Monday Catch Up Post… Photos From Last Week

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. You will notice right off the bat I am a day late with this post. The photos on this post were taken from the 12 through the 16th. I am going to “attempt” to write a new post each day I take photos, even if I only take photos of one plant. Ummm… I took photos every day but one last week and 44 on Sunday. So, I think what I will do with this post is kind of catch up with the highlights of the past week through the 16th. Well, maybe I will think about it and have it figured out by the end of this post.

When I was mowing last Tuesday, I spotted this tiny toad running for his life in front of the garage door. I stopped the mower and picked it up so I could move it to a safer location. Over the years I have seen many baby toads, but this one is the smallest yet.

 

Mammillaria decipiens on 6-12-19, #587-2.

The Mammillaria decipiens has even more buds now. They are probably opening by now but may be closed up by the time I take photos.

 

Zantedeschia aethiopica on 6-12-19, #587-5.

The Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) is now starting to flower. It didn’t flower last year so I did something different when I replanted the bulbs this spring. I read the instructions. 🙂 You are supposed to leave the upper half of the bulb exposed. I guess it must have worked since they are starting to flower.

Driving down a street today I saw a HUGE cluster of white Calla Lilies in front of a house. They were very tall and LOADED with flowers. Since I have passed by this house nearly every day and this is the first time I saw them, I guess they are newly planted there. I couldn’t tell, but they may be in a pot.

I am looking at the photo folders for each day… I already posted about the new bed at the church and new plants, so I can skip the 13th.

 

Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house on 6-14-19, #589-1.

The Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house are really doing well this year. I think I already posted about them before but I wanted to do it again. I know they are just a Yarrow and you can see them all over the countryside.

 

Achillea millefolium flowers on 6-14-19, #589-2.

But, I love their flowers!

 

Alocasia ‘Calidora’ on 6-14-19, #589-3.

I’m not sure how tall this oldest Alocasia ‘Calidora’ is, but it is taller than me. I am 8′ tall, so the plant is pretty big.

 

Alocasia ‘Calidora’ on 6-14-19, #589-4.

The other two Alocasia ‘Calidora’ are looking very good, too. I gave a lot of Alocasia to Wagler’s last summer so I am down to just a few pots. Of course, this is not all of them…

 

Alocasia ‘Portora’ on 6-14-19, #589-5.

Alocasia ‘Portora’ is one of the nicest looking with their darker stems and ruffled leaves. I purchased the great grandmother of these plants from Wellspring Gardens 10 YEARS AGO! She was almost 8 feet tall when I left her behind with a friend when I moved back to Missouri in 2013. I didn’t realize I could have just cut the leaves off and brought it.

I keep forgetting I need to re-pot the Alocasia gageana AGAIN. They are behind a shed I walk by every day when I feed the chickens, where all the plants on the front and back porch used to be. Every time I walk by, I say “I need to get those girls re-potted.” I need to take their photos, too!

 

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ bud on 6-14-19, #589-6.

As I was looking at the plants in the shade bed, I noticed the buds on the Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ are different than the buds on the other Hosta. Strange I never noticed that before… Isn’t it odd how we can be around something so often and not notice certain details that make them unique?

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ bud on 6-14-19, #589-7.

Most Hosta buds look similar to this one on Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’.

 

Rudbeckia hirta, left, and Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 6-14-19, #589-8.

Somehow I think allowing the native Rudbeckia hirta to have its way in this bed was not really a good idea. I moved the Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ to this spot from the north bed a few years ago to see how it would do in more sun. At that time, there was only one Rudbeckia hirta in the bed… Ummm… This bed is along the northeast corner of the old foundation of my grandparent’s old house. The house I moved to after my grandfather passed away in 1981. This was my first Hosta bed back then. When I moved back here in 2013, dad and I planted some rhubarb and horseradish we got from a friend, Ross Hampton, in this bed. Ross was the former foreman at Marti Poultry Farm. There were a lot of surviving old Iris along the north side of the foundation, which I didn’t put there in the 80’s, that dad was mowing over. I moved them to the corner of this bed… I had the Marigold ‘Brocade’ in this bed for a couple of years, too.

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ on 6-14-19, #589-10.

I must admit the change in the Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ has been a transforming experience. We are are here to learn from our experiences and this plant has taught me a lot. When we are down and almost to the point of giving up we have to realize the power we really have and what we are really capable of. Who we really are and what we can do. We can give up, or we can choose to live! A few years ago, this plant was down to just a few stems and now it is AMAZING! It didn’t give up!

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum on 6-14-19, #589-11.

One thing you might notice is the color of the flowers now. In previous posts, they were yellow… Actually, the yellow petals have fallen off and these will become seed pods. Notice the swollen clusters at the top of the photo. This is a new experience for me.

On to June Saturday, June 15…

 

Aloe maculata bud on 6-15-19, #590-2.

The Aloe maculata is very happy and is sprouting it’s first but for 2019. NICE! The Aloe maculata and I have a long history dating back to 2009 in Mississippi when a good friend brought me an offset from his grandmother’s plant. So, this is our 10th Year Anniversary along with Alocasia ‘Portora’…

Hmmm… Maybe I should do a 10th Anniversary post. I actually started blogging in 2009.

 

Malva sylvestris on 6-15-19, #590-13.

The Malva sylvestris seems to like it in this neglected spot. I have planted a few things in this area that have never taken off. I have even amended the soil with “the Good Stuff” and nothing worked. It looks like this version of the miniature Hollyhock is going to work… Hmmm… This could be a spreader if it likes it here well enough. Time will tell.

 

The south bed on 6-15-19, #590-18.

Now I have my work cut out for me… Now that the Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ seedlings are ready to transplant in their proper places. I usually put them in two rows along the wall but I may do something a little different. I’m not sure yet…

 

Possibly Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’ on 6-15-19, #590-14.

I’m not 100% sure, but the “missing” Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’ seedlings may be mostly in the yard along the bed… I will dig them up and transplant them to the bed and see what happens. It would have been nice of them to come up in the bed but… They came up much earlier last spring and were actually beginning to bud on June 3. Here it is June 15 in this photo!

 

Southeast corner bed on 6-15-19, #590-19.

I am not really happy with the looks of the southeast corner bed either. The Centaurea flowers are really neat but they are a bit sprawly. The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ is still wondering why I relocated it, even though I told it why. I think it needs some fertilizer. If it doesn’t do well here, it may not return in 2020 and I have had this plant since 2013. It is nice to see the Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) flowering. The Echinacea purpurea on the left has done quite well and the flowers are beginning to open. I didn’t know the cultivar, but while I was writing captions on the photos the name ‘Magnus’ appeared in my mind. I thought, “‘Magnus’? Where did that come from?” I did a search for Echinacea ‘Magnus’ and sure enough it is a cultivar. I guess “someone” is helping me out. I guess I better listen and conclude this cultivar of Echinacea purpurea is ‘Magnus’.

I have done several things with this bed over the past three years that have worked well. I must admit, it certainly doesn’t have much PIZAZZ this year. YET… I would have bought more Angelonia ‘Perfectly Pink’ for this spot, but they were not to be found this year. You never know what will be available from one year to the next…

I think I will stop here since there are 44 photos in the next folder from Sunday, June 16… I will make another post for them then try doing a post a day. GEEZ! Once I catch up. It is Monday already but at least I didn’t take any new photos today… So, I will catch up with the next post, Sunday Photos on Tuesday. Oh, heck, it is already 12:12 AM on Tuesday.

I know I have been very bad about reading your posts for the past, ummm… Well, it has been a while. I have managed to read your new posts over the past few days and I will try to make time every day to stay caught up. I do have to make a post about an issue I am having with WordPress. I had a chat with customer service and explained the issue and he somehow got on my blog, in the reader. I copied and pasted the home page of one of the blogs I follow to show him the issue. His reply was, “That’s weird.” I told him I was thinking about writing a post about it but I wanted to see if it could be fixed before I did that. He agreed posting about it would be a good idea and said he would look into the problem further and email me what be figured out. It has been a couple of weeks and I have heard nothing and the issue still persists. SO, I will be posting about it this week. I hate to complain and I have really enjoyed using WordPress for the past 10 years.

Until next time, take care, stay positive, have fun and be thankful.

New Bed At Church & Six New Plants For Me

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well and getting dirty! I am glad I was asked to help with the bed in front of the church steps. Well, maybe it was kind of my fault in a way that it needed re-planted in the first place. There has been Malva sylvestris (French Hollyhock) growing in the front bed and a couple of daylilies for several years. Two falls ago, after the “F”, I was asked to clean out the bed but I explained I usually do it in the spring (in my own beds). This spring, before I had a chance to do it, someone else did (not to mention names) and they pulled everything up instead of cutting the dead stems. Then “he” asked if I would go with “him” to the greenhouse and find some plants to put in the bed. Well, I needed a good reason to go to the greenhouses, as if I needed a reason at all. So, we made plans and went on Wednesday (the 12th). I took “him” to all four but we just brought back plants from three. I had a few ideas in my head before we went from what I knew was available at Wildwood. We stopped at Wagler’s first but I didn’t see anything that caught my eye. Mrs. Wagler wasn’t there so we didn’t get a chance to visit. Kind of late in the season anyway. Then we went to Wildwood… So, I had this image in my head with what we initially bought from Wildwood, but I wanted to go to Muddy Creek to see what they had. They were almost completely sold out but I found two plants that completely rearranged my initial plan. Then we stopped at Masts and I decided the Purple Fountain Grass would look good on both ends of the bed. Once we came back to the church and I laid all the pots out, I decided we needed more plants. Everything we bought first went on one side so I needed more plants to duplicate the same thing on the other side. 🙂 To be quite honest, the Coleus were not part of the plan but they somehow made their way to the counter and to the church…

From left to right… 1 Purple Fountain Grass, 3 Rudbeckia hirta ‘Becky Cinnamon Bicolor’, 3 Gazinia ‘Arizona Apricot’, 1 Dracaena indivisa (Spikes), 3 Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy, 1 Veronica longifolia ‘Very Van Gogh’, another Dracaena, 1 Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’, another Dracaena, another Veronica longifolia ‘Very Van Gogh, another Dracaena, 3 more Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy… WAIT A MINUTE… Something is weird. Skip the last Dracaena and put here. Then 3 more Gaillardia, umm, ‘Arizona Apricot’, 3 more Rudbeckia ‘Becky Cinnamon Bicolor’, 3 more, no, 1 Purple Fountain Grass. Then, of course, the Coleus, three somewhere in the middle when it is an odd number. OH CRAP! I need another one, or maybe just take cuttings from them all and put them here and there. Hmmm… Now maybe some mulch would be a good idea. 🙂

While we were at Wildwood and Muddy Creek, I saw I needed to go back… So, on Thursday the 13th, I decided I would take them some plants as a good reason to go. I potted up a few Coleus argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ and Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum) from the south bed both of them (since I have thousands to spare). I had promised the owners of Muddy Creek some Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip (Bugleweed) so I took them as well…

 

Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’.

Well, what can I say? I had been wanting an Achillea ‘Moonshine’ for many years but Achillea just isn’t something you often see at the local garden centers and greenhouses. In fact, Muddy Creek didn’t have these Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’ when I went before. I picked up one for the church then went back and brought one home the next day. It will go in the south bed and it will grow 26-30″ tall.

 

Flowers of the Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’

The flowers are very interesting with very tight, coarse, stiff, almost hard clusters. Zooming in or getting closer made it a little too blurry but I’ll get a good one later. 🙂

 

Silvery-green leaves of the Achillea 'Sassy Summer Silver'.

There is no species name on the label, but the leaves look similar to Achillea tomentosa. I checked online, and a few websites say it is Achillea millefolium ‘Sassy Summer Silver’. Ummm… The leaves are NOT Achillea millefolium leaves! So, I went to the source and sent Andrew Jager from Walters Gardens an email. He says Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’ is a complex hybrid with multiple species in the background. One of the parents is Achillea ‘Moonshine’ and the other “unnamed” cultivar is also a complex hybrid. He also said one of the unifying species for the Sassy Summer Series is Achillea sibirica*. He went on to say he could not confirm there was any Achillea tomentosa… Other members of the Sassy Summer Collection have lemon yellow, red, pink, and orange flowers.

From previous research for the Achillea ‘Moondust’ page, which is a “chance” seedling from Achillea ‘Moonshine’ (which is open-pollinated), it is believed Achillea ‘Moonshine’s’ parents are Achillea clypeolata and A. taygetea (in a roundabout way). Achillea ‘Moonshine’ was introduced by Alan Bloom in the 1950’s.

*Ummm… According to Plants of the World Online, Achillea sibirica is NOW a synonym of Achillea alpina. GEEZ!

 

Veronica longifolia ‘Very Van Gogh’.

PREVIOUSLY, when I made the planters for a friend, I used three Veronica spicata ‘Royal Candles’ I found at Muddy Creek. This time, they had Veronica ‘Very Van Gogh’ and no ‘Royal Candles’. So, I picked out one for the church and then went back AGAIN and got another one. Of course, when I went back the next day I decided to bring one home which I will also try in the south bed. According to the internet, it is a cultivar of Veronica longiflolia, and according to POWO, it is a current and accepted species. 🙂 Of course, it could be a “complex” hybrid and the internet is wrong. Didn’t that happen before? OH, NO! Veronica ‘Very Van Gogh’ is also an introduction of Walters Gardens. I just noticed that or I could have quizzed Andrew about it, too… OK, when he replies to my last reply, I will reply about this one.

Veronica ‘Very Van Gogh’ grows 18-20″ tall x 20-24″ wide. I have grown several Veronica cultivars but I have difficulty getting to return the following year.

 

xMangave ‘Pineapple Express’ after I brought it home on 6-13-19, #588-4.

While I was waiting for someone to show up at Muddy Creek, I noticed A LOT of this xMangave ‘Pineapple Express’ in a greenhouse by themselves. I have always wanted to try an xMangave or Manfreda, so this was my chance. Most of the plants they had had longer leaves, but I selected one that was wider and more compact. xMangave is a cross between Agave and Manfreda. xMangave ‘Pineapple Express’ is the result of a cross between xMangave ‘Bloodspot’ and xMangave ‘Jaguar’. Ummm… It was also introduced by Walters Gardens as part of their Mad About Mangave Collection.

I checked with Plants of the World Online, and they said xMangave is a synonym of Agave… Of course, so is the genus Manfreda. So, according to them, this would be an Agave ‘Pineapple Express’. So, should I mention to Andrew that Walters Gardens Mad About Mangave Collection is all screwed up? Somehow I think my next reply to him won’t be met with much enthusiasm… Well, you have to admit, the plant in the above photo does look like an Agave

 

Rosette of the xMangave ‘Pineapple Express’.

OK, so let’s be sensible… Agave species and cultivars always have solid or striped leaves, right? All but a few of the Manfreda species and cultivars I have seen have “spotted” leaves with a few being solid green. Some have very wavy leaves and some of their leaves are fairly narrow and they are spineless. Manfreda also differs from Agave in being herbaceous AND bulbous as is the genus Polianthes and Prochnyanthes. POWO says Polianthes and Prochnyanthes are also synonyms of Agave now.

As it turns out, testing has revealed that Manfreda, Polianthes, and Prochnyanthes are Agave… It’s complicated. Most of the species from the three genera have retained their species names while a few were already synonymous with other Agave species. Now, what do you think of that? I learn something every day!

While back at Wildwood…

Sempervivum ‘Cosmic Candy’.

Mr. Yoder and I always talk A LOT about plants in a serious way. He is trying to learn the scientific names. 🙂 He gets A LOT of succulents from a distributor of ChickCharms which specializes in Sempervivum. I really like Sempervivum but there are SOOOOO many cultivars that are exactly the same and have the same parents. It is REALLY whacky! To make it worse, many plants are often mislabeled and customers and employees of garden centers can’t tell the difference. Wildwood had several Sempervivum labeled ‘Berry Bomb’ that are actually ChickCharms cultivar called ‘Cosmic Candy’. ‘Cosmic Candy’ is a cultivar of or a hybrid involving Sempervivum arachnoideum that have all the hairs. S. arachnoideum is commonly known as the Cobweb Houseleek.

 

A closer look at the Sempervivum ‘Cosmic Candy’ from ChickCharms.

The Sempervivum arachnoideum are typically green with the cobwebs and the rosettes are fairly smaller and tight. Sempervivum arachnoideum subsp. tomentosum have broader and more open rosettes and have the reddish color in the spring and early summer. More than likely, ‘Cosmic Candy’ is a hybrid of the cobwebs would be longer instead of just looking a bit hairy. Maybe they will get longer with time. We shall see. It is a very beautiful Semp!

 

Tradescantia zebrina from Wildwood.

He has quite a collection of Tradescantia species and he said he would like to have them all. I gave him the species names and he admires how the leaves are so different on some plants. He is really intrigued with the Tradescantia fluminensis var. variegata and how some of their leaves are pure white, striped, and even solid green on the same plant and sometimes on the same stem. I brought this Tradescantia zebrina home because the plant(s) I have leaves with more refined stripes while this one is less refined, more streaked. Weird… I still need to take him a pot of Tradescantia sillamontana (White Gossamer Plant). Last time I was there I took him several Tradescantia pallida (Purple Heart) cuttings and a pot of Billbergia nutans.

 

Zantedeschia sp. from Wildwood.

While I was at Wildwood before, I noticed several pots of Calla Lily sitting on the floor next to the counter. I looked them over but I didn’t bring any home. We got to talking about them and he said he grew them from seed he found in one of his catalogs. He planted, even outside, and they came up, but he said they don’t look right. Although the tag in the pot says Zantedeschia aethiopica, he said it was just a generic tag he found from a supplier. Strange, though, the photo on the tag shows a Calla with green leaves and white flowers. Ummm… Zantedeschia aethiopica have spotted leaves. This plant’s leaves are more heart-shaped (cordate) while my Zantedeschia aethiopica stand straight up and has more… Anyway, he gave me a pot to see what I could do with it. I put it in a different pot with different soil so we shall see what happens.

Well, I think that is it for this post. I still have more photos I have taken over the past week to post. This week went by so fast and I can’t hardly believe it is Saturday ALREADY! I started out the week attempting to write a post a day with the photos I took every day but that didn’t happen. GEEZ! Maybe I can do better this coming week…

Until then… Be safe and stay positive! Don’t forget to be thankful and GET DIRTY!

The Usual Joys & “Are You Serious?”

Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum (Elephant Garlic) on 6-9-19, #585-1.

Hello, everyone! I hope this post finds you well. It happens every year… Some perennials come up earlier than others and some you have to wonder about. Then there are the re-seeders you have to wait on to see if they are going to come up at all. You are ready to get the beds tidied up and make decisions about what you are going to do with the beds. You go plant shopping to see what is available and bring home new plants. Some plants you liked the year before aren’t available so you get to try new cultivars and new plants.

The Elephant Garlic (Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum) in the above photo is now flowering in the south bed. A great example of having your cake and eating it, too.

 

Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ on 6-9-19, #585-2.

A few of the older Alocasia went dormant and this Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ is FINALLY waking up. Two others are still thinking about it.

 

Hmmm… Last spring I bought a Siberian Bugloss, Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’. It did very well and was a beautiful plant. Once the Japanese Beetles really set in on the Chinese Elm tree and changed its environment, it started ailing. By the end of July, it was completely dead. I didn’t see anything online about this species going dormant so early, so I just contributed its demise was because of the heat and increased light. I left the label in place just in case it returned in the spring because you never know. I always say, “Just because it is dead doesn’t mean it is dead.” I have been surprised many times. Well, there is a plant coming up beside the label but there is a weed with similar leaves, which I haven’t bothered to ID. So, this is either the Bugloss returning or a weed trying to fool me… Most likely, the latter is the case. But, I am keeping an eye on it. 🙂

By the time I am finished with this post, which is likely to take several days, maybe we can tell what is really going on here.

 

Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ on 6-9-19, #585-6.

Waiting and waiting… Then all the sudden, “OH, CRAP!” Almost time to transplant the Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ and Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar).

 

Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) seedlings on 6-9-19, #585-22.

It happens every spring… It seems I need to work on the south bed but I always think I have to wait for the Celosia and Jewels of Opar to come up. Last spring the Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’ came up in abundance from self-sown seed but barely any came up this spring. In fact, I am not so sure any did and I was beginning to wonder about the Celosia. But when they did come up, they really came up! I think I am pretty safe if I don’t even worry if they will come up and just go ahead and do whatever I want with the south bed when I am in the mood. The Celosia and Jewels of Opar will come up when they are ready and it doesn’t matter where I dig. I will still have more than enough.

 

Colocasia esculenta on 6-9-19, #585-7.

The Colocasia esculenta are finally coming up in the north bed. I didn’t post photos, but something terrible happened with the BIG rhizomes… The biggest ones had crown rot but the majority of the rhizome was OK. It just made the smaller eyes come up around the rhizomes instead of the main one from the center. Hard to explain but maybe you get the picture… It was unusual, but the small Colocasia esculenta I planted in the front of the Canna bed overwintered with leaf mulch and came up long before the rhizomes I planted… I don’t know what the Xanthosoma robustum is going to do because it sort of had the same problem only in a different way. It rotted from the bottom instead of the top. Last time I checked, the top sprout had broken off but there is some kind of activity on the remainder of the rhizome… Time will tell. The temps have been weird and the soil has remained cool and damp which they don’t like…

 

Conoclinum coelestinum ‘Aunt Inez’ on 6-9-19, #585-8.

TRIPLE GEEZ! The Conoclinum coelestinum (Blue Mist Flower) I call ‘Aunt Inez’ always comes up so late. It is a perennial or sorts but these always come up from seed. Supposedly, they are an herbaceous perennial that “spreads aggressively” by rhizomes and self-seeding. Dad got his start from Aunt Inez (his mother’s sister) many years ago. They were in a good-sized group on both sides of the steps but they have declined, which may be partly my fault. I have been panting other plants where they grow which had led to their seeds being lost or not being able to come up. It was kind of tiresome waiting for them to come up then having to move them around a bit. (GEEZ! That is like in the south bed!). Then after I get the beds planted, a few come up… I am not complaining at all, and I am thankful that at least a few have made an appearance. I have tried to relocate a few in the past, but they never return the next spring. As far as them spreading “aggressively” by rhizome, I have never had that happen and it would be a good thing if they even tried. They are a nice plant with neat flowers. The worse thing about their seedlings is that one might think they are a weed and pull them up by accident. My dad used to keep an eye on me and was quick to point them out. He would say, “that’s one of those flowers. You have to be careful not to pull them up.” 🙂

 

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Cone Flower) on 6-9-19, #585-9.

The Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) “are” now budding. They have done very well and are getting very tall. I am so thankful I have these now! I failed to dig up a few of the Echinacea paradoxa (Yellow Coneflower) along a back road which I wanted to plant somewhere on the farm.

Grammarly thinks “are” should be “is”. I had to remind it “are” is a present and plural form of “be” and “is” the singular present form. 🙂 We are at a stalemate and it is thinking about it.

 

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ on 6-9-19, #585-10.

The Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ is looking MUCH better now. I was beginning to wonder for a while if it would make it.

 

Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ on 6-9-19, #585-11.

The very nice Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ is going to bless us with its first flowers this year. It’s first!

 

Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ wannabe on 6-9-19, #585-12.

Hmmm… The Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ wannabe is getting a little bigger. It is driving me NUTS not knowing the true cultivar name. I am going to turn the label around so it can read that it says “Hosta ‘Blue Angel’.” I am sure it will tell me, “Yes, I am blue (well kind of) and I am an angel. But I am NOT Hosta ‘Blue Angel’.” 🙂

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ on 6-9-19, #585-13.

The Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ definitely has no identity crisis. Its flowers are just as compact, neat and tidy as the whole clump.

 

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ on 6-9-13, #585-14.

The always glowing Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ is further dazzling us with buds.

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ on 6-9-19, #585-15.

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ is looking especially AWESOME this year and flowering right on schedule. I took photos of the Hosta on 6-9-2018 and it didn’t have buds, but it did on the 14th. So, we are pretty much right on schedule.

 

Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ on 6-9-19, #585-16.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE! I had almost forgotten about the Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ (Bee Balm)! I saw it had sprouted a while back, but the Creeping Jenny had completely covered it it. When I was taking photos on Sunday, it said “HERE I AM! DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME!” I smelled its leaves to make sure it was really it. 🙂 I am very thankful it came up. Now, we’ll see if it flowers.

 

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia Creeper) on 6-9-19, #585-17.

The Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is one of those “I fooled you” plants when they are very young. You can easily mistake it for a Viola and not pull it up. Sometimes their second set of leaves may even resemble Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), which fooled me for several years at this stage. I had plenty of both in Mississippi and was always getting a little rash after pulling weeds in the back yard even though I didn’t see any poison ivy where I was working. Then one day I noticed the Violets I didn’t pull had three leaves so I thought Poison Ivy started out looking like Violets. Well, that is not the case. Small Poison Ivy starts out with leaves of three while the Virginia Creeper starts out looking like Viola species. By the second or third set of leaves, you can clearly see the five-leaved Virginia Creeper.  Some people break out in a rash similar to Poison Ivy from the sap of the Virginia Creeper as well.

One interesting thing about Poison Ivy is that it is not an Ivy at all. Believe it or not, it is in the family Anacardiaceae with Cashews, Mangos, Pistachios, and many other ornamental trees that produce “fruit” that are drupes. Many of the plants in this family produce sap with urushiol which is what causes the rash. Virginia Creeper (or Woodbine) is in the family Vitaceae along with grapes. These plants produce raphides (crystals of calcium oxalate) which can also cause irritation by puncturing the skin of sensitive people. Umm… I mean people with sensitive skin.

 

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ buds on 6-9-19, #585-19.

The Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ is starting to bud now. There will be A LOT of flowers because they really like it where the biggest patch is now.

 

Rudbeckia hirta buds on 6-9-19, #585-19.

I think buds are especially neat on some plants. Here the native Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) buds resemble brown balls wrapped in golden-yellow petals.

 

Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ on 6-9-19, #585-20.

The Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ seems to be having some difficulty expressing itself this spring. It was like it couldn’t speak for a while and was always looking over its shoulder. Then I realized maybe it is the Elephant Garlic… The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ in the other end of the bed had the same difficulty until I removed the garlic next to it. This year it has gone bananananas! Maybe the smell of the garlic and the scent of the Salvia don’t mix well. Chemical reaction. LOL!

 

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ears) on 6-9-19, #585-21.

The Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina) are blooming once again. They seem to like this spot and I am going to attempt something… I have a plan… Top secret. 🙂

 

Vitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’ (Chaste Tree) on 6-9-19, #585-23.

The beautiful Chaste Tree, Vitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’, is looking great and starting to flower. I really like this shrub but it can be weird sometimes. It made it through the winter like a deciduous shrub instead of having to come up from the bottom like a perennial. It has been a few years since it did that. There are a few advantages to that including their stems are much stronger. Last spring it came up from the ground and next thing you know all the stems were flat as a pancake and growing horizontally because the stems were weak. I have photos to prove it. 🙂 So, I am very thankful it growing normal this year.

That’s all for this post. Until next time, be safe, stay positive, be thankful and you know the rest.

 

June 1-8 Update

Linnaea (Abelia) x grandiflora on 6-1-19, #580-1.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. It looks like we are going to have a few days with no rain in the forecast. I have taken quite a few photos over the past week but have been kind of tardy writing posts. Nothing quite as exciting as the Echinopsis mirabilis flower, though. There have been a few surprises, I must admit, which will be in this post… I took a few photos on a friends farm (and along a highway) of a few wildflowers I don’t have here.

I am starting this post with photos I took on June 1 and proceeding through June 8. Some of the photos I took earlier in the week are already out of date and new photos had to be taken throughout the week. Buds become flowers within a few days. 🙂

The Linnaea x grandiflora (syn. Abelia x grandiflora) is flowering up a storm. It was getting very tall so I cut it in half (down to about 5′) in 2017. I am calling this shrub an Abelia x grandiflora, I mean Linnaea x grandiflora, although I am not 100% sure. The photos that “were” on the Missouri Botanic Plant Finder looked like this shrub. Well, I checked again when I made this post and their photos have changed… Hmmm… They are still calling it an Abelia while Plants of the World Online by Kew have changed the name to Linnaea. SO, WHAT IS IT REALLY? The name change wasn’t that recent either!

 

Linnaea x grandiflora flowers on 6-1-19, #580-2.

There are several cultivars of Abelia/Linnaea x grandiflora, but presently, the only flowers online that look the shrub in my yard are the ones from this blog. GEEZ!!! I guess I will have to go further research AGAIN, because now this shrub doesn’t appear to be what I thought it was in the first place… 🙂 On the bright side, if it isn’t an Abelia or Linnaea, I don’t have to worry about wondering which name I am supposed to use. Any ideas?

(My thanks to Jean Molnar for suggesting this shrub may be a Deutzia scabra ‘Plena’. I believe we have a winner! The cultivar name may not be correct because this shrub is likely to be close to 60 years old.)

 

Catalpa speciosa on 6-1-19, #580-6.

One of my favorite trees is the Catalpa. I love its huge leaves and its beautiful flowers. There are quite a few HUGE Catalpa in town and they are AWESOME this time of the year. I found this tree growing in the old foundation, maybe in 2017, so I removed it and planted it in the yard. It has grown incredibly FAST!

 

Catalpa speciosa flowers on 6-1-19, #580-7.

Here again, I was presented with a problem. There are two species of Catalpa that are nearly identical, Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa) and Catalpa bignoniodes (Southern Catalpa). Supposedly, Catalpa speciosa has slightly larger leaves and flowers but it hard to tell unless you have both to compare. Both are present in Missouri and their range varies from one website to another. I believe the tree I planted in the yard is the Northern Catalpa because they grow taller than the Southern Catalpa. The larger trees in town easily exceed 60′ tall.

 

Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ on 6-1-19, #580-10.

Ummm… My first experience with the gold-leaved Creeping Jenny began with my plant friend, Walley Morse, giving me a start in 2010 when I lived at the mansion in Mississippi. I didn’t bring any with me when I left Mississippi in 2013, but I found ‘Goldilocks’ at Lowe’s in 2014. I put in the center of the bed on the north side of the house, which is mostly shaded, as a groundcover. Although the Creeping Jenny does flower, mine did not for all these years. Most of the Creeping Jenny I have seen in people’s flower beds are growing in the shade. As I have mentioned in earlier posts this year, this Creeping Jenny has found the sun. On June 1, as I was staring up the steps, I almost fell because the Creeping Jenny was LOADED with flowers… Strangely, only the plants in the sun have flowers… While gold-leaved plants brighten a shady area, many of them do quite well in full sun. They make a bright area glow even more.

Then on June 3…

Carduus nutans (Musk Thistle) on 6-1-19, #581-2.

I have been spraying and digging the thistles on a friends farm and it has been very interesting. There were so many it was hard to tell which ones I sprayed and which ones I didn’t. Sometimes I knew I sprayed certain groups and they remained alive and well so I sprayed again. Then the next day they would still be perfectly fine. I finally won when I just dug them up. At home, I have the thistles under control and there were only a few this year. When I say “a few” I mean maybe 20 or so. While I have only had a few Musk Thistle here (two a few years ago and two this year in a different location I never had thistles before), my friend’s farm is LOADED with them. It is like a nightmare! I think the thistles here are mainly Bull Thistle, Cirsium vulgare, but several species look so much alike it is hard to tell, especially from photos. I am NOT a fan of spraying, believe me, and I have controlled the thistles here mainly by digging down about 2″ in the soil and cutting their stem. But, when there are HUNDREDS of them, spraying is the best option. I still plan on writing a post about the thistles but I need to make sure I have the correct ID. Sad to say, thistles are beautiful plants with awesome flowers. Ummm… All parts are edible and apparently loaded with vitamins. You can prepare the buds like artichokes. Nope, I haven’t tried it… Nor have I tried artichokes.

 

Verbascum blattaria f. albiflora (Moth Mullein) on 6-3-19, #581-16.

While working on his farm I noticed these neat flowers growing here and there. They were not growing in colonies, but rather 1-4 spaced several feet apart and only in a couple of areas. I easily identified them later as Verbascum blattaria f. albiflora whose common name is Moth Mullein.

 

Verbascum blattaria f. albiflora (Moth Mullein) on 6-3-19, #581-17.

There are several colors of Verbascum blattaria, but the f. albiflora is particularly nice.

 

Penstemon tubaeflorus (White Wand Beardtongue) on 6-3-19, #581-12.

I had been noticing several large groups of flowers along the highway so I got out and took some photos. I later identified them as Penstemon tubaeflorus, commonly known as White Wand Beardtongue.

 

Penstemon tubaeflorus on 6-3-19, #581-13.

They have particularly interesting flowers with three lower lips and two upper lips with deep throats. The flowers are a pure, glistening white.

I have been keeping an eye on the pink Achillea millefolium I mentioned in an earlier post. Unfortunately, it disappeared. Maybe a cow ate it…

Later in the afternoon…

Amorphophallus sp. on 6-3-19, #581-1.

The Amorphophallus has finally pushed through the soil! I stuck my fingers into the soil a few weeks ago to make sure the two plants in this pot were going to come up. They were slowly working on it… I would really like to know how big their corms are by now but I guess I won’t venture to check.

 

x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ on 6-3-19, #581-6.

After having the x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ as a companion since 2016, it is going to flower for the first time. AWESOME!

 

Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora on 6-4-19, #582-18.

I finally re-arranged the Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora (Silver Squill) because I was tired of it leaning. This plant is doing very well and SOMEDAY it will start spreading!

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea on 6-4-19, #582-24.

I also re-potted the Ledebouria socialis var. violacea and put it in a larger pot because it is having no problems multiplying. I removed a bulb for a friend in Alabama while I was at it. OUCH! Well, he is sending several new plants that I am trading for a few he doesn’t have. So, I agreed to send him one of these since he is sending a couple cultivars of Ledebouria. Ledebouria are pretty neat plants you may want to give a try and they seem very undemanding.

Photos from June 5…

Achillea millefolium on 6-5-19, #583-1.

The Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house is doing incredibly well this year. They have struggled the past few years because they apparently didn’t have enough sun. I guess all the limbs that fell during the ice storm provided more light for them. They are still inching their way around the corner of the chicken house. The clump I moved in front of the barn last year are doing OK but still haven’t quite gotten with the program. I need to do some research on “older” cultivars that were popular many years ago because this one has been around for a while. My start came from a friend in Mississippi who’s start was given to her by someone else many years earlier. I know it is a cultivar because they grow much different than the Achillea millefolium growing in the pasture and along roadsides.

 

Group of Alocasia on 6-5-19, #583-3.

The Alocasia are beginning to look much better after a winter in the basement. The biggest Alocasia ‘Calidora’ (on the other side of the barrel) is MUCH taller than I am. Several of the older plants went dormant over the winter and have yet to come to life. GEEZ! Once they go dormant it seems to take a very long time for them to come back to life. Normally, the bigger plants don’t go dormant in the basement over the winter…

 

Aloe maculata on 6-5-19, # 583-4.

The Aloe maculata is doing very well after being in the house over the winter. I usually keep it in the basement during the winter, but this year I let it stay in the dining room. As you can see, it has several pups that need to be in their own pots. It will start flowering soon. 🙂

 

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 6-5-19, #583-5.

The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ is strutting its stuff!

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on 6-5-19, #583-19.

The Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ is starting to flower…

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ on 6-5-19, #583-20.

And so is Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’. I need to do some work on the shade beds but the mosquitos are crazy there right now.

 

Equisetum hyemale on 6-5-19, #583-17.

The Horsetail is… Strange how I am at a loss for words. I… Ummm… For the most part I really like the Equisetum hyemale because I don’t ever have to worry about it. It survives and grows no matter what. The only issues are duriing the winter when the cold and wind causes the stems to fall over. Some stand back up, but some do not. Once I get in the mood, I will pull the weeds and grass around and among the Horsetail and cut off the stems laying on the ground. Believe me, there is plenty of new growth, even in the yard 10-15 feet away. But that is no problem for the lawn mower. Nothing distracts the Horsetail’s mission to grow, thrive, and be happy.

The area in front of the chicken house gets neglected quite a lot even though I had plans here originally. The soil is good but the moles work in this area more than I do. The light in this area is also weird. I have put various plants in front of the chicken house over the years and nothing seems to work well. Nothing except for the Horsetail and sometimes the Achillea millefolium at the other corner. I do have a NICE colony of Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ growing along the northeast side that has always done very well, although also neglected.

 

Malva sylvestris on 6-5-19, #583-22.

When I saw these plants at Wagler’s Greenhouse they were unlabeled. I asked what they were and she said, “she said they were Miniature Hollyhock.” That sounds weird. She didn’t say who “she” was and I didn’t ask. ANYWAY, being unlabeled always gives one side of my brain a red light and the other side a green light. At first the red light wins and I pass by. Then the negotiation between the two sides begins and the green light wins. Yeah, that is a very good way to explain my insanity when it comes to bringing home unlabeled plants. It gives me an opportunity to do research and learn. That can lead to confusion especially when there are several genera in the Malvaceae family that are similar and have similar leaves and flowers. So, you have to wait until they flower. Ummm… The flowers are similar for several genus and species, but fortunately, the flowers of Malva sylvestris are unmistakable. THANK GOODNESS!

 

Oenothera biennis (Evening Primrose) on 6-5-19, #583-24.

This is another “Ummm…” plant. The Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) is a Missouri native (and the rest of central and the eastern part of North America). It somehow thought growing in a crack in the concrete floor would be a good idea (what was the back porch of my grandparent’s old house). I first noticed it when I moved back in 2013, and although I never saw an Evening Primrose, I somehow knew what it was. I didn’t pull it out of the crack so I guess it thought I liked it. Now they come up everywhere they think it is OK along the back of the old foundation.

The Evening Primrose is an interesting plant that only lives for two years. The first year’s leaves grow in a tight rosette and spirally on the stem the second year. The flowers open in the evening and, if you are lucky, last until around noon the following day. I have RARELY seen their flowers… Of course, this is the plant Evening Primrose oil comes from.

 

Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ on 6-5-19, #583-31.

The Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ is an awesome Salvia. Well, in my book, all Salvia are AWESOME! I deadheaded these two plants on May 19 and they started right back blooming again. Last summer I neglected to deadhead once and they didn’t flower for quite a while. I haven’t made that mistake yet this summer. OH, summer has just begun… 🙂

Then finally on June 8…

Amorphophallus sp. on 6-8-19, #584-1.

The Dragon’s Tongue, Voodoo Lily, or whatever you choose to call it has tripled in size since June 3. I won’t really know what the species is until they flower, but I suspect Amorphophallus konjac is the likely candidate. Out of 223 accepted species on Plants of the World Online (as of now), there are only a few that are commonly available that would be passed along at a local greenhouse fairly inexpensive. Actually, maybe just one. Well, maybe we can even narrow that down to zero but that would leave me back where I started. Even though Amorphophallus konjac is a common Voodoo Lily, you probably won’t find it at Lowe’s or Wal-Mart.

Passalong plants are plants that reliably come up and multiply. Plants that everyone has but seldom buys. Plants you usually wind up with so many you have no idea what to do with are sometimes considered passalong plants. Plants that are very nice and you like really well that you hate to pull up and throw on the compost pile because you have so many. Then they will start coming up in and around the compost pile. Plants that you would sometimes like to go to another town and leave on people’s doorstep and run away. Never in your own small hometown because their neighbors may recognize you. 🙂 Believe me, the thought has crossed my mind. Passalong plants are great to trade with people at plant swaps because there are always people that come and have no idea what they are getting into.

Moving right along…

Aptenia cordifolia/Mesembryanthemum cordifolium f. variegata on 6-8-19, #584-3.

The Aptenia cordifolium f. variegata, or Mesembryanthemum cordifolium f. variegata, is doing very well. While I am getting used to typing Mesembryanthemum without checking the spelling my computer wants to spell variegata wrong. It seems to think it should be variegate. GEEZ! I am just reluctant to change the name from Aptenia to Mesembryanthemum because I think it will change back again. The neat little flowers are a challenge to photograph because they close in the afternoon before I normally take photos.

 

Aptenia cordifolia/Mesembryanthemum cordifolium f. variegata on 6-8-19, #584-2.

Ummm… Yes, this is an “ummm” plant. I am not going to say anything else. Just think of the first thing that comes into your mind. Ummm… Now you see what I mean? What are we thinking? This is a plant and how the bud starts!

It is times like this I wonder if the Angels are reading my mind. How does what we think affect our Karma?  I am just glad we can use the excuse, “I am just human.” After all, the Creator of the Universe and all the divine beings have a sense of humor and probably are thinking the same thing. Nature can be humorous and this is one of those times.

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea on 6-8-19, #584-6.

Well, isn’t that amazing?!?! I just repotted this plant on June 4 and now it has its first bud. That is, it’s first since I have had it here. I have no idea how old as these bulbs (corms or whatever you call them) are. I am very thankful I get to experience the Silver Squill flowering. I think this will be a WOW moment not because they are rare or seldom flower, but because I have never seen one in person. Supposedly you have to be careful how you overwinter these plants or they won’t flower. You have to ignore the heck out of them and don’t give them any water during the winter months. I had to keep them in a room I seldom went in most of the winter to accomplish this. Once I put them in my bedroom in April, I had to give them a little water. For some reason, and I have no idea why, some consider Ledebouria a succulent. They are very popular plants with succulent enthusiasts, too.

No, I didn’t plan using the last two photos in sequence…

I am almost finished…

Ferocactus wislizeni on 6-8-19, #584-4.

I had a photo in the last post showing the red spines of this Ferocactus wislizeni (Fishhook Barrel Cactus). When I was looking at the cactus on June 8 I noticed something very strange… The “apex” of the cactus is where the new spines are formed… How come there are three now? I didn’t notice this earlier perhaps because of the hot glue stuck in its spines. I am very glad the hot glue slid off when I was taking this photo without doing any damage. 🙂 Anyway, information on Llifle says, Ferrocactus wislizeni is “a barrel-shaped or columnar cactus that stay usually a single column; rare specimens may be multiple…” Hmmm… This cactus is only approximately 1 3/4″ tall and it is already doing weird things… I have only had this cactus as a companion since March 30, so it could get interesting. We shall see…

 

Mammillaria decipiens on 6-8-19, #584-7.

The always witty Mammillaria decipiens (possibly subsp. camptotricha) is starting to flower again. It freely flowers most of the summer and I am thankful they are white instead of pink. This is a neat cactus!

OK, now I am finished for now.

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, and always be thankful. Get as dirty as you can and enjoy!

 

GOT IT! Echinopsis mirabilis Flower!

Echinopsis mirabilis on 6-3-19, #581-4.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I have been keeping an eye on the Echinopsis mirabilis (Flower of Prayer) since I missed the last flower. On June 3, when I took the above photo and the one below, I knew it was getting close.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis bud on 6-3-19, #581-5.

If you missed the previous post about this plant, I had missed the last time it flowered. Plus, it was the first flower to open after I had brought it home from Lowe’s in March (2019 … Well, I had forgotten this plant flowers at night and only one night. So, when I got up to check the morning after, it was to late.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis at 7:20 PM on 6-4-19, #582-1.

At about 7:20 PM Tuesday evening, I thought I better go check on this plant to see what the bud looked like.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis bud at 7:20 PM on 6-4-19, #582-2.

The twisted appearance is pretty neat. Kind of like it is unwinding. 🙂

THEN, AT 10:30 PM…

Echinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:34 PM on 6-4-19, #582-3.

Echinopsis mirabilis! 

THE FLOWER OF PRAYER!

WOW! AMAZING! BEAUTIFUL! I was nearly speechless! There have been a few times in my life I have seen something so amazing I was speechless! A miracle of nature right before my eyes! I ran back inside to grab the camera…

 

Echinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:35 PM on 6-4-19, #582-4.

It’s like everything, every movement, every breath, every thought stopped when I was looking at this flower. Everything except taking photos.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:35 PM on 6-4-19, #582-5.

The flower is so HUGE in comparison to the size of the plant itself!

 

Echinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:35 PM on 6-4-19, #582-6.

It’s like the love of your life looking you right in your eyes for the first time. Her smile, the twinkle in her eyes as she peered into your very soul! (Then you meet her for the first time after 36 years shopping in Wal-Mart and you strike up a conversation. Then she says, “Who are you?”).

 

Echinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:35 PM on 6-4-19, #582-7.

So beautiful and amazing! I took a whiff to see what it smelled like. It was weird. Barely any scent at all… Good thing it is self polinating. 🙂

This is the second time I have witnessed a night blooming plant… Last summer I went to my cousins home where they have this HUGE Night Blooming Cereus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) I wrote a post about it and you can view by clicking HERE. It was an amazing thing to see!

We had our family reunion recently and she (my cousins wife) asked me if I wanted it. She said they hadn’t even moved it outside. Well, of course, it is very hard to refuse but it is HUGE! How do I even get it home? You know what they say, “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

Nature is an amazing thing and we are blessed to have so many miracles around is. Life in itself is a miracle and we are so blessed to live on this amazing planet called Earth. Take time to be aware of the miracles around you, how nature and life unfolds right in front of you.

What miracles of nature have you witnessed?

That’s it for now! Until next time, be safe, stay positive, be thankful and GET DIRTY!

 

Surprise Pink Achillea and Green-Leaved Milkweed

Achillea millefolium with pink flowers on 5-30-19, #578-1.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I have been working on the thistles at a friends farm and have noticed a few wildflowers I don’t have here. It only takes seconds to take a few photos. Sometimes it is good to have proof of what you saw when it is unusual. I remember a few years ago I found a HUGE Morel growing in the chicken yard in February. I took a photo with my cell phone but had no way of getting it into my computer. I sent the photo to a few people, but now I don’t even have the cell phone. That was probably a once in a lifetime event and a fluke of nature to have a Morel in February.

Well, a few days ago, I was surprised to see a single Achillea millefolium with pink flowers. Achillea millefolium in the wild typically have white flowers and I have seen hundreds, and most likely you have, too. They can be seen growing along highways, back roads, in pastures, along trails, in fence rows, etc. There are many cultivars of Achillea in several different colors but to see an Achillea millefolium, other than white, in nature is a rare find. I feel very blessed and am thankful for witnessing this plant. I am very tempted to dig it up and bring it home so a cow won’t eat it or step on it.

 

Asclepias viridis (Green-Flowered Milkweed) on 5-30-19, #578-2.

Another wildflower on his farm that I don’t have growing here is the Asclepias viridis (Green-Flowered Milkweed). The Missouri Botanical Garden website says they are commonly found in the Missouri Ozarks and the southeastern corner of the state as well as several other states.

 

Asclepias viridis (Green-Flowered Milkweed) flowers on 5-30-19, #578-3.

The nectar from the flowers are a source of food for many butterfly species.

 

Asclepias viridis (Green-Flowered Milkweed) leaves on 5-30-19, #578-5.

The leaves are a source of food for Monarch Butterfly larvae (caterpillars). This milkweed also goes by several other common names. It is known as the Spider Milkweed because the White Crab Spider lives on this plant and Green Antelope Horn because the seed pods resemble an Antelopes horn.

 

Carduus nutans (Musk Thistle) on 5-30-19, #578-7.

Ummm…  This stately plant may look AWESOME and it does have beautiful flowers. But, if you see these in your yard or garden, take photos and admire the plant then get rid of it. This is the terribly agressive and invasive Carduus nutans commonly known as the Musk Thistle and Nodding Thistle. A few years ago I had a couple of these growing next to the south side of the barn. It was different than the other thistles with its beautiful silvery leaves. I let it grow until it flowered so I could take photos then sprayed it. Then, this spring, I saw a couple more growing next to the hay lot.

 

Carduus nutans (Musk Thistle on 5-30-19, #578-8.

The wickedly beautiful leaves are lined with very sharp spines.

 

Carduus nutans (Musk Thistle) flower on 5-30-19, #578-9.

The flowers are really neat on the Carduus nutans but they are different than the “common” thistle. Most thistles are very invasive and NOT native to this country.

When I first did my research on the species of Thistles growing on the farm, I could NOT find this plant. I was looking in the Cirsium genus. I really hadn’t gotten into Thistles for a few good reasons, and concentrated mainly on other wildflower species I have been identyfing on the farm. But, since I have been working on the Thistles on my friends farm, I noticed a few different species so I did some investigating.

He told me about the app from the Missouri Sate University that can be downloaded and used for plant ID. Well, I don’t have a cell phone but I did get on their website. I looked at the many species in the Cirsium genus but could NOT ID this Thistle. I noticed one of the links was redirecting to the wrong plant so I sent an email to Pam Trewatha to tell her about it. Of course, I sent her a photo of this thistle as well as the Achillea millefolium with the pink flowers. She correctly ID’d the thistle and thanked me for bring the error to her attention.

She also said she would be happy to help ID any other mystery plants. Hmmm… I have several so she will be hearing from me again. I have one in particular that comes to mind. 🙂

I will be writing a post on Thistles soon which should be pretty interesting. They aren’t all created equal and, believe it or not, they are edible and nutritious.

Until next time, be thankful, be safe and stay positive. This is a nice sunny day, so I think I will do some mowing and trimming. Of course, I will GET DIRTY. Care to join me?

Neat Flowers! Centaurea & Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’

The yellow flowered Centaurea on 5-30-19.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. We made it through a day without any precipitation so far. I thought it was going to rain around 7 PM when I was working in the northeast corner flower bed, though. I noticed a mole had been working the bed over so I had to work it over, too.

That brings me to a message I found in my blog spam… I hardly ever look at the spam comments but I decided I would a couple of weeks ago. There were two comments asking me to try out their products and write reviews. One was for this neat garden planner and the other was for a solar-powered pest repellant for the yard. They both came but I haven’t written a review yet. Since I had the mole issue, I decided to put the new gizmo to work and see what happens. They sent me two, so I will put the other one somewhere between the shade bed and chicken house. I will take photos and write my first review when I set the next one up. I must admit, the quality seems pretty good… Now let’s see if it works as good as it looks.

The yellow flowered Centaurea is still blooming and now the other two have started.

 

Purple flowered Centaurea on 5-28-19.

OK, I must admit I was expecting something a little different. The tag, written in pencil said Centaurea and purple.

 

Red flowered Centaurea on 5-28-19.

Ummm… The label with this one said Centaurea and red. Well, the photo isn’t quite as dark as in real life and I must admit the flowers are pretty neat.

 

Leaves of the Centaurea that has the purple flowers on 5-28-19.

All three of the Centaurea have different leaves but the “red” and “purple” seem to have the same growing habit.

 

Leaves of the Centaurea who’s label says “red” on 5-28-19.

The leaves of the one with the red label are somewhat larger than the one labeled purple.

 

Leaves of the Centaurea with the yellow flowers on 5-28-19.

The one with the yellow flowers has much smaller leaves and they are paler green. The plant also has somewhat of a different growth habit.

 

Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ on 5-28-19.

NOW THAT IS NEAT! Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue” is definitely black and blue! It was pretty funny when they started budding and they were solid black. On the morning of May 28, I was greeted with the first two sets of blue flowers on two of the plants. One of the plants is a little behind and is just now beginning to bud.

 

Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ on 5-28-19, #577-8.

I really like Salvia in general. They have really neat flowers and unmistakeable scented leaves. I have grown 13 different Salvia species and I have enjoyed them all. Currently, I still have four species growing and the Salvia coccinea (Scarlet Sage) seedlings haven’t come up for 2019. They reseed and a few have come up every year since 2014. I think I should do a post dedicated to past and present Salvia.

OH, wait a minute… I almost forgot I should have said 15 different Salvia. Rosemary is now in the Salvia genus (Salvia rosmarinus). I grew the Rosemary in 2017 and a variegated cultivar maybe in 2014 or 2015.

I did take a few photos of a few wildflowers at a friend’s farm that I don’t have here. I found the pink-flowered Achillea millefolium. I am so tempted to try and transplant it here. I also took photos of a different Milkweed which I identified with no problem.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive! Of course, you know by now to GET DIRTY!