Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wildflower Wednesday*

I'm given lots of books to read, review, and provide feedback.  Sadly many of them get shelved without having cracked the spine.  But today I'm putting my previously unopened "Weeds of Canada and the Northern United States", France Royer & Richard Dickinson authors (dedicated To farmers everywhere) to work in honour of Wildflower Wednesday.  It appeals to my sense of using something evil for good, i.e.:  discovering a "species (that) could be a major problem because of inadequate control mechanisms" while enjoying, appreciating, photographing and drinking in these pretty flowers.

All kidding aside, for those of you who want a great book for identifying wild plants - it is one of the best I've ever used - it shows the leaf structure; the plant as a seedling; the flowers in bud, in bloom; similar plants; how the plants look in the winter.  Frankly, if I were these two, I'd do a little re-writing and sell it as a wildflower book - it's excellent.

Anyway, here's what I found blooming these past few weeks in the fields around my neighbourhood.

Ranunculus acris - Tall Buttercup.  Thought the grass next to it was really pretty.  The seed-heads are very carex-like.

This is where I'm reminded I should take a photo of the leaves too - I'm thinking this is Cirsium arvense  Canada Thistle.  And, I'm with them, it is a weed - apparently with the potential to reduce crop yield by 100%.  Yikes.

Obviously not a 'major weed'.  Vetch.

This stand of sumach is beyond beautiful in the fall with the asters and goldenrod in front.

It's a wonderful beast of a plant.

Euphorbia cyparissias Cypress Spurge was brought over from Asia.  I'm a sucker for anything chartreuse.   But listed as a weed for it's ability to grow anywhere particularly at the side of a road.

I find it hard to hold anything against something so vibrant.

Introduced from Europe is field bindweed Convolvulus arvensis.  Its crime is its ability to reduce crops by 50%.

Hoary plantain, Plantago media.  I put this in here just because it's fun to say.  Again, it is a roadside weed and it spreads easily.

I really have to get in to photo the leaves for a perfect i.d.  Most likely these pretty daisies were introduced from Europe as a garden plant.  Its offence is its ability to replace pasture by 50%.  No problem with cultivated crops as it can be tilled out easily.

This just says summer when I look at it.

Isn't this a pretty stand of Linaria vulgaris.  Brought over from Europe as a garden plant, it's in its full glory all over Oakville now.  It is aggressive and quickly replaces grasses and herbs.

Sadly this is not a 'major' weed, nor do I know what it is - if you do, please let me know.

And one last flower - again not in my weed book - it's common Chicory, again from Europe, probably in the 1700s.  Its pretty light blue flowers dot our highways.  It takes more heat than many other plants and always looks fresh.

If you want to see more wildflowers around the world, be sure to visit *Gail on her Wildflower Wednesday.  


Gail said...

Barbara, I kind of like some of the weeds that farmers hate...Like Queen Anne's Lace, but, then, I am not trying to grow crops or feed animals. I think the yellow flower with no id could be a hypericum. The flower and the seed head look like one. Maybe Hypericum perforatum, but there are several and some are native to North America. Happiest of WW! gail

Barbarapc said...

Gail, I'm thinking it must be - it's got that glaucish coloured leaf and the flowers are bright and furry like the one I've got growing in my garden - thank you.

garden girl said...

Lovely weeds, Barbara, especially when I get to see them from a safe distance, and not up-close and personal in our garden!

Jennifer said...

Hi Barbara, I have never seen Cypress Spurge in the wild. Interesting, I will have to watch for it now. I like the lime color too. I can vouch for the fact that Hoary plantain, Plantago media spreads easily. I find it a nuisance in my garden! I think there must be different varieties of Vetch. I have a another one in my header at the moment. I still have lots to learn about native flowers.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Hoary plantain, it is fun to say!! I really like the bloom of the Vetch, ours is so small, I guess warmer temps don't allow it to be big. I like the picture of the daisy-like blooms.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I would have moved the Helenium if possible...I do love it.

Barbarapc said...

They are lovely from afar aren't they. Hopefully I'll get a bit of a chance this afternoon to get rid of those who are a little less beautiful who have taken up residence a little closer to home.

Barbarapc said...

There had been a tiny little patch on one side of the trail I noticed last year - I suspect there was a great deal more that I missed because it was aster and goldenrod season. I finally got rid of the plantain in my grass, much to the delight of every other weed in the neighbourhood that's taken up residence. I'm with you - very interesting process learning about these wildflowers - there is so much to learn.

Barbarapc said...

Janet, I'm shopping in two weeks time and am going to have a good look for one. After your comment about the vetch and Jennifer's I'm very curious to see if I can find a better resource - because I can think of at least two other varieties I've seen and would like to know more.