Saturday, June 18, 2005

[puma-news] Convolvulus arvensis

These innocent looking little beauties are, in reality, sinister little
creeps. They are alien, in the same family, Convolvulaceae, as sweet
potatoes (Ipomoea batatas). They are now in bloom at lower elevations,
and are leafing out up here.
My recommendation for these is to control the surface expression, as you
cannot control its deep roots. Just pull them as you find them, and
don't make yourself nuts.


[puma-news] Wooly mullein

Verbascum thapsis, an alien if there ever was one, is in the same family
as penstemon, Scrophulariaceae.. It can make a real mess out of a road
bank or a meadow, but fortunately, is pretty easy to control. It's a
two-year annual, putting out a basal rosette the first year, and a
flower stalk the next. Use of a shovel makes it easy to dig it up.

If you are cutting dried mullein, hold the stalk upright. It is like a
pepper shaker which will happily dump its seeeds if inverted. And, of
course, bag the flower and seed heads.

This plant is medicinal. My opinion is that if it is to be used for
medicinal purposes, it should be grown under controlled circumstances so
it doesn't escape. It does not belong in our mountain/footill environement.


[puma-news] Amerosedum lanceolatum

These little guys are hugging the rocks along lower Magnolia and
blooming for all they are worth. In the same family as King's Crown and
Queen's Crown of higher elevations, Stonecrop is also called Sedum.
They'll bloom up here later.