Friday, February 09, 2007

Flower Fest - K for Klamath Weed

Never heard of Klamath Weed? Neither had I. But then I hadn't heard of many wildflowers and weeds till I moved to Colorado. But wait, this is one that everyone has heard of. Yup, it's none other than St. John's Wort. (When I first heard of St. John's Wort, I wondered why a plant would be called a wart...but that's a whole 'nother story!)

Anyway, egged on by Sree and Priya, I decided to put paint to paper a second time. Either that or slip in a picture of K Kosmos. Seriously, I grew Kosmos with a K; it was some Martha Stewart Garden brand of seeds from K-Mart - yes, that's how long ago it was. The flowers were gorgeous and some rather plain looking butterflies did come along for the nectar. But even though I found references to the flower spelled with a K, all text had it spelled as cosmos. Sree has already done a brilliant job with Cosmos for Flower-Fest - 'C', so I figured I might as well try again with paints.

I don't know what went wrong with the leaf on the right and whatever I did to correct it, only made it worse. So I gave up. Hey! It's only my second watercolor. So cut me some slack here!

Klamath weed or St. John's Wort, Hypericum perforatum, is a perennial plant found in almost all the US states at low elevations and in dry places. It is classified as a noxious and poisonous weed. It exudes oily secretions from its stems and these can cause a rash on people with sensitive skin. Ingesting large quantities of this weed can result in convulsions, palpitation and high heart rate, increased body temperature, and even blindness in both humans and animals. Paradoxically, this weed is used in herbal medication, and was recently identified as an effective treatment against some forms of depression. Huh? Everything in moderation applies to Klamath weed, too! (Reference)

Again, since it will be helpful to know what the real flower looks like, I based my watercolor on this lovely picture of the flower and plant.

Flower Fest - the A-Z of FlowersThis is my entry for the letter K in the Flower Fest - the A - Z of Flowers.

Flower Fest is the brainchild of Nature & Me and Sree. Every two weeks, the focus will be on a letter of the English alphabet. The current letter is K. I am submitting photographs of flowers as my entries.

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