There are a vast number of wildflowers that bloom in the United States. While most are pleasant to look at with their vibrant colors and arrangements of petals, some stand out for other qualities that few, if any, other wildflowers possess. These aspects of a flower may concern the plants smell, leaves and various properties.
Bouncing Bet is a wildflower that grows throughout most of the nation and is a medium-sized plant, with some growing as high as two feet. This flower also goes by the name soapwort, because when someone takes the leaves and rubs them together in water, a soapy lather is the result. The early settlers in America knew this and they would plant this flower in their colonies, employing it as both soap and a detergent. The flowers are pink or white and blossom forth in the summer and into autumn. Bouncing Bet comes from Europe as an introduced species that quickly took hold in America.
Bugbane is a plant that can grow to be 6 feet tall and has names such as fairy candle and black snakeroot. The flowers are feathery and exist on the top of the plant in spires. Bugbane has a very foul aroma. In fact, flies pollinate bugbane for this reason, but the Native Americans found that the plant was useful as a repellent to other types of insects. Parts of the Bugbane plant also served to produce medicines that eased menstrual cramping in women.
Jewelweed, also called touch-me-not, has three facets of the plant and flower that make it unique. This yellow or orange flower hangs like a small basket from the stem and frequently grows near poison ivy, which is ironic since rubbing the juices derived from crushing the plant can relieve the itch that poison ivy precipitates. Jewelweed gets its name because if someone submerges the leaves in water, the undersides will turn a silvery color. The touch-me-not nickname comes from the seed pods, which will burst open when ripe and scatter seeds that taste like walnuts, edible by people and by wildlife.