Monday, March 30, 2009

Fun Plants to Point out to Children

As I was growing up, my parents often took the time to point out interesting plants to me as we were taking walks or even when we were just going from the car to a storefront. It made me feel like there were "little treasures" all around just waiting to be found.

Here are some examples of common plants that children will find interesting:

Snapdragons- very personable flowers because when you pinch them around the corners of their "mouths" they talk! A wild-growing version is butter-and-eggs. (also a fun name!)
Lamb's Ear- wonderfully soft leaves that really do feel like lamb's ears!
Wood Sorrell- this ubiquitous little plant can often be found poking up through cracks in the sidewalk. Every part of the plant is edible, including the little fruits that appear later in the plant's life. It has a pleasantly sour taste and can be added to salads. One nice thing about this edible wild plant is that there is no poisonous look-alike. (Its leaves look alot like clover- but of course, that's also edible!)

These are the first fun plants that come to mind for me. I may post about more fun plants later. What about you? Do you have a store of recognizable plants that you keep in mind for the purpose of charming children when opportunities arise? I'd love to hear about them so I can add them to my repetoire. (I would be especially eager to hear about fun plants that are common to the southwest, as I am new to the region and find myself a little "nature-illiterate" down here!)

1 comment:

Donna said...

Nasturtiums are great as they are easy to grow, come in bright colors, and are also edible!

Our town uses rosemary in its landscaping, so the kids enjoy stopping to pull off a sprig and roll it between their hands to release their scent. Lavendar is fun to experience as well. Ours is in bloom right now and it's beautiful!

Water plants are fun to point out because they look so different from land-lubbin' plants (and sometimes you get to see a water snake, turtle, or frog nearby!).