Driving along…

On my commute to work I am on the look out for”what’s that weed?”Part of the commute passes by wooded farm areas and now I am seeing some of summer’s true colors,but I had better hurry some colors fade fast.I have had theses two flowering plants-at least for now-on my agenda to research.Well bicycling along the city trail-have Trek will travel-it hits me:”Eureka i have found it”.It is two for Monday.The first plant is a familiar weed-Pokeweed(Phytolacca americana) or a host of names-Virginia,inkberry,scoke,red ink plant, to name a few.it is a perennial nayive to eastern N.A. with a heavier concentration the South.The berry has been used for ink and the leaves as a vegetable.However the roots and berries are poisonous.By the way-the white flowers smell wonderful!

Next up-Staghorn Sumac(Rhus typhina)-also called scarlet sumac-is a rapidly growing tree with pale gray bark and large compound leaves.It’s fast growing manner  and a lack of pests have made it popular with city planners.It also tolerates any type of soiad can be found on hillsides and disturbed areas.Staghorn sumac can be found mostly in the eastern part of the U.S. and as far west as Iowa.It was planted as an ornamental but escaped-my new fav-cultivation.It produces a red,hairy cone like fruit at the tip of it’s branches.A few relatives are poison sumac and the tree-of-heaven.As usual our plants and weeds had uses in another life.The Native Americans used it as an antiseptic and a substitute for tobacco.

wpid-wp-1436820590388.jpegwpid-wp-1436820553877.jpegwpid-wp-1436818594700.jpegpic by tim’s weed patch-research help from:oardc.ohio-state.edu

 

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