40 of the Worlds Weirdest Flowers

Written by charlie   
Friday, 27 February 2015 14:05
The breadth of variability between plants and their adaptations for their environments is enormous and always ingenious. The blog, flowersacrossmelbourne.com, found 40 of the weirdest flowers, many (most?!) I have never laid eyes on before. Of interest to me was the snapdragon, I never knew that it's pods resemble a dragons skull after going to seed. It's one of the few on the list that is non tropical, and this is reason enough to plant them this spring!

Here is the link: 40 of the Worlds Weirdest Flowers
Last Updated on Friday, 27 February 2015 14:21

Dr. James Gosselink, Wetland Scientist and Author

Written by charlie   
Thursday, 26 February 2015 13:00
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Dr. James Gordon Gosselink at age 83. Know for co-authoring the definitive textbook Wetlands, his fruitful career in studying wetlands, furthering science and guiding policy is detailed in ASWM's heartfelt obituary here.
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 February 2015 13:09

Pokeweed and Storytelling

Written by charlie   
Thursday, 26 February 2015 04:06
I found this story about Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) compelling; its informative, but also weaves a story of time and place, pulling the reader into the world of a young girl and her flinty aunt, collecting pokeweed for dye and making "poke sallet", a thrice blanched dish.

Pokeweed is a common native plant, generally growing between 4-8 feet tall and is easily identifiable by its dark berries. All parts of the plant are highly toxic to humans, pets and livestock unless boiled multiple times to remove the toxins. The name pokeweed derives from the Native American word for 'blood', referring to the berries dark red juice that can be used as a dye. While not a wetland plant, it can be found around wetland borders or other disturbed habitats.

For many people, in a world awash with distractions, a story like this has the power to captivate, particularly those not particularly interested in plants or botany. It can bring a plants importance and role to life, and will be remembered far longer than any textbook description. Stories like this about wetlands are sorely needed. For people who have little knowledge of wetlands and frankly, not enough time or interest, this type of narrative can pique curiosity and set the reader down the path to learn why wetlands are an important resource to us all. Sometimes. Maybe.

USDA Pokeweed Page
USDA Pokeweed Photo
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 February 2015 04:15

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