Tonight, before Mark reset the Internet connection, I had time to browse through some library books. Wildflowers of Mississippi by S. Lee Timme offered me great photos and identified flowers by region and type of soil, so finding prairie blossoms wasn't tough! I'm gathering information for potential logo and Web site design purposes, so I made a list of flowers I liked, and fortunately, some of them were highlighted as specific to the Black Prairie, which is where we are. These included Coreopsis, Compass Plant, Blue-Eyed Grass (photo, from Outside Pride), Rosin Weed, Black-Eyed Susan, and Blazing Star. I also liked Wild Petunia, Golden Aster, and Flax -- lots of purple and yellow, though we're not USM fans!
One entertaining aspect of this research was the names of different flowers: Devil's Walking Stick, Nodding Ladies' Tresses (Did someone mistake the currant wine for the raspberry cordial? Name that movie!), Hercules' Club, Sneeze Weed (aren't they all??), Nosebleed (inspirational!), Dutchman's Breeches, and perhaps my favorite: Rabbit Tobacco. I mean, can't you just imagine Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter lighting up? That'll show old Mr. McGregor!
If you'd like to look up wildflowers by color, check out http://www.wildflowerinformation.org/ though they didn't have most of what was on my list!
The other book I've begun is The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood. Now, before you start questioning my sanity (Kellie), this is more related to producing non-toxic air fresheners, lotions, and candles than trying to cure cancer with lavender oil (though apparently it's as good for burns as aloe vera, but I digress). My favorite factoid so far is that oregano is 26 times more powerful as an antiseptic than phenol, which is the active ingredient in most household cleaners. For all the New Age connotations, the term "aromatherapy" was coined in 1920 by a French perfumer, who burned his arm, plunged it into the nearest container (lavender oil) and was surprised that his wound didn't blister. Thus began his scientific investigation into essential oils and their therapeutic uses.