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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

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Searching for spring: kids' scavenger hunts


Does your family have a sunny Saturday afternoon to spare? Grab the kids and head to Boerner Botanical Gardens for a few hours of flower gazing. Admission is free, as is the following activity.

See if your family can find the following:

A heart-shaped flower. It's a Bleeding Heart. The stem hangs from its stem like a jewel.

A flower named Jack. It's a Jack in the Pulpit. The "Jack" is the club at the end of the stem, which traps and hides flies until the blossom is pollinated.

A flower with a fuzzy stem. It's a poppy, with cup-shaped blossoms. Some poppies have heads that measure 8 inches across.

A white flower with three leaves. It's a trillium, a wildflower that is native to Wisconsin. Look for clusters with three leaflets, three purple petals and three green sepals.

A flowering tree. It's a magnolia, with large, fury buds that open in late April and May. The magnolia's buds open later in the summer.

A yellow wildflower. It's a Marsh Marigold, which grows in wet areas. The early settlers cooked Marsh Marigold leaves and ate them like spinach, but the leaves are poisonous when eaten raw.

A flower that smells good. It may be a Hyacinth, which is the most fragrant spring bloom among Daffodils, Tulips and Narcissi.

A flower with three upright petals and three petals that hang down. It's an iris, the symbol of France, also called the Fleur de Lis.

A flower that attracts ants. It's a peony, named for the physician Paeon, the first to use roots for medicine.

A flower shaped like a cup. It's a Tulip, which means "turban" in Turkish. There are over 3,000 tulip bulbs planted in the Gardens.

Giant leaves. It's a Coltsfoot. Coltsfoot leaves and flowers are sometimes used in cough medicine.

The Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens' horticulture educators can tailor activities for kids' groups. For information about setting up classes, or a schedule of upcoming programs, call 421-9555.

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