Sunday, May 26, 2024

Our Natives are Weeds

 "We have a marketing failure with natives," Doug Tallamy wrote in Nature's Best Hope. While I think the "grow natives" movement is helping correct that, the fact that many natives are called weeds does discourage loving them. 

fireweed, Chamerion
fireweed, Chamerion

Lots of our native plants are weeds. That is, they have weed in their common name. Fireweed (Chamerion), milkweed (Asclepias), jewelweed (Impatiens), Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium), and ironweed (Vernonia) to name a few. 

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Up the Snake River into Hell's Canyon

We took a motorized boat --jet boat--tour up the Snake River from Clarkston Washington to Hell's Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America (7.993 ft). The river was wonderfully reflective as we left Clarkston. 

Clarkston, Washington

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Plant Story - Flixweed, Tansy Mustard, Herb Sophia, Descurainia sophia, Weedy Spring Mustard

 As a group, the plants in the mustard or cabbage family, Brassicaceae, are cool weather plants, growing well early in the spring, flowering as the temperatures warm, going to seed in the heat of summer. Familiar mustards are cabbage (Brassica oleracea), broccoli (Brassica oleracea), and mustard itself (mustards are species of Brassica, Rhamphospermum and Sinapsis). These edible mustard family plants were domesticated in Eurasia and they are a small selection of the more than 3,700 species worldwide. North America has 634 native species in the mustard family. It also has more than 100 exotic mustards. 

Flixweed, Descuriania sophia
the plant this blog is about 

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Plants of Lewis and Clark

 My recent cruise down the Snake and Columbia Rivers retraced some of the steps of the 1804 Lewis and Clark Expedition. Also called the Corps of Discovery Expedition, they were sent to explore the area of the new Louisiana Purchase (link) and the region west of it to the Pacific Ocean. The Expedition has grabbed the imagination of people for two centuries now, as they imagine being in a small corps of men (and one woman) going into unknown regions. The Expedition walked, rode, and boated for over 8,000 miles in under three years, roundtrip.

Crow Butte, Washington
Crow Butte, Washington

Looking in detail at the discoveries of the Expedition is a reminder of how much the United States didn't know in 1800.