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[ Late Figwort (Scrophularia marilandica) | Posted on June 19, 2018 ]

A native plant that has tall candelabra-like flower clusters with small nondescript cup-like flowers. The flowers are good for attracting bees and wasps because they produce quite a bit of nectar. I grow this in a rain garden among other mostly tall native plants. To extend the blooming season, plant Early Figwort (Scrophularia lanceolata).

[ Black Nightshade (Solanum ptychanthum) | Posted on September 14, 2016 ]

A common weed in my yard. Contrary to popular belief, the berries are edible when fully ripe (black and ready to fall off the plant, or already on the ground). They taste a little tomatoey and have an amazing fragrance. They remind me of blueberries or boysenberries. Unfortunately, they're so tiny that it's hard to get enough to make anything out of.

[ Prairie Dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum var. terebinthinaceum) | Posted on August 16, 2016 ]

Huge sandpapery leaves, very tall smooth flower stems. I have this growing in back of the garage, and it's blooming for the first time.

The other variety of the species, Tansy Dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum var. pinnatifidum) , apparently has leaves with lobed edges, perhaps reminiscent of Compass Plant (Silphium laciniatum) .

[ Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) | Posted on August 15, 2016 ]

A nutritious weed: high in vitamin A, vitamin E, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. It has a slightly sour and salty taste, and the leaves have a slimy texture. It is good chopped up in a salad with feta cheese and diced tomatoes. I discard the older stems, because they're fibrous and tough.

[ Golden Purslane (Portulaca sativa 'Goldberg') | Posted on July 14, 2016 ]

This species and variety is similar to the common weed, Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) , but it has wider leaves, and the stems grow straight up instead of trailing on the ground.

The wider leaves should make it more vigorous, because wider leaves mean more photosynthesis, but the larger leaves seem to be enjoyed by the leaf-mining caterpillars of the purslane sawfly (Schizocerella pilicornis). I squish the caterpillars whenever I see them inside the leaves, eating the insides, but the plants are still losing large portions of their leaves.

[ Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Rekka') | Posted on May 30, 2016 ]

According to Google Patents (http://www.google.com/patents/...), this is a hybrid of Komakusa (Dicentra peregrina 'Hien') and Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia) bred by Akira Shiozaki, and it is the first of a line of hybrids with fragrant flowers. The flowers are a stunning shade of dark red, much like Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Burning Hearts') .

[ Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Burning Hearts') | Posted on May 30, 2016 ]

Like Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Candy Hearts') and Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Ivory Hearts') , this is a hybrid of Komakusa (Dicentra peregrina) , the Japanese and Siberian alpine species, and Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia) , the Appalachian species, bred by Akira Shiozaki.

This and 'Candy Hearts' have a similar flower shape, very much like D. peregrina. Each of the three hybrids has a different flower color: pink for 'Candy Hearts', white for 'Ivory Hearts', and deep pink, almost red, for 'Burning Hearts'.

[ Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Candy Hearts') | Posted on May 30, 2016 ]

According to Bleeding Hearts, Corydalis, and Their Relatives, this is a Japanese hybrid between Komakusa (Dicentra peregrina) , the Japanese and Siberian alpine species, and Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia) , the Appalachian species.

It has almost the exact same parentage as Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Ivory Hearts') , except that hybrid descended from a white-flowered form of D. eximia instead of a pink-flowered form. Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Burning Hearts') is another hybrid with the same parentage, with darker pink, almost red, flowers. These three hybrids were crossed by Akira Shiozaki.

Like its parent, D. peregrina, it doesn't like hot summers, but it's a gorgeous plant and grows well in a spot with morning sun and afternoon shade. Both this variety and 'Burning Hearts' have flowers that are about the same shape as D. peregrina. Maybe the difference is that the leaves are bigger, but I'm not sure, because I haven't seen the Japanese species in person.

[ Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Ivory Hearts') | Posted on May 30, 2016 ]

According to Bleeding Hearts, Corydalis, and Their Relatives, this is a Japanese hybrid between Komakusa (Dicentra peregrina) , the Japanese and Siberian alpine species, and Dicentra eximia 'Alba', a white-flowered variety of the Appalachian species. It was bred by Akira Shiozaki, who also bred Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Candy Hearts') and Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Burning Hearts') .

It doesn't like hot and humid summers, like its parent D. peregrina, but it's also a gorgeous plant and can be grown in a spot with morning sun.

[ Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Stuart Boothman') | Posted on May 30, 2016 ]

According to Bleeding Hearts, Corydalis, and Their Relatives, this is probably a hybrid of Oregon bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa subsp. oregona) and Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia) . I think they mean that the parentage isn't documented, but they are guessing based on what it looks like (flower and leaf characteristics).

[ Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa 'Aurora') | Posted on May 30, 2016 ]

According to Bleeding Hearts, Corydalis, and Their Relatives, this is a German hybrid bred by Ernst Pagels, and its parents were Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia) and Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa) . Said to be very tolerant of hot and humid climates, a characteristic that it got from D. eximia.

[ Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Adrian Bloom') | Posted on May 30, 2016 ]

According to Bleeding Hearts, Corydalis, and Their Relatives, this is a chance seedling of Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Bountiful') with very finely cut leaves, introduced to the gardening world by Blooms of Bressingham, a nursery in England and named after one of their owners. Like D. 'Bountiful', it's a hybrid of Oregon bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa subsp. oregona) and Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia) .

[ Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Bountiful') | Posted on May 30, 2016 ]

According to Bleeding Hearts, Corydalis, and Their Relatives, this is a hybrid of Oregon bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa subsp. oregona) and Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia) bred in Canada by Richard Manske.

[ Sunbright (Phemeranthus parviflorus) | Posted on May 30, 2016 ]

A delightful little succulent plant. Flowers are tiny, and they only appear in late afternoon, but they are such a bright pink, almost magenta, and they are produced for a long time during the hot part of the summer. They need bare soil to grow on.

[ Blackseed plantain (Plantago rugelii) | Posted on May 30, 2016 ]

This is an eastern and central North American species very similar to the European species, Plantain (Plantago major) . According to Minnesota Wildflowers, the native has purple bases to the leaf stalks and more elongated seed pods. Illinois Wildflowers mentions that the seed pods on the native species split open at the bottom, while the seed pods on the European species split open in the middle. The leaf stem and blade on the native are sometimes longer, up to 14 inches instead of 11 inches, but that's rare when the plants are growing in a regularly mown lawn.

I took a look at the plantains in my lawn, and so far it looks like I only have the native.

[ Early Figwort (Scrophularia lanceolata) | Posted on May 29, 2016 ]

I have Late Figwort (Scrophularia marilandica) , so I got seeds of this species, which blooms earlier, to extend the season.

[ Asian Greens (Brassica rapa subsp. narinosa 'Yokatta-Na') | Posted on May 27, 2016 ]

I grew this two years ago. It has glossy dark green leaves with green stems, a nice turnip green flavor, and doesn't mind the summer heat. It had holes eaten in it by bugs, so this year I planted Spotted Beebalm (Monarda punctata) and Narrowleaf Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium) nearby to attract wasps, to hopefully eat the bugs if they attack this year's crop.

[ Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida) | Posted on May 26, 2016 ]

A long and lanky coneflower. It has thinner petals (technically, petaloid rays) than Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) , a more commonly grown species, but is more drought-tolerant. I grow it on a hill that dries out fast, and now that it's established, it shouldn't need watering. E. purpurea would wilt and die if it were planted in the same place. Similar to Narrow-leaf Coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia) .

[ Camellia (Camellia sinensis subsp. sinensis) | Posted on May 25, 2016 ]

I don't grow it, but I drink a lot of Chinese tea, and this is the plant it comes from.

[ Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum) | Posted on May 25, 2016 ]

A native plant for shade that feeds bees with nectar and pollen. The earliest leaves are variegated with white patches, but the leaves that develop later are completely green.

Many people don't like it because it's pretty tough and it self-seeds, but I just deadhead it to keep it from making seed.

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