Blue porterweed lush, full of flowers
Summer must be the favorite season of the native blue porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) as it is blooming beautifully and its stems are full of its dark green, rounded oval leaves. Admittedly, there are times in the winter when it becomes a bit bedraggled — though the butterflies do not seem to notice — and it is better to remove older plants and allow them to reseed. But right now, it is easy to understand why it is a favorite of hungry gardeners and butterfly enthusiasts alike. There are enough flowers for butterflies to get their fill of nectar and for you to sample. The edible lavender flowers are said to taste a bit like mushrooms, though you would need quite a few to fill a salad. If you are feeling adventurous, its leaves can also be infused dried or fresh to make a tea, and it may also be brewed to make a foaming drink — hence, where the “porter” name originated.