An abundance of native plants at a wet prairie/wet meadow restoration at the Metropolitan Council’s Empire Wastewater Treatment Plant. Friends of the Mississippi River has worked with the Met Council over several years to restore the natural communities at the site, and this summer the results were in full bloom.
Clockwise from the top: yellow coneflower, cup plant (with taller yellow flowers), obedient plant (foreground, with white-violet flowers), Canada wild rye (brown grass in foreground), and ironweed (purple flowers).
Wild rye was an important food for some Native American Indian tribes. The seed was ground into flour and used to make bread.
The root of the cup plant has used medicinally to treat a variety of complaints, including liver and spleen disorders, morning sickness, back and chest pain, paralysis and to stop the bleeding of wounds. Although no longer important for human uses, the cup plant is important for many animals. Numerous butterflies and insects are attracted to the flowers, while the uniquely shaped leaves form a cup that holds water. Tree frogs can be found in the mini-ponds, while birds and insects find drinking water there.
Obedient plant is so called because when its flowers are moved around on their stems, they stay where they are moved, rather than snapping back into their normal positions.
You can read more about this restoration project at our Empire Wastewater Treatment Plant Restoration page.
Karen Schik, Friends of the Mississippi River
Friends of the Mississippi River
Photographer’s Contact Info:
To contact Karen, visit our “Contact Us” page.
Featured Date: 7 September, 2007