New wildflowers

New region of the country, new biome, new wildflowers to learn. The lack of overlap between Illinois and western Washington is staggering. Red and white clover are the same, and dandelions, and thistles. That’s about it.

So here are some of the things blooming on our property in June.

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Here’s a mix of nettles and meadow buttercups. Both are listed as noxious weeds.

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Another noxious weed: meadow bindweed. It looks like morning glory, but the flowers stay open all day.

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The blackberry out here … oh, the blackberry. There are two varieties that run rampant. This is Evergreen blackberry

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And this is Himalayan blackberry. There’s a lot more of this, and we prefer the flavor.

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I don’t know that hawthorn trees are particularly rampant in the area as a whole, but they are a big problem on our property. We have one big mama tree. The birds eat the berries, sit on our fences, poop out the berries, and thus we have hawthorn seedlings and saplings growing up through all our fences. If I had my way we’d let them grow and pleach them into a proper hedge … but Sparks thinks probably we should cut them down before they get bigger. Phooey.

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Hypericum. Also called St. John’s Wort. We have a showy tame variety choking out our driveway garden–and I’m trying to kill it–but this wild variety grows everywhere, too. It’s a noxious weed.

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Now this is native, ergo not a noxious weed. It’s called hardhack. It took me a long time to figure that out, because it isn’t listed in any weed databases. It looks similar to two other wild plants that grow here: loosestrife and butterfly bush. It’s native though, and therefore friendly. People use it on-purpose in landscaping. We have several healthy stands providing privacy from neighbors, so we’ll keep ours. Pretty flowers, too.

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Here was a shocker. Oxeye daisies are a noxious weed here. Back in Illinois people bought them in gardening centers. Here they’re such a problem that it’s illegal to buy and sell them … not that we’d need to. Our pastures are completely full of them.

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See? Here’s a bit of pasture that’s gone unmown for maybe 2-3 weeks. Full of daisies and skeletonweed, which is the yellow stuff. It comes on after the dandelions, and the flowers are similar, but its stems are tough and spindly.

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This purple stuff is heal-all. I haven’t experimented with healing anything with it, yet.

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Last but not least, though it’s sadly finished blooming now in June, purple lupines. They love it here. Whole fields bloom full of it in May. Ours is as tall as me, and looooves to be transplanted. I’m thinking of filling my whole perennial border with it … but we’ll see.

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One thought on “New wildflowers

  1. You talk about “weeds” – really just flowers growing where you don’t want them. Purple Loose-strife is invasive, particularly on river banks, and I know it probably shouldn’t be there – but I love it. As for ox eye daisies – just wish I could get them to grow here, then I wouldn’t have to keep stopping the car to pick them by the side of the road. That’s why I keep scissors in the car! The pipe line that runs through our property has masses of blackberry bushes – all pretty small, I suspect in a few years it will be covered! Oh, can pick for jam without even driving!

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