Tag Archives: weeds

Small flowers in the garden – a series #14

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This small purple plant appears in the grass and I suspect also in the garden where it grows taller and spreads out.   Any suggestions as to its name please?

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Towering Agave

This Agave Americana has caught my eye in the past two weeks.

DSCF6060It is considered a weed by some but I cannot find it on the banned plant list here in New Zealand. It is growing alongside State Highway 58 on the grassy edge of the road. It will be regularly coated with salt laden air and sea spray as well as taking a battering from northwesterly gales.

Every so often we spy a single plant like this reaching maturity and reaching for the sky , competing for height against a light standard, with its spreading flower head structure.
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I found this information about it:
Stout, succulent, rhizomatous perennial, with leaves in a basal rosette. Rigid, leathery, hairless, fleshy leaves (1-2 m x 15 cm) are triangular in cross section, with margins lined with raised, coarse 5 mm teeth 4 cm apart, and tipped with a conical, hard spine (25 mm long). Flowering stems, which are 7-10 m tall and produced rapidly at maturity (after 10-15 years), are candelabra-like clusters of many yellow flowers borne on branches off the main stem which are followed by seed capsules containing black seeds (5 cm long). After flowering the basal rosette dies and is replaced by several small lateral rosettes (daughters). Source: http://weedbusters.co.nz/weed_info/detail.asp?WeedID=35
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The last one I saw in my local area collapsed in a very dramatic manner once it had flowered and there is no evidence of any “daughters” growing at that spot.

For now I am watching this one unfold as I stretch my neck to see what is happening high above the road.

Do other readers see these plants?

Where the wild asters bloom

When spring arrives here I notice mauve and purple toning flowers blooming in the most unlikely and inhospitable places.

I live in an area that is very hilly, in places the banks are precipitous and the soil almost non-existent. The rock can be loose and unstable and the clay soils are a challenge to all gardeners.

I have also seen these flowers growing close to the sea and on newly carved hills where new housing developments are about to happen.

Our local newspaper informed me this month that these ultra hardy, strikingly colourful plants are wild Asters, or Michaelmas daisies which bloom in spring.
…..”The New England aster, botanical name Aster novae-angliae, is a hardy wild flower that has been successfully domesticated and makes a stunning display when it grows in the late spring. Sometimes known as the Michaelmas daisy, the New England aster is often in bloom at the Christian feast of St Michael the Archangel, on 29th September, and becomes prolific thereafter.”

It thrives in places such as this

They are early colonizers of these barren areas

Once they have flowered over a short season the seeds are blown in our ever present winds and lie in nooks and crannies awaiting the next spring in which to surprise and delight us.

Saturday stats

The most significant statistic for today is that it is Day 6 of fine, mild weather…..one enjoyable day after the next, which is stunning for July in my part of the winter world.

37 new garlic shoots are reaching skywards.

The pretty assortment of lettuces is enjoying this strange climate. I picked fresh leaves for our lunch.

The fruit and vegetable shopping has been done.

The roses are all pruned, bar a large white carpet rose. Nothing low growing or “carpety” with this giant.

The lawns have all been mowed and the scattered, dying leaves munched up by the mower.

Weeds have been pulled out.

I had a cup of tea sitting outdoors in the sun and snapped Mrs Blackbird.

An overdue thank you letter has been written and posted.

Two closets have been decluttered.

And I have posted to my blogs.

Now I am going to do the Anacross in today’s paper to give the word puzzle part of my brain a workout.