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!

Working On It…

Achillea ‘Moondust’ on 5-25-19.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I am well, but we have gotten a lot of rain in the past few weeks. It is hard to mow, keep up with the weeds and try and work on the beds when it is raining or wet. The plants I did put in the ground were done so in a hurry without much thought or amending the soil. I did put in some composted cow manure with the Colocasia bulbs, but cow manure only provides so much. There is a lot more to it and some plants need more of this and that. I think I need to write a post about plant requirements as I learn and experiment.

I always feel a little strange when people compliment me about my skills as a gardener and talk about my green thumb. Seriously, there are many great gardeners whos plants and flower beds look much better than mine. I have plants I think should be doing better while others do so well it is shocking. What is worse is to bring home a plant that is supposed to perform a certain way and it doesn’t. Then I realize it was labeled wrong and isn’t even the plant I thought it was. So, how does it perform like so when it isn’t even supposed to? 🙂 Sometimes it takes many years to even realize “this isn’t even the right plant!”

Hmmm… I can sense something about to happen with this post but I am trying to avoid it…


Achillea ‘Moondust’ on 5-25-19.

We have had a lot of rain, as I mentioned, and wind and some plants are beginning to lean. The Achillea ‘Moondust’ isn’t that tall, but I noticed it leaning as I took its photo. When this happens, you need to put a rock or something next to their stems or firn the soil a little. Otherwise, they can start growing crooked. I staked almost everything when I was living in Mississippi but I don’t have to do that here. That’s a good thing and I am thankful. I am thankful for the rain even though we have gotten plenty for now. But you know, it is always that way this time of the year.

One thing I have realized is to be thankful for everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We have so much to be thankful for and take so much for granted. We should spend our day saying “thank you” for every experience and everything we encounter, everything we use, the air we breathe, our abilities, running water, the food we eat, friends and family, a bed to sleep in, the clothes we wear… One thank you can just lead to another because one thing leads to another. One thought leads to another. One action leads to another and so on.


Achillea tomentosa ‘LoGrow™ Goldie’ on 5-25-19.

The Achillea tomentosa ‘LowGrow™ Goldie” is doing well and looking a little shaggy. I haven’t noticed any buds yet but I am thankful it is doing well.


I have hesitated to talk about certain things because this is a blog about gardening and plants. There is more to my life than gardening and plants. I think I need to work on opening up about other things like my spiritual journey. I know so many people struggle with the same problems and issues I have. We are all unique in our needs and life’s journey, which means we struggle with the same issues.


Agave univittata var. lophantha on 5-25-19.

Well, this is supposedly an Agave univittata var. lophantha (Center Stripe Agave). It looked much different when I brought it home, unlabeled, and did research to find out what it was. When it was just a pup, its leaves were shorter and broad now they are long and narrow. Maybe it is because it hasn’t had enough sun in the past so this summer it gets FULL sun… I am sure it will be thankful, too.


I was brought up in a Christian home and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was young. My mom made sure us kids were in Sunday school every week no matter what. She would drive past the speed limit going down the street to get there on time, but we were always late anyway. I had the same questions about the bible many of us do and was given the same answers many us were told… “There are things we don’t know, but we have to believe and live by faith that what it says is true.”


Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum (Elephant Garlic) on 5-25-19.

I have a lot of Elephant Garlic in the south flower bed and they make neat plants and have these beautiful flowers. My start was given to me by my neighbor in Leland, Mississippi 8-10 years ago and they always do well and spread.


We get into this rut believing things we still question. Sometimes when we believe in something, we close our minds to other possibilities. Then, when the truth comes, you don’t believe it. Therefore, I have always had an open mind and have always believed there is more to life than what the Bible teaches. And to think I have been nominated to be an elder at the church I attend. I used to call myself a “progressive Christian” until I recently found that there is already a movement by that name. Now I have to come up with another name because I am not involved with Progressive Christianity. I am just me.

I always say, “the truth is the truth whether you believe it or not.”

So, if we believe and accept what the Bible says, if it isn’t exactly true, we will believe many other things that aren’t exactly true as well. And we have.


Amoracia rusticana (Horseradish) on 5-25-19.

The Horseradish is looking awesomely well! I took a photo of it in full bloom on May 5.


Armoracia rusticana (Horseradish) flowers on 5-5-19.

I took a close-up but it turned out a little blurry. Most members of the Brassica family of plants have yellow flowers and interesting seed pods. Horseradish is different…


As we humans get older, we naturally have a few physical issues to deal with. It is like we are fine one day and the next we have new pains. Our joints get somewhat stiff, sometimes our digestion gets out of whack, we have weird sleep patterns, and so on. Not to mention getting bald on the top of our heads while the hair on our ears and eyebrows seems to need trimmed daily. We try this and that to feel better but barely anything works (usually because we are fine already). I am still healthy and fully functional, but sometimes a little extra energy would help. Some of go on this health kick, hopefully, and learn that we need to eat better. We realize the importance of reading labels and try to avoid GMO’s… Eating out, especially fast foods, is a no-no. But, sometimes we revert back to our old ways for one reason or another. Next thing you know, we are back to eating out and still taking our natural supplements. We think maybe if we just go ahead and eat whatever we want, take natural supplements, get plenty of exercise and do a cleanse every 6 months or so… Hmmm… We need to eat healthy for our physical body, mental focus, and our spiritual growth.


Aptenia cordifolia/Mesembryanthemum cordifolium f. variegata on 5-25-19.

The Heartleaf Ice Plant is looking much better now. It was one long branched stem so I took cuttings and put them in the same pot. I am patiently waiting for more flowers now.


Ummm… I deleted A LOT of paragraphs and have started over more than once. I have a lot to talk about but I am not sure how to go about it…

I feel like as we are growing up we are spinning around in a funnel as we learn. We are taught about the theory of evolution in school and the Biblical theory of creation in Sunday school. Once we accept Christ, we fall through the hole in the bottom of the funnel and into a bottle with all the other believers. The glass bottle is dirty and you can’t see out… Kind of like the scripture, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face…” (1 Corinthians 12:13 ESV). Well, maybe that isn’t what the scripture pertains to, but it reminds me of it anyway. That bottle is like a tiny speck of dust floating around in the Universe. I climbed out of the bottle and funnel and peered into the Universe in December 2016…


Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ and Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on 5-25-19.

The Astilbe x arendsii and Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ next to the porch in bed on the north side of the house are making great companions. I bought the Astilbe last spring and it is the third year for the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’. Both are very impressive plants that make a bold statement. Of course, the gold-leaved Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’) also makes a bold statement as well. It is like a living mulch that knows no boundaries in the right conditions. I thought it preferred a more shady area, but let me tell you, it has gone really wild in more sun. With the rain and lingering cool temps, the Chickweed in the north bed has been a challenge. The plant in the lower right corner of the photo is a Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ (‘Goldstrum’).


Deleted and started over more…

As I mentioned, we are taught the theory of evolution in school, but we have been taught it is wrong in Sunday school. Everyone knows most everything has gone through a process of evolution, even the people that tell you it is wrong.


Baptisia australis seed pods on 5-25-19.

The beautiful flowers of the Baptisia australis (Wild Blue Indigo, Blue False Indigo) have been replaced by these HUGE seed pods. While the flowers were beautiful, the plant doesn’t flower long enough. Deadheading doesn’t encourage more flowers as it does with a lot of annuals and perennials. After flowering, the Baptisia have these huge seed pods which turn black when mature that can be used in flower arrangements.


Since December 2016, I have enjoyed watching documentaries about ancient origins, ancient civilizations, new discoveries both in archaeology and science, and so on. It just fascinates me what has been found. Since modern scientists have said, “who are we”, the Universe has answered. Archeology and science are coming together more and more, but religious leaders and theologians are still stuck in old beliefs for the most part. They cannot admit the truth, even though so many know the truth. I think it is because they didn’t know the truth and believed what they were taught, even though it couldn’t be explained. Very little in the Bible can actually be backed up with physical proof. One reason is because the names of cities and people in the Bible are different than the actual names. Even names change from time periods and cultures. Their “gods” were given different names even though they were the same “gods”. Notice I wrote it with a small “g”. I could not figure out why the name Sumer wasn’t mentioned in the Bible when several Sumerian cities are. Then I realized the Bible calls it Shinar. Ur, a Sumerian city, was the birthplace of Abraham and his father and grandfather were high priests to the Sumerian “god” Enlil. Most people in the early part of the Bible were Samarians including Noah, although his name was different. One reason some things cannot be backed up is that they are myths. GEEZ! Like I said, I am supposed to be an elder, but I am just saying what most Christians believe but won’t admit to. Christianity is a multi-billion dollar “industry”.

To make it worse, many sacred documents that have been discovered are hidden or have been destroyed because they contradict what was written in the Bible.

I am not going to get into the Sumerian tablets. Maybe later. I do have the entire set of The Earth Chronicles by Zacharia Stitchin even though I haven’t even made it through the first book. In the first book, The 12th Planet, Mr. Stitchin has done a great job comparing old testament scriptures with the Sumerian tablets. Umm… Even though it is “controversial”.

I am not going to get into the Moses controversy…


Most of the cactus collection on 5-25-19.

Most of the cactus collection is on the back porch while most of the succulents are on the front porch. If there were more room on the back porch… All are doing well for the most part and some need re-potting. Experimenting with pumice will continue.


Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ and Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) seedlings on 5-25-19.

Patiently waiting for the Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ to come up can be a real pain. I need to get the south bed planted so it will look good, but I have to wait for the re-seeders to come up. The Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’ came up first last spring but they haven’t made an appearance yet. So, likely they will not come up at all. USUALLY, the Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum) come up after the Celosia but this year they came up first… By the thousands!


Canna and Colocasia esculenta along the garage on 5-25-19.

Something weird happened. Last year I dug all along the south side of the garage and spread out the Cannas. Then, I planted several of the smaller Colocasia esculenta rhizomes in front of the Cannas. The Colocasia didn’t do all that great here probably because I didn’t water them enough. After the “F” zapped everything in the fall, I removed the dead and mulched the bed with leaves. I did not dig up the Colocasia and take them to the basement because I already had plenty. Technically, not even the Cannas are supposed to survive the winter here, but mine are not the only ones in town that do. What was surprising, though, was that the Colocasia also survived the winter in the ground with the leaves on them. I often wondered what would happen if I tried that but never did. I wouldn’t try it with the bigger Colocasia rhizomes because that would be a disaster if they rotted in the ground because I neglected to dig and store them.


Cylindropuntia imbricata on 5-25-19.

The flowers are on the Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ but this photo is supposed to be about the Tree Cholla (Cylindropuntia imbricata) next to it. Since the Sedum is doing so well, it is hard to take a photo of the Tree Cholla without the Sedum being in it, too. The Tree Cholla does weird things in the spring and early summer, growing leaves and new branches and is very interesting to watch. The drawback of this plant is its thorns that just seem to reach out and grab you… The Chickweed seems to like growing in it perhaps because it thinks it is protected. Hmmm…


Euphorbia mammillaris on 5-25-19.

As tempted as I am to do something different with this Euphorbia mammillaris, I am going to leave it alone and see what happens. I really like this plant and it is going to be fun to watch grow.


What I would like to really talk about is meditation. Meditation can be awesome for you for many reasons. The problem for me was understanding how to do it. If you have been brought up as a Christian, meditation is something we don’t even practice and is barely ever mentioned. How can something so important and valuable not be taught in Christian churches? I don’t get it… I think I understand why, but I still don’t get it.


Ferocactus wislizeni on 5-25-19.

When I was taking photos, I noticed a red glow on the Ferocactus wislizeni. Apparently, the new spines emerge red from a tuft of cotton. NICE! Ummm… the glob in the photo are the remains of a strawflower that was hot glued to this plant. The hot glue is stuck to a few of the spines and won’t come off yet.


I tried and tried to meditate and it seemed like nothing was working. I read this and that, watched videos, and I would always wind up giving up. Well, I prayed about it… Next thing I know, I had a new follower on my blog who made a comment. I always check out new follower’s blogs and it was good I looked at hers. I sent her an email and she sent a link to DailyOM. Since then, I have taken many courses on DailyOM and have learned A LOT. The courses on the Archangels, meditation, manifestation, and so on have helped a lot. Masha’s blog is called A Sweeter Life…


Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ on 5-25-19.

The Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ is really glowing now. I had to remove some Chickweed to get a good photo and noticed something interesting…


Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ flowers on 5-25-19.

It has the tiniest flowers I have ever seen on any of the other Heuchera. I almost pulled it off with the Chickweed!


Most of the courses I have taken on DailyOM have been very good, but there have been a couple I couldn’t sink my teeth into. Before DailyOM, I had difficulty meditating because of various reasons. Some say you have to quiet your mind and sit like so. Getting your mind to stop thinking is like getting your heart to stop beating. It is impossible… One said to count your breaths in order to stop thinking… Count one on the inhale, two on the exhale, and so on until you get to seven then start over. Sometimes I would be on 23 before I realized I was thinking about not thinking…


Matricaria discoidea (Pineapple Weed) on 5-25-19.

One of the neatest plants on the farm is the Matricaria discoidea also known as Pineapple Weed, May Flower, Wild Chamomile, Etc. It is a cousin to Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla with 48 synonyms)


Matricaria discoidea flowers.

The flowers look like little yellow balls and the plant’s bloom all summer. The only place they grow here is in and along the driveway. I have tried moving a few to the flower bed to see how tall they would get if they weren’t mowed off all the time. Information online says they grow from 2-16″ tall. As one of their common names implies, they have a nice pineapple scent which fills the air when I mow. You can make tea with their leaves and flowers and also use them in salads. The Wikipedia says their leaves may become bitter by the time they flower… I have never tried them even though there are hundreds of plants.


Then there were the ones that said you need to “be present” but wouldn’t explain what that even meant. Well, with DailyOM, I figured it out. You can take guided meditation courses that lead you through the whole process and it works… You eventually get the hang of it.

Then, on, I watched an interview with Belinda Womac (Open Minds, season 7 episode 12). I had taken courses about the Archangels on DailyOM, but then I bought Belinda’s book titled Lessons from the 12 Archangels. It is very good! My favorite course about the Archangels on DailyOM is titled Angelic Infusions: Live the Truth of Who You Are by Mark Mezadourian.

While it is interesting to know about our past, knowing how much truth has been lost, hidden and destroyed and why can be a little upsetting at first. To realize how we have been deceived will only lead you to watch more documentaries and reading more about the deception. This will lead you to watch and read any and everything, a lot of which is deceptive in itself. Many authors and people on YouTube don’t agree either which can be even more confusing.

I think the most important thing is to realize who we are, what we are, how to have what we want and need, how to get it, advance spiritually and know why that is necessary. Most of all, we are to love one another, encourage one another, learn about awareness and teach others along this journey. We all have gifts, even though we may not realize it now, to use to help others.


Spirea flowers on 5-25-19.

The Spirea is LOADED with flowers as always this time of the year. When I lived on the farm in the early 1980’s, this Spirea was in front of the house with the Junipers. I moved it between the back porch and basement steps so it would have a better chance. Well, after all these years, it has survived. Dad removed the old Juniper shrubs in front of the old foundation and now there are Iris in the area… PLUS several of this Spirea that came up from the roots left behind. They don’t do well, though, because they are in full shade.

I took more photos on May 25 but they are mainly for updates on the plant pages to the right of the blog.

I think I am going to work on something different along with sharing photos and information about plants and gardening… I tried it with this post but wound up deleting and re-writing MANY paragraphs. I have a lot to talk about but I am just not sure how to go about it…

SOOOOO, for now, I will close this post before I go back and delete everything again and start over. I have photos for the next post already so I better get it posted before they become outdated. OH, I found some NEW wildflowers on another farm I need to photograph and post about. I even found an Achillea millefolium with pink flowers. I have seen HUNDREDS of Achillea millefolium but NEVER one with pink flowers! Now I need to find it again before disappears.

Until next time, be safe, stay well, stay positive be thankful AND GET DIRTY!



Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’-NOT!


Baptisia australis

Hello everyone! I bought this Baptisia labeled ‘Lunar Eclipse’ from the Green Street Market in Clinton in 2017. There were several pots of ‘Lunar Eclipse’ flowering but they were pretty pricy so I settled for one in a smaller pot that wasn’t flowering. The label clearly says Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ which has beautiful bi-color flowers. It flowered a little for the first time last year but they were NOT like ‘Lunar Eclipse’. I thought maybe the flowers were whacky their first year so I still had hope for this year. I didn’t want to admit it was incorrectly labeled from the grower that supplies Green Street Market.


While still very impressive, it just feels weird waiting for something to happen and not getting what you expect.


Instead of being cultivar Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’, it is actually Baptisia australis commonly known as Blue False Indigo or Blue Wild Indigo. Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ was a combination of many species. Since the label is incorrect I don’t know if this is just the species or a different cultivar. SO, what can I do? I have to go back to this plant’s page and change the whole thing. At least the mystery is solved and I am also happy for that.

I am not complaining that much because it is a very beautiful plant but it isn’t what I paid for. I told the owner of the Green Street Market about it a couple of weeks ago. Of course, I didn’t expect a refund or anything because I have had the plant since 2017. It isn’t her fault the grower labeled them wrong and I did take a risk in paying a lesser cost for plants that weren’t flowering in the first place. You just never know and that is part of gardening…

I still have a lot of photos taken over the past couple of weeks, but they are mainly out of date now. So, this next week I will probably take more and HOPEFULLY make another post or two. I am STILL working on plant pages, updating and adding new ones. It is always a work in progress just like life.

Until next time, Be safe, stay positive and GET DIRTY!

Echinopsis mirabilis-Flower of Prayer

Echinopsis mirabilis on March 30, 2019.

Hello folks! I wanted to make a post highlighting the Echinopsis mirabilis whos common name is the Flower of Prayer. The past few days has been an exciting time for this plant. I brought it home from Lowe’s on March 29 because I thought it was really neat. It is a very dark green, almost black which was one of the things I found very interesting.


There were several wooly looking appendages sticking out of it and an old flower stem. Well, of course, I had to bring it home.


Echinopsis mirabilis with a new flower stem on 5-5-19, #566-23.

On May 5 I noticed it was about to flower. WOW! I got pretty excited! This was going to be a whole new experience!


Echinopsis mirabilis on 5-15-19, #572-1.

I almost forgot all about it until May 15 when I took the above photo. I thought how neat this was going to be for this plant to flower.


Echinopsis mirabilis on 5-18-19, #574-5.

It was getting about time and even more exciting on May 18…



Echinopsis mirabilis on 5-19-19, #575-2.

On Sunday afternoon I went to check and it looked like this…


Hmmm… I had forgotten one important thing. It flowers at night and only lasts for one night.


On the bright side, there is another one starting to grow. I am wondering if all those other fuzzy appendages are past flowers or where new flowers will be.

The sad thing is that this species is monocarpic and will die after it is finished flowering at some point. The good news is that the flowers are self-fertile and produce 100’s of viable seeds. That would be really interesting if their seeds came up.

I will be watching this plant like a hawk during the day and like an owl at night when the next bud starts to open! I will NOT miss it the second time. 🙂

New Plants Update

Achillea tomentosa ‘LoGro™ Goldie’ on 5-16-19, #573-2.

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing well. I haven’t posted since April 28, so I thought I better make an appearance so you know I am still alive and well. I have been busy doing this and that because there is always plenty to do. The grass is growing nonstop now.

I wanted to share my new plants with you. I haven’t brought home very many yet and I haven’t even started on the south side of the house. I am waiting for the re-seeding annuals to come up and so far there is no sign. The Jewels of Opar are coming up but the Denver Daisy has been a no show. The Celosia ‘Cramer’s Amazon and ‘Brocade Marigolds SHOULD be coming up.

So, here are the new plants since the last post, in alphabetical order…

The top photo is the Achillea tomentosa (Wooly Yarrow). The tag says the cultivar is ‘LoGro™ Goldie’. I don’t know where the “LoGro™” is trademarked from at the moment but the cultivar ‘Goldie’ has been around for a few years. When I checked to see if the species name was still “accepted”, I ran into a little difficulty. Ummm…

If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty of it, there “were” five Achillea tomentosa with different authors abbreviations. All are synonyms of other species now. Achillea tomentosa Friv. ex Nyman=Achillea coarctata Poir., Achillea tomentosa Fraas ex Nyman=Achillea holosericea Sm., Achillea tomentosa L.=Achillea millefolium L., Achillea tomentosa Pursh=Achillea millefolium var. occidentalis DC.=Achillea millefolium L., Achillea tomentosa Pall. ex Ledeb.=Achillea leptophylla M.Bieb. (Actually, there are two different Achillea leptophylla. Achillea leptophylla K.Koch. ex Nyman=Achillea crithmifolia Waldst. & Kit.). All the authors who named and wrote the descriptions we all describing different plants with the same name. 

So, what is the species of this plant anyway? I did image searches online of the possibilities and many of the photos look the same with the same type of leaves and flowers. Yes, some were different, but nothing really conclusive. No database or website other than Plants of the World Online mentions anything about the name Achillea tomentosa now being a synonym. It must have been a recent change. Looks like another email to Rafael Goverts from Kew is in order… Watch him tell me the change isn’t definite yet. I agree if there are more than one scientific names of the same plant the mystery should be solved. After all, Achillea millefolium has 133 synonyms and that number will probably grow.

ANYWAY! This plant I brought home from Wagler’s Greenhouse on May 1. The plant labeled Achillea tomentosa ‘LoGro™ Goldie’, is supposed to grow to ONLY 6-8″ tall. That is smaller than “Goldie’, ‘King Edward’ or ‘Aurea’ which are also popular cultivars of Achillea tomentosa.

Moving right along…


Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ after I brought it home on 5-9-19, #570-1.

I had been working on planters for a friend so I “had to” go to the four local greenhouses on more than one occasion. Wagler’s has a few succulents but Mast’s and Wildwood have more. Sometimes I find something new at Mast’s but Wildwood normally has the best selection. Wildwood Greenhouse is smaller than the other three but their plants are AWESOME. Well, I suppose I shouldn’t rate one higher than the rest because all their plants are of high quality. Business was booming the first couple of times I went to the greenhouses, but I did get to visit with Mr. Yoder at Wildwood at length on the 8th and 9th. We talked plants in general. Anyway, one of the succulents I picked up was this nice x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ which was unlabeled. I posted the photo on a Facebook group and was told it looked like x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’. I looked it up on Llifle and Google and decided the member was right or close enough to give it a name. x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ is an intergeneric cross between Aloe speciosa and Haworthia cymbiformis. Interestingly, one website used the term bigeneric which was a new one for me but bigeneric and intergeneric mean the same thing. Maybe they couldn’t think of the word intergeneric. I like the thick dark green leaves.


Aptenia cordifolia/Mesembryanthemum cordifolium f. variegata after I brought it home on 5-1-19, #564-2.

Walking through back greenhouse at Wagler’s I noticed this neat plant with a flower that looked similar to an Ice plant. There were A LOT of them but they were all unlabeled. I asked Mrs. Wagler what it was and she said it was an Ice Plant. Hmmm… When I think of an Ice plant I think of Delosperma cooperi which I have grown several times. “This is no Ice Plant”, I thought to myself. So, I brought it home mainly to figure it out.


By the time I arrived home to take photos the flower was closed up. It was pretty neat how the flower just kind of sticks out of the end of the plant.

Anyway, I went to my computer later and typed in “variegated Ice Plant” and came up with the name Aptenia cordifolia “Variegata”. Which would be written correctly as Aptenia cordifolia f. variegata. Unfortunately, Plants of the World Online says Aptenia cordifolia is ONCE AGAIN is a synonym of Mesembryanthemum cordifolium. Ummm… Botanists agreed this species was Aptenia cordifolia when the name was changed by Martin Heinrich Gustav Schwantes in Gartenflora in 1928. The genus Aptenia was named in 1925 but the species were returned to the Mesembryanthemum genus in 2007. Then in 2009, several authors proposed this move be reversed. So far, no luck. I am hopeful, though,


On May 6 I was finally able to get a photo of the flower. Like members of other Mesembryanthemum and Delosperma genera, the flowers of “Aptenia cordifolia” are only open during the day and close up in the late afternoon. The common name “Ice Plant” belongs to Delosperma cooperi. Aptenia cordifolia is the Heart-Leaved Ice Plant and Dew Plant *among others). The common name for Mesembryanthemum cordifolium is Baby Sun Rose. To make it a little more confusing, there is a hybrid cultivar floating around by Proven Winners called ‘Mezoo Trailing Red’ and they call it a Livingstone Daisy. It is likely a hybrid between Aptenia cordata x Aptenia haeckeliana, I mean Mesembryanthemum cordifolium x M. haeckeliana. The hybrids are found in the wild and produce red flowers while the true, whatever you call it, produce bright magenta-rose (pinkish) flowers. I could get into the synonyms of Platythyra/Aptenia/Mesembryanthemum haeckeliana but this is not about that plant. 🙂 In the wild, the hybrid is even more invasive than the true species.

All of the local greenhouses had many combination hanging baskets with these plants in them. I used them when I did the planters for a friend as well.


Callisia reptans (Bolivian Jew) on 5-19-19, #575-1.

I also had to have this neat little plant. I look at the label and it was a Bolivian Jew and the species name was Callisia navicularis. I was pretty happy when Plants of the World Online said that was a legit and accepted name! BUT, when I was talking to a friend and sent him a photo, he promptly said it was a Callisia reptans. I said, “WHAT!?!?!” I hadn’t looked online myself yet to make sure of that but he immediately knew that a Bolivian Jew was a Callisia reptans and not what the label said. I checked for myself and sure enough, he was right. I met this guy through a Facebook group and he knows a lot about plants!


Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ after I brought it home on 5-8-19, #569-1.

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ has been on my wishlist for a long time, so when I saw several at Muddy Creek Greenhouse on May 8 I didn’t hesitate to bring one home. I have grown both Colocasia ‘Tea Cup’ and Bikini Tini’ when I lived at the mansion in Mississippi but haven’t since I have been back in Missouri. Many believe Colocasia ‘Tea Cup’ is the same as ‘Coffee Cups’. Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ was discovered in the wild by Indonesian botanist Gregory Hambali and brought to the US by aroid specialist Alan Galloway.


I put it in the ground on the right side of the steps on the north side of the house. Two Achillea millefolium came up in this spot but I haven’t moved them yet. I just put the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ behind them. Hmmm… Two different species with completely different moisture requirements in the same spot. How’s that for garden planning? The Achillea are MUCH taller now but C. ‘Coffee Cups’ can grow 5-6′ tall.

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ and ‘Tea Cup’ are commonly advertised as a cultivar of Colocasia esculenta. In my opinion, and other growers of the ears, that is nearly impossible. It has many characteristics of Colocasia fontanesii including the dark petioles and smaller olive-green leaves. Colocasia ‘Black Stem’, which I have also grown in the past, is a Colocasia fontanesii.


Wagler’s also had a lot of very nice Gazinia so I had to bring one home for the northeast corner bed. I haven’t grown any of these for a few years but I always liked them. Their flowers start folding up in the late afternoon and open in the morning. GEEZ! I take most of my photos in the late afternoon!


Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ after I brought it home on 5-8-19, #569-2.

When I was out at Wildwood Greenhouse for the second time, I picked up one of the Gasteria ‘Little Warty’. It was unlabeled but I knew what it was from previous research about the Gasteria species. It is a cross between Gasteria batesiana x Gasteria ‘Old Man Silver’ from the Australian hybridizer David Cumming. Gasteria species seem to be easy to grow and are worth giving a try if you haven’t. They prefer light shade to shade over full sun so they also do well inside.


Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard) on 5-9-19, #570-3.

Wildwood Greenhouse had several of these Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard) which were also unlabeled. This species was first named Haworthia limifolia by Hermann Wilhelm Rudolf Marloth in 1910 then changed to Haworthiopsis limifolia by Gordon Douglas Rowley in 2013. A distinguishing feature of Haworthia species is their “two-lipped” flowers. After further research, three separate genera were discovered within the Haworthia genus. Now we have Haworthia, Haworthiopsis, and Tulista all with “two-lipped” flowers. Hmmm…


Malva sylvestris (French Hollyhock) on 5-19-19, #575-2.

Wagler’s had several unlabeled pots of these plants with nice HUGE dark green leaves that were unlabeled. Again, I had to ask what they were. Mrs. Wagler said they were Miniature Hollyhocks and thats all she knew. It is likely Malva sylvestris. Common names include French Hollyhock, and Tall or High Mallow.

I am not necessarily a Hollyhock fan because I had a friend, now deceased, who had them growing all along his garage. They spread A LOT over the years so I have been hesitant. I thought since these were miniatures they might do well between the basement steps and back porch so I brought one home. I planted it but I keep forgetting about it when I am taking photos. Hopefully, it won’t have pink flowers…

I think that’s it for the new plants this year so far. I didn’t find any new Hosta to bring home for myself but I did find three for a friend (the one I did the planters for). They are all different than mine so I can take photos of his. 🙂

Now I have to work on an update. I have to show you what the Echinopsis mirabilis is doing and photos of the Baptisia that was labeled ‘Lunar Eclipse’. It is LOADED with flowers this year but it is definitely NOT a ‘Lunar Eclipse’. Of course, the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ is always photo worthy and hasn’t even slowed down.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive!







Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ on 4-27-19, #563-6.

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you well. Spring is the time of year us gardeners get itchy fingers and the only cure is to get out hands in the dirt. And, of course, the only treatment for a plantaholic is more plants. Every year I think about doing something a little different with the north side of the house. The problem is space. The “Elephant Ears” do very well on the north side of the house, much better than anywhere else. That leads to a complicated problem with only two ways to solve it. For now, I am going to extend the bed farther away from the house even with the gutter on one end and curving it slightly to meet the area next to the steps. As I mentioned earlier, the larger Xanthosoma robustum rhizome rotted but I still have an offset from it. I am also getting a Xanthosoma sagittifolium from a fellow plant collector. The Xanthosoma grow wider than the Colocasia so they take up a lot of space. Then,  of course, there was the wanting another Leucocasia (Syn. Colocasia) gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. But, there were the two VERY LARGE Colocasia esculenta that I have grown on the north side of the house for several years. The two multiplied, as Colocasia esculenta do, but I will still only put two of the largest on the north side of the house. I already ran out of room before I started…


My son, Nathan, and his friend, Chris, are here now and Nathan said they would help out on the farm doing whatever I needed them to do. Umm… Chris seems more eager to help than Nathan so I explained to him what I wanted to do with the bed. A few days ago, while I was taking a nap in the afternoon, they started. I heard them talking outside so I got up to see what they were doing. I walked out the door and probably had a very blank look on my face. He completely misunderstood and dug one strip from the end of the gutter to the other side of the bed instead of digging everywhere there were no plants. The strip he dug was crooked, which he pointed out. I reminded him again what the idea was and he said he thought I wanted to dig a ditch. GEEZ!!!! A DITCH! Needless to say, they have yet to finish their project so I guess I will do it myself as initially planned. Then when I am finished I will hear them say, “We were going to do that…”

So, yesterday I decided to go to the greenhouses to see what they had available. I was going to go to Wagler’s but I needed to go to Wildwood first to see if he had another Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. If you remember, in 2017  I found one there but the rhizome rotted a month before time to plant it in 2018. So, I ordered a “bulb” (as they called it) from a seller on Ebay. When it arrived it looked like a white sweet potato and it turned out to be the Xanthosoma robustum

ANYWAY! Wildwood did have several Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ plants, which were formerly Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. They were actually Leucocasia gigantea in the first place. Being that phylogenetic testing proved they were more closely related to Alocasia than Colocasia, the Leucocasia genus was revived and the Leucocasia gigantea is there all by its lonesome. Of course, the label still says Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. I think I am getting a brainache… So, of course, I picked one out to bring home.


Colocasia esculenta ‘Distant Memory’ (PPAF) on 4-27-19, #563-2.

When most people think of an Elephant Ear, it is usually the Colocasia esculenta that comes to mind. Over the years I have grown several different species and cultivars and would like to start doing that again. I have a wish list with several but they are unavailable locally so I would have to order. I did find a black-leaved cultivar at Wildwood labeled Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’. It was released by Walters Gardens in memory of Harriet Walters who they say was the lifeblood of the family business. Photos on their website show a plant with very dark and puckered leaves but the leaves on the plants I saw at Wildwood are not puckered. Maybe that will come with age. I have grown Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ a few times in the past so this new version will be a new experience. The label says they grow 4-4 1/2′ tall and prefer at least 4 hours of sun. I know from experience the more light they are in the better the leaf color. I think I will probably put this plant on the left side of the porch where it will get plenty of light and attention.

You can read about it on the Walters Gardens website by clicking HERE.

I looked at the other plants at Wildwood in their front greenhouse and drooled over some of their succulents but I did not even dare pick up a single pot. They also had some very nice Veronica which tempted me… They had some VERY NICE pots of Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ like I bought from them last year, but I refrained…

Then I ventured to the second greenhouse… The back left-hand corner is where they usually have their selection of Hosta. They had several nice cultivars I didn’t have including several VERY NICE Hosta ‘Humpback Whale’ and the prices weren’t bad at $8.00 per pot. But, I took only $20 because I had a limit…

The truth is, I had already spotted several pots of a plant I thought I would NEVER see available and I HAD to bring one home.


Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ after I brought it home 4-27-19, #563-3.

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon‘!!! I was given several of these by a friend, Mary Botler, when I lived at the mansion in Leland, Mississippi. She gave me the start in 2010 and by the time I left in February 2013 they had spread quite a bit. Personally, I thought they were a very delightful plant and you just never knew where they would pop up. The scent of the leaves kind of reminded me of fish lemon pepper. While Plants of the World Online continue to include Houttuynia cordata as the only species in the genus, there are two chemotypes. POWO says the Japanese type has an orange scent and the Chinese type has a scent resembling coriander. Hmmm…

Common names for this plant include Bishop’s Weed, Fish Mint, Fish Leaf, Rainbow Plant, Chameleon Plant, Heart Leaf, Fist Wort, and Chinese Lizard’s Tail. It is used in cooking, as a salad, as well as herbal medicine. You can read more online about this plant on the Wikipedia page HERE, visit my page about it by clicking on its name (above). I have several links included on its page for further reading. The Wikipedia lists another species, but POWO says it is a synonym of H. cordata. There are several cultivars also available.


Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ on 4-27-19, #563-4.

One interesting thing about this plant was the color of the leaves. Some are a colorful combination of chartreuse and dark green and some with some having reddish highlights.


Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ on 4-27-19, 563-5.

Other leaves were a solid dark green and sometimes on the same plant. No two leaves are alike. The color of the leaves also varies by degrees of light which also changes throughout the season.

I was very happy to have found this plant locally. It is supposed to be hardy in USDA zones 4-10 so hopefully, it will thrive. Actually, I am not sure how well I want it to thrive because this plant can become invasive. I have grown many perennials that are supposed to be cold hardy here that have done well during the summer but didn’t return the next spring. So, we shall see…

I only had $21 in cash and some change and I didn’t know how much the Houttuynia was. It had been with the Hosta which were $8.00 a pot. If it were $8.00 I was going to have to put something back. Amish only take cash or checks here because they have no electricity and no debit card readers. When I was checking out, he said, “Let me see. How much are those?” I told him I didn’t know but they were with the Hosta that are $8.00. The total came to $21.14. 🙂

After I left Wildwood I went to Mast’s Greenhouse to check on the Hosta. I mainly went to see if they had Hosta like the Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ I brought home last year. As I have mentioned several times, the Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ is NOT a ‘Blue Angel’. I was hoping to find pots that were correctly labeled. While they did have several Hosta available, the only pot like the one I bought was apparently one left over from last year… Incorrectly labeled. I was going to quiz Mr. Mast about where they get their Hosta but there were a lot of people there and he was very busy. They did have several nice Hosta including a gold-leaved cultivar but it looked very similar to Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ which I already have. If I am going to buy another gold-leaved Hosta, it has to be different than what I already have.

So,  I headed back to town to go to Wagler’s on the other side of town. Just to look to see what was available. That’s why I stopped at the bank to withdraw another $20.00.


Centaurea sp. on 4-27-19, #563-1.

Wagler’s was also very busy so I went through their second door unnoticed. Normally, we visit a little but she was busy with customers at the counter. So, I ventured through one greenhouse then to another, then back up to another to get to the greenhouse with the perennials. The plants all looked very good. Once again, even at Waglers, the selection of Coleus was almost nothing. In the past I have planted Coleus between the Colocasia in the north bed, but last year I grew none. GEEZ! What is life without Coleus? Anyway, in the greenhouse with the perennials, the bright yellow flower on the Centaurea caught my eye. I walked past them then returned. Along the front of the table were pots with handwritten labels that said Centaurea red and some that said Centaurea purple. The pot with the yellow flowers had no labels. I also noticed the leaves of the yellow flowered plants were different and they had reddish colored main stems. I picked up one of each anyway. GEEZ! For the northeast corner bed or perhaps the southeast corner bed.


Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ on 4-27-19, #563-7.

I walked around the perennial greenhouse more and saw some NICE peach colored Foxglove which I decided to pass. Then I spotted several nice pots of Salvia labeled Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’. Salvia ‘Black and Blue’ have been on my wishlist for MANY years so I had to pick out three. Salvia guaranitica is a synonym of Salvia coerulea now… Well, it has been for many years but the industry still labels them as Salvia guaranitica.

By the time I was finished browsing, the crowd had thinned out somewhat. I went to the counter and a lady had come and was asking her daughter or granddaughter (GEEZ!) about “Voodoo” plants. She told her there were a few pots that “Lonnie” brought last year under the table that hadn’t come up yet. The girl brought up a pot and Mrs. Wagler asked me something about it coming up. I stuck my finger in the pot and told her the bulb was sprouting. Then, she told the lady I was the one that brought the other Bromeliads. Come to find out, this lady was the one who brought Mrs. Wagler all the other Bromeliads last year from Florida. I had noticed the Bromeliads late last summer when I took plants to her and they were looking very good. So far, she has only been able to get one start from one of them.

The lady from Florida said she was somewhere in Florida and this guy just started pulling off offsets from all these Bromeliads and giving them to her. She put them in her suitcase and brought them to Mrs. Wagler to see if she could have any luck getting offsets from them. I am not sure how many there are, but there are MANY and all are different.

When I went to pay for the six plants I had found, Mrs. Wagler quietly told me I didn’t owe her anything. 🙂 It is so great to be able to go to a greenhouse and not have to pay for plants. I am also grateful to be able to have a place to take plants that multiply where I can trade for plants I want.

I would like to start working on the north bed, but a thunderstorm is approaching. Rain is in the forecast all week. GEEZ!

I hope you are having a great and joyous spring. Be safe and stay positive.