Wildflowers: from Healing to Killing

Summertime is a period of common and protected herbs blooming. It is the time to get acquainted with wildflowers, learn which of them are wholesome, which are poisonous and which require our protection.

 On June 24 a regular meeting of children from Arneevo with the Prioksko-Terrasny reserve expert Olga Kalinina took place. This time the participants decided to change the place of the meeting and they transferred it from the stuffy community centre room to a meadow by the pond.

 The new story’s topic became wildflowers. Besides, there is no lack of herbs right now. Due to the warm weather and heavy rain everything is in bloom. Olga Viktorovna told the children about herbs and flowers they often see in the streets of their village in summer. For instance, they learnt that there is not just one, but many species of the bluebells and the daisies growing in Moscow region. For the young learners it was an eye opener that many herbs have healing qualities (like plantain or yarrow), but some herbs are poisonous and dangerous (like henbane or cow-parsnip). In this huge variety of different species of herbs there are some which require our protection. They are endangered and are included into the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Orchis, Platanthera bifolia, commonly known as the lesser butterfly-orchid).

 The meeting finished with a workshop as usual. This time the children hand-crafted the Birds of Happiness out of freshly cut grass. After drying this half-toy half-talisman will become a nice present or a room decoration.

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