white flowers standing amidst the dried brown seedheads of coneflowers and black-eyed Susans. What makes this surprising is the scent.  Just like Lily of the Valley.

Prairie flowers don’t have much scent – at least in my experience. So it’s a treat to not only find one that does, but one that has such a pleasant, old-time fragrance.

On top of excellent taste and a romantic scent, the prairie is covered with gold – or at least it appears so with the grasses waving their green-gold and red-gold plumes in the afternoon breeze.

It may look as though the prairie is closing down for the season, but far from it.  Licorice. Lily of the Valley. Gold. When you least expect it, the prairie comes through – full of surprises.

Join the conversation. Your comments or questions welcomed!

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