Wildflower Sunday…

One of my favorite little flowers-I have a lot I know-is the wild geranium(Geranium maculatum).This pretty little plant/flower has 5 rounded pink to lavender flowers with 3-7 leaves that are deeply lobed.It is basically a shade plant growing .3-.8 m(1-2.5 ft.) that blooms now till early summer.The wild geranium spreads by rhizomes  and becomes bushy.While this plant is in tim’s weed patch 1.0, you can find it in flood planes,woodland areas,and meadows.Bees-where you can find them-and moths like them along with deer and chipmunks.Wild geraniums are just a welcome site each spring!

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pic by td-thanks to illinoiswildflower.info for help-thanks for the stop!Happy Sunday.

 

 

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It’s a beauty…

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A Spring Beauty-Claytonia virginca-is a wildflower common to eastern N.A.It is a small,low growing plant with star-like white/pink flowers.Foliage continues to grow after it blooms reaching maybe a foot(.31m) as it goes dormant in late spring.While it is growing,the wildflower can be harvested as a food source like a potato or radish.Get it while it is still a “beauty”.

pic by td-thanks to The Nature Conservancy for info-thanks for stopping by!

More Pods=More Beauty…

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Only a plant guy could love a pod like that.The pods here are from a Queen Anne’s Lace-Daucus carota- plant holding down a ‘waste area”.The flowers are flat topped that resemble lace in a flat umbel.QAL bloom late spring til fall.The weed grows about 1+m with feathery leaves much the same as your garden carrots.In addition to waste places,QAL holds down fields.meadows,roadsides,the usual handouts.You have seen them all over I know.Notice how the flower head curls up in the pod stage.These plants can make nice arrangements with both fresh and dried flowers/pods.So many pods,so little time.Thanks for reading.Pic by td-help from ediblewildfoods.com-thanks!

More pods…

The pods-weeds final beauty-are the container for the seeds so they can grow more weeds.Just basic science here.In the spotlight is the cat-tail-Typha angustifolia-that blooms May-July growing up to 5′ tall(1.5m).The yellow male spikes are separated  by short gaps from the green female spikes.Also the leaves are long and blade like.You will find the cat-tails in marshes,shallow water,ditches,where ever the earth needs some anchor.The cattails been used by our colonists and our Native Indians and have used for food.The list goes on for it’s benefits.The pods should be picked as soon as the pollen bloom disappears and clean tip remains.As with many pods they can be crafted into nice arrangements.

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pic by td-Help from “Pods”-Embertson and “Roadside plants and Flowers”-Edsall.

Final beauty…

The final beauty of weeds and wildflowers lies in their pods-seed containers for the plants.In short the the pod has a beauty of it’s own.The pods in the pic are from honey vine mikweeds-Cynanchym laeve.Now the basics.The plant blooms from June -September with white vase shaped flowers.The leaves are heart shaped that tide along a twining vine that will go all over if you let it.Honeyvine-also called Bluevine-is found in ag fields,thickets,disturbed areas,my back yard.The pods are usually paired and green,growing 3″-6″ long with brown seeds.What I really love about this plant is the aromatic smell it produces-a source of beauty by itself.

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pic by td-I should of left them on the plant for a better illustration-research from ohio-state.edu.Also thanks to Jane Embertson for her book:”Pods-Wildflowers and Weeds in Their final Beauty”.I love this book!

Weedy Wednesday…

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Pampas grass-Cortaderia selloana-in this pic is holding down the marsh area.You can see this plant used as decor in the neighbor’s yard.It blooms into the fall and the blooms can be cut and dried for decorations-pods.

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Speaking of pods-the plants capsule of seeds-here is a pic of my honey  vine milkweed-Ampelamus albidus-is a true milkweed and a host for Monarch butterfly and a lot of bees.The plant produces a large amount of pollen and is a magnet for the bees and thus more vines.The fragrance is subtle but powerful in the summer breeze.This plant established itself last year and took off this summer.I know it can be an opportunity in ag crops but I just love this weed.It has an extensive root system and the pod s ensure more will be on the way.I saw some cool butterflies stop to visit but no Monarchs.

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Easy does it here-field daisy,white weed,midsummer daisy,poverty weed-you call it and it’s yours.It is all over the place.Real fast:chrysanthemum leucanthemum L.-daisy-like flowers w/ white ray florets,native to Europe,perennial reproducing by seeds and rhizomes.Problematic in pastures and is a host for plant viruses.”He loves me,he loves me not,he loves me”

All pics by td-research from :Weeds of North America-Dickinson/Royer;Suburban Wildflowers-Heasdtrom;bellarmine.edu.

 

Three for Thursday…

This is going to be fast-so hold on…

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Common Milkweed-Asclepias syriaca L.-plants with milky juices;leaves opposite;flowers pale pink,in globe shaped clusters.While considered an invader in some circles and not good for livestock,it has been noted that we need more for our butterfly population.Namely the Monarch -which is milkweed butterfly.

 

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Field Bindweed-Convolvulus arvensis L.-stems twinning;leaves arrowhead-shaped;flowers funnel-shaped and white.Major opportunity here is that it can reduce yields in ag crops but a pretty weed!

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Chicory-cichorium intybus L.-also called blue sailors-flowers are blue-I have seen  white-in headlike clusters;plants with milky juice, and roast the roots for coffee.Cool story…It is seen as inspiration for the Romantic concept of the Blue flower-blue lookout by the wayside.

Research from “Weeds of North America” and Wikipedia-pics by td

The best $ I ever spent…

The mixed summer seeds were only 4 paks for a dollar earlier this summer at the-you guessed it-‘dollar store”.I like to get multiple packs of seeds to plant just to see what turns up-it’s that wildness thing I learned from H.D.T.Well this morning I was going down the steps to have coffee under my canopy-the locust tree-when I saw this beautiful little flower strutting her stuff in the morning sun.It made my day!I have no idea what it’s species is called but I really don’t care.Sometimes I think  we try to over analyze every thing-just enjoy the day!

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pic by td- feel free to identify!Emerson said the Earth laughs in flowers.

Another weedy day…

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Goldenrod-Solidago canadensis-is a mid summer weed in my part of the world.They liven up the landscape as other plants start to dull.The weed has wide distribution in the U.S.-namely in the Northeast.In this pic it is well over 5′ tall and has 125 other members of it’s species.It is a perennial plant found in meadows,prairies,roadsides,trails.It is pollinated by insects and spreads by tiny seeds with hairy parachutes and root stalks.The plant can be utilized to make tea-bitter- and the flowers can be eaten with your salad.All in a days work.

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Tree of Heaven-Alianthus altissima-is also known as paradise tree,stinking sumac,varnish tree.It can grow to over 30 m and has distinctive alternate compound leaves that are sometimes confused with other members of the family.This one is characterized by it’s stinky smell when crushed.It is native to China and was introduce to England in the 1700’s mistakenly as a lacquer plant.It is a fast grower reproducing by roots and seeds-350,000!.It also produces a chemical that keeps other plants and is considered invasive. It is the tree in the book’A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”In this pic by it is just getting a start!

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Johnsongrass-Sorgham halepense-is a prolific grower not unlike the above plant.it reproduces by seeds(5o,000) and rhizomes and also is considered allelopathic-producing a chem that keeps the neighbors away.In this case it lines the city trail and helps prevent erosion b ut is a troublesome plant in ag crops.it can be found in vineyards,ditches( I have never mentioned this place before),disturbed areas-my fave place to find weeds-roadsides.it is native to the Mediteranean and was introduce as a forage crop.it is similar to maize and sorghum.It is a world weed-just not on Antarctica!it was named after Col.William Johnson-Alabama plantation owner.

pic by td;help fromWikipedia,edibblefoods.com,Weeds of North America

Weedy Tuesday…

Morning Glory-Ipomoea hederacea-stems twining;leaves alternate,three-to five lobed;flowers pale blue to pinkish-violet.Just a nice lookin’ weed!

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Pokeweed-Phytolacca americanna L.-this weed has many names but is found in mainly the eastern part of the U.S.-heavy in the South.The stems are red to pinkish-green;flowers white;fruit a dark purplish-black berry with crimson juice.this weed can also be found in Europe and western Asia.The juice is used as a dye.

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Yellow nutsedge-Cyperus esculentus L.-stems are tiangular in cross section;flower clusters yellow to brown;grassy looking.This weed is very productive with a plant producing 90,000 seeds.Hence it is problematic in our ag fields.30 countries report sedge as a weed.the Sedge family is huge-600 species.

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pics by td-research help from “Weeds of North America’-Dickinson/Royer.