Now, if you take the time to walk to Gudger Beach, this is what you might see, the blooming of the Marshmallows (Althaea officinalis). The plant, not unlike a hibiscus, rose of sharon, or hollyhock is the grandmother of today’s sweet marshmallows.
Thick, fleshy roots ooze a jelly type substance that can be configured into a sweet. Over 2,000 years ago it was used in Greece, Arab countries, and Egypt for this and as an anti-inflammatory, a laxative, a gargle, a salve. It soothed toothaches, insect bites, bruises and indigestion. On Gudger Beach, you will also see the osprey babies have learned to fly and the snapping turtle family might slither by. The fragmites, that aggressive wetland grass that outcompetes with native plants and displaces native animals, is sadly coming back, but today the marshmallows are thriving and blooming. Walk down and see them. Enjoy the rebirth of this swamp.