Word of the Day

Word of the Day for September 20, 2013 is: fraxinella \frak-suh-NEL-uh\ noun

: a Eurasian perennial herb (Dictamnus albus) of the rue family with flowers that emit an aromatic flammable vapor in hot weather


The green leaves and pink flowers of the fraxinella contrasted nicely with the silvery leaves and bright yellow flowers of the yarrow.

“Few perennials don’t benefit from frequent division—peonies and fraxinella (Dictammus) are rare exceptions….” — From Page Dickey’s 2012 book Embroidered Ground: Revisiting the Garden

Did you know?

“Fraxinella” doesn’t sound all that exciting—its name comes from the Latin word “fraxinus,” meaning “ash tree,” because its leaves resemble those of an ash tree—but two of its alternate names hint at what’s unusual about the plant. Fraxinella is also called “gas plant” and “burning bush” because on a hot summer day the flowers emit a strong vapor that can be ignited. While fraxinella is native to Eurasia, Americans may see it in local gardens—so beware and keep sources of flame away from these perennials.



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