Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved hunting for marsh mallows, that is, the mallow flowers that grow in the marsh. They look like a good sized hibiscus with wonderful pink or white blooms. 

            No, they are not the marshmallows that are use to make s’mores. But, yes, the white root is somewhat sweet and, when cooked down, can be eaten. I’ve never done so, but I always remember that if I am stranded in a swamp in August, I know what to look for to sustain myself.

            A couple of weeks ago I found a marsh mallow in bloom on the bank of the Maumee River. Then last week I found many at Ottawa National Game Preserve on Lake Erie. My summer check list is now complete.

            Although I like confectioner marshmallows, especially in hot chocolate, I mostly appreciate the connection between the natural item and the kitchen-made variety. The ones on the store shelves even bear the same name. 

            Nature often provides a model for us to imitate.


“Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin.

But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.

Matthew 6:27-28


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