wort[ wawrt ] noun: a plant, particularly an herbaceous plant; a medicinal plant
While the word worthas another meaning in the world of beverage brewing, in botany it survives mostly in the names of herbivorous plants—and a wide variety of them—that historically had traditional medicinal uses, such as St. John’s wort, lungwort , liverwort, lousewort, pilewort, or woundwort. Because it comes from Middle English, ultimately derived from Old English wyrt, meaning branch or root, it is attached to many plants that are not native to the United States. Nevertheless as botanists explored America, they found some plants that are native and yet are of the same species as non-native plants whose common name includes the word wort. And in the early days of our country’s exploration and settlement, traditional medicine was often the only option for treating illness or injury.
Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic
The sweet-scented, pincushion-like, white globes of Buttonbush are familiar to those who spend time fishing or lounging along a river or pond. This wide-spread native* shrub, a favorite of wildlife, is so common it is often overlooked.
*It is mostly frequent-to-common throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region except in some of the northern counties of PA.
Summer is waning or fall just beginning and our gardens are awash in the bright and muted colors of asters, goldenrods, lobelias, pink muhly, sages, turtleheads, and zinnias, and with due diligence, relatively free of creeping weeds. But then you return home from a weekend getaway and find some stout, green, budded stems of notable height rising above the flowers in your perennial bed or butterfly garden.
You would probably not be surprised to hear that a nutlet is a small nut, but it also describes the part of the fruit of certain members of the Boraginaceae (borage family), Lamiaceae (formerly Labiatae, mint or sage family), or Verbenaceae (verbena or vervain family) and, according to some sources, the fruit of native Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush). Continue reading →
If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services, or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Arlington County Cooperative Extension five days prior to the event at 703-228-6400 or *TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours (8:00 am–5:00 pm) to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event.
Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.
VCE is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.