Saturday, August 23, 2008

What's this?

Purple thistle-like flowers fading to white, purple stem, long, sawtoothy leaves. What is it? Some kind of knapweed? It was growing all by itself on a sandy, stony crib on our beach at Lake Superior. If anybody has a clue to what it is, please let me know.


  1. Joe Pye weed. Common native plant in michigan. Pretty stuff, I'd say. It's very similar to a plant called boneset, which was, completely logically, believed to cure broken bones because the bases of its leaves are fused together. They usually grow in about the same place, and it's cool enough to warrant trying to spot one.

  2. Ah, thank you, Eric.

    According to the usual garden suspects, the plant was named for a Native American medicine man who used it to cure fevers. This site says the plant is popular in English gardens as a decorative flower.