There is some color left…

At least in my neck of the woods(or weed patch) the ox-eye daisy-Chrysanthemum leucanthemum-or field daisy continue to add beauty to a otherwise low color display from  my weed patch 2.0.This plant is considered by some a wildflower and others a weed.I am calling it weed only because it fits the traditional “plant out of place” definition.Ox-eye daisy gets in the pasture where it is difficult to eradicate and cows do not like it’s bitter taste.This weed comes by way of Europe and belongs to the same genus as Chrysanthemun and Shasta Daisy along with 160 other species.A long lasting flowering plant, adding beauty from May to October.Like my dandelions, the ox-eye is not a single flower but a cluster if many tiny, tubular florets-each a perfect flower.Hey now the fun stuff! Remember the “He loves me,he loves me not,he loves me” refrain?This was the flower used to establish the state of our love life.the refrain was from Goethe’s “Marguerite”and by the way-this weed is also called Marguerite.

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flower by td,Goethe from Wikipedia,research from “Suburban Wildflowers”-Headstrom and “Roadside Plants and Flowers”-Edsall.

ruderal-Latin for a pile of rubble…

Morning glory-Ipomoea hederacesa Jacq.-Ivy leaved norning glory-also known as morning glory and granny vine, is  lot of weeds growan annual reproducing by seed that is native to tropical N.A.The other genus is Convolvulus which is the bindweed genus(i hope i got that right).All total there are 600 species with colors including blue,purple,red,pink or white.Morning glories are found in old fields,waste places and has wide distribution in the U.S,This plant can be a bugger in orchard and vineyards.Like a lot of our weeds they have had another life besides clogging up the landscape,In this case it was a 19th C. remedy for constipation.The pic here is from a pile of ruble near a construction site where a  lot of weeds grow.Believe it or not there is a tomato plant growing in the ruble.I love this place!

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Days gone by…

I did not grow up on a farm but my sister married a farmer.Our Dad was a grocer.While not unaccustomed to working my brother and I loved going to the farm not only to get out of town but to see the nephews. Well in the summer months we helped MD-my sister-“cut weeds out of beans”.This was the manual process before herbicides were in full force to cut the weeds with a hoe or ‘corn knife” going down the rows of soybeans.To accomplish the task we each took 4 rows at a time going down a 1/4 mi row that was usually waist high and wet from the dew-had to start early on the farm!One of the pesky weeds was a ‘smartweed”-Polygonum pensylvanicum.Briefly the SW is a member of the buckwheat family,Polygonaceae,They contain a juice which can smart if in direct contact.While the species contains 200 members about 24 are in the US-being more populated in the eastern half.The leaves are usually lance shaped and the flower pinkish or white.The seeds are are basically large and are feed for our songbirds and fowl.Those were the days!

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Along the roadside like the flower of gold…

Goldenrods-solidago canadensis(just for the post) number at least 125 species, mostly in NA.The book I was reading had 5 mentioned so I am guessing.The greatest concentration in the US is in the Northeast.In my travels i personally see a lot of goldenrods.They are a member of the Aster family-Asteraceae-growing 4’+ tall with the foliage that varies but mostly lanced shaped with small yellow heads and some species are bi color and even white called silverrod.As many times than not,weeds have been used by mankind.A tea called Blue Mountain Tea was brewed from the leaves-sounds good!

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It’s a producer…

Johnsongrass-sorghum halepense- is a tall,growing 3′-10′,upright perennial grass with an extensive seed and rhizome producing system.Respecively producing 80,00 seeds and 275 feet.While a native to the Mediterranean region, it was introduced a s a forage crop in the U.S.It is now considered an invasive species causing reduction of crop yields when left unchecked.In parts of the city trail it has become quite prolific.

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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.

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I have seen this weed grow up…

I have been watching this plant since last year since it presented it’s self as very noticeable.A large leaved plant with sage like leaves and somewhat hairy that stayed close to the ground.Well this year it took off.The weed-Mullein(Verbascum thapsus) is a biennial.The first year a rosette-a cluster of leaves growing close to the ground-of soft greenish woolly leaves and the second year a 3- 7 foot flowering stalk grows upward.It has a deep taproot to help tolerate dry periods.Common in pastures and fields with wide distribution in the U.S and Europe..Another species is the Moth Mullein and looks nothing like the Common Mullein.It seems like these weeds always have had uses humans had found.For example:Roman torches,lining for shoes,and a cure for leprosy and evil spirits.Hey-who knew!

wpid-wp-1434222501083.jpegwpid-wp-1434222557292.jpegnote on the flowers-they do not all open at the same time-so not real showy.Thanks to “Roadside Plants and Flowers”-Marian S. Edsall for info.

Henbit…Taking a sunbath.

Henbit-Lamium amplexicaule-also called dead nettle or giraffe head-is part of the mint family.It is a low growing annual(or biennial) plant with soft hairy sterms.The stems are square with leaves opposite and the flowers are pink to purple when they bloom in the early spring-more when that happens.As mentioned henbit is part of the mint family and is an edible mint–early springtime-and is high in iron.Gotta add this to my list of weeds to try.It seems like spring is the time to try weeds.One can find henbit through out N.A. to the Arctic Circle.It is native to Europe and Western Asia.Think Spring!

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An eye on spring…

Henbit-Lamium amplexicaule-is a winter annual(or a biennial).Exactly what is a winter annual?It is plant that germinates during the autumn and matures the following spring/summer.They maintain a low profile to the ground to survive the winter.In the spring it will show it’s colors with a purplish/pinkish flower that will show up when in a mass amount.It reproduces by seed and in the spring bees love them-not a bad thing.The leaves and stems are edible and have a sweet and peppery flavor and has been found to stimulate the body-gotta try this!Found in waste places-my fav-cultivated fields,roadsides just to name a few.It is a native of Eurasia and Africa-don’t usually see that origin here.In the USA it is found all over except parts of Montana,Wyoming, and Nebraska Also include Canada as a source.One more on this little weed-it helps cover the earth in the winter to help with erosion.Another weed doing it’s job!

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Thoreau for your Thursday…

The following is Thoreau describing pokeweed:”of berries of various hues,from green to dark purple,six or seven inches long,are gracefully drooping on all sides,offering repasts to the birds,and even the sepals from which the birds have picked the berries are a brilliant lake-red,with crimson,flame-like reflections,equal to any thing of the kind-all on fire with ripeness”wpid-wp-1412877319023.jpeg230px-Henry_David_Thoreau