A talk on the preservation of wild flowers, with fascinating illustrations in water color, painted by the lecturer, was presented before the Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club Tuesday afternoon by Miss Eloise L. Luquer. Miss Luquer charmed her audience by her personality and her interesting and constructive lecture, given with just the correct light and amusing touch which makes the acquirement of knowledge a pleasant and easy task. The water colors, about thirty in number, were hung on the walls of the garden club center.

She spoke under the auspices of the wild flower preservation committee of the club.

The speaker began her lecture with a resume of the development of plant life from the earliest sign of primitive vegetation up to the flowering plant. She listed the classes of plants, beginning with the simple water algae and working up through the seaweeds, mosses, and ferns to the complex flowering plants. In the sub-divisions of flowering plants she explained that all grasses belong to the lily family, and that, except for citrus fruit, most edible fruit belongs to the rose family. In speaking of the more primitive plants she told the club that the common wood plant, equisetum or horsetail rush, is so tough because of its large deposit of calcium that it is serviceable for scrubbing and scouring. She denounced store-bought scouring devices as needlessly extravagant.

To Cut or to Pull

Among other matters Miss Luquer touched upon the much disputed point of whether ragweed should be pulled or cut. She stated emphatically that in her opinion it should be cut since pulling it turns over the soil and ragweed always is more abundant anywhere that the ground has been freshly plowed.

She impressed her audience with the need for plant conservation in order to keep moisture in the air. It is not true, she said, that water always seeks its own level, for it is absorbed by trees and bushes whose leaves then exude moisture, keeping the atmosphere cool and fresh. Dogwood and laurel, she explained, should never be cut, especially at the top because they take eight years to recover their normal growth. Holly should never be taken at all, and must be obtained through regular nurseries. Vineyarders should particularly try to conserve the plants which are rapidly growing less abundant, the arbutus, the red lily, and the cypripedium of wild lady slipper.

“We all love to see the wild flowers growing in the fields and woods and on the highways, but how little many of us appreciated with what difficulty these brave little plants struggle for existence. Their lives depend on many things,” she said.

She told how as a child she became interested in botany and had found 266 varieties of flowers in the fields and 200 more on the highways.

Miss Luquer suggested that the motto for the club should be: “Enjoy but don’t destroy - Remember the flowers are your friends just as much as people.”

“Let’s all become wild flower minded and make our Island a wild flower garden spot and sanctuary by enjoying and not destroying the wild flowers.”

The officers of the club are anxious for everyone to become interested in the wild flowers on the Island. So many of the early spring flowers are rapidly disappearing, because they are pulled up by the roots and destroyed.

The lecture was preceded by a short business meeting, with Mrs. T. M. R. Meikleham, club president, in the chair. Mrs. I. R. Edmands, chairman of the ragweed extermination committee, spoke briefly, telling of the help and encouragement she has received during her campaign, from the authorities of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, and asking for volunteers to help on Aug. 22 and 23, the days set aside for a special effort to rid the Island of ragweed. She also announced the slogans were to be shown on the movie screens through the cooperation of Alfred Hall, and that a meeting of the committee in charge of the roadsides, with the county commissioners, was scheduled for Wednesday.

It was voted to donate $25 to the Martha’s Vineyard Animal Rescue League, and Mrs. Ralph M. Packer announced that she was giving a bridge party Aug. 25 for the benefit of the league, for which tickets were available.