On the Trails: A not at all mythical sticky situation


By Mary F. Willson

A pretty little perennial plant (Triantha glutinosa) grows in many of our muskegs. It’s sometimes called sticky asphodel, after the flowers that were said to grow in the Elysian Fields where the souls of the dead resided. The basis for this name-transfer from the myth to a tangible organism is not clear; I presume the original name-giver had not actually visited those mythical fields…

The stem of sticky asphodel earns its name by capturing tiny flies, which will be digested. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)

It bears white flowers on a sticky stem that often catches small insects. Sometimes ten or twenty tiny insects

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