Sunday, May 28, 2017

Plant Story -- Artemisia ludoviciana, silver wormwood, Louisiana sagewort

Pretty, eh?
Artemisia ludoviciana, Louisiana sagewort

Artemisia ludoviciana is a common grassland plant, native across the central and western United States, now found in most eastern states as well. It is in the sunflower family, Asteraceae, but it is wind-pollinated and so has tiny gray-green flowers, quite nondescript. It is part of the big group of native western North American plants often called sages because they smell like culinary sage, although they are not related to it (see previous blog post). 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Dye Plants: "That's A Good Dye Plant"

On a plant walk recently, people noticed that I commented that various of the plants we saw were good dye plants. Sometimes I have little else to say about native plants. On the other hand, I enjoy dyeing with plants and so I always notice which plants are good dye plants.

Here are six plants I would say "and its a good dye plant" about: 
Eucalyptus trees, Australia
Eucalyptus trees, Australia

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Visiting Argentina--Corrientes in the Northeast

along the Parana River, Corrientes Argentina
Along the Parana River, Corrientes Argentina
My slides remind me of past adventures. Beginning in the late 1980s I collaborated with Guillermo Norrmann of the Universidad del Nordeste in Corrientes, Argentina. We were working on related grasses (Andropogon) from North and South America, and made good use of the similarities and differences. One consequence of this collaboration was that I visited northern Argentina several times.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Plant Story--The Dramatic Heliconias

Heliconias, Bali
Heliconias, Bali
I traveled halfway around the world, to tropical Asia, and the iconic plant I saw everywhere is one I associate with the American tropics, heliconia.

In Bali, the gardens there were glorious with heliconias.

Heliconias, Bali

But heliconias, also called crab's claws and even Japanese canna, are plants in the genus Heliconia, native to the New World tropics. I first met them in Costa Rica, and admired them where they grew in open spots in and along the lowland rainforest.