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Native to China, Japan, Korea and far eastern Russia, this vigorous, easy to grow perennial bulb is a member of the Liliaceae family that also includes tulip, crown imperial, and dog’s tooth violet.  The plant grows 3-5′ tall and has unbranched stems that are purple to almost black and covered with white hairs.  The lanceolate leaves leaves are 3-7″ long and have distinct parallel veins. One to three bulbets are produced in the axils of the upper leaves and are a means of asexual reproduction.  The 5″  flowers appear in mid-summer and are orange with maroon to black spots, and nodding with reflexed petals.  Up to 40 flowers may be produced by a single stem although 12-20 is more likely.  Although the flowers lack fragrance their striking color makes them  a good choice for a border, cottage garden, and container as well as for the vase where they may last for up to two weeks.  They are especially attractive when planted in clumps of at least 3.  The plants have escaped gardens from New England to Georgia and west to Minnesota and Illinois and may be considered weedy.  In addition, the plants are poisonous to cats.  The genus name, Lilium, comes from the Greek word λείριον (leírion) and probably originally referred to white lilies like the Madonna Lily.  The specific epithet, lancifolium comes from the Latin words lancea, meaning spear, and folium, meaning leaf, referring to the shape of the leaves. [click to continue…]

Also called goosefoot, fat-hen and pigweed, this weedy annual is not much to look at but is grown extensively in India as a food. The plants rapidly grow into a bushy pyramid up to 6′ tall and have upward branching stems with white dusted, green-blue, triangular leaves and spikes of yellow-green flowers. The flowers bloom from early summer to fall and give rise to an abundance of one seeded fruits. The leaves, shoots, flowers and seeds may be eaten but contain oxalic acid so should be cooked or eaten in small quantities. The seeds are high in protein and several minerals but also contain saponins which are potentially toxic. The Internet has many recipes using lamb’s quarters such as lamb’s quarter spread, stuffed mushrooms, and quarter dock crackers.

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Native to marshes, swamps, and wetlands of North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia, this herbaceous aquatic perennial is known by many names including bulrush, cat-o’-nine-tail’s and cooper’s reed.  It is a member of the  Typhaeceae, a plant family that also includes bur-weed.  The plant grows 4-10′ tall from a tough extensive rhizomatous root system and has a straight, erect, green, unbranched stem.  The gray-green sword-like leaves are 4-7′ long and turn bright yellow in the fall.  From late spring into summer tiny male and female flowers are produced in a cylindrical inflorescence with the male flowers above the female.   The male flowers are golden  yellow when they produce pollen while the female flowers change from green to dark brown as they ripen. The male flowers disintegrate with maturity leaving a naked stem while the densely packed fertilized female flowers give rise to single-seeded hard fruits with long slender hairs that facilitate dissemination. The inflorescences are very desirable for  flower arrangements.  Cattails are valuable for erosion control and as a wildlife habitat, providing shelter and food for birds, small mammals, fish and insects.  They form clumps and are attractive on the edges of ponds or water gardens and can serve as a hedge or screen there, but can become invasive.  The shoots, roots, and pollen are edible if properly harvested and prepared.  The genus name, Typha, comes from ancient Greek τύφη (túphē),the Greek name for the plant.  The specific epithet, latifolia, comes from the Latin words latus meaning broad, folia, meaning leaf. dating app intros

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Native to the mountains of Iran and Turkmenistan, this herbaceous perennial is a member of the parsley family, Apiaceae, that also includes carrots, celery, and poison hemlock.  Growing from a thick taproot, the plant is about 3′ tall and has a smooth, hollow stem.  The finely divided tripinnate leaves have a stout basal sheath clasping the stem.  In late spring  umbels of  small yellow flowers appear and produce seeds that ripen in summer. A fetid yellowish-brown gum resin called galbanum is produced by the stem of the plant and is valued for its medicinal qualities.  In addition,  the gum resin was used by the ancient Egyptians and Israelites as an ingredient in incense. Photo Credit Wikipedia free muslim dating sites uk

Summer savory is an annual and a member of the mint family , Lamiaceae, that also includes rosemary and thyme, and beebalm. It is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region but was brought to the new World by the early colonists as a medicinal herb and has naturalized there.   Plants are 1 to 1 ½ feet tall and have finely hairy stems and soft hairless linear leaves about an inch long. The leaves are gray green at first but develop purple hues by late summer or early fall. They grow in pairs from the stem without petioles. The flowers are white or pale pink and two-lipped. They are ¼ inch long and are produced in clusters of three to six in upper leaf axils from mid summer to frost. The plant is bushy, highly aromatic with a sweet scent, and has  a well-branched root system. Sumer savory does well in average, well-drained soil and full sun.  The genus nam,e Satureja, is the Latin name for the plant and, according to the ancient Roman writer Pliny, is a derivative of the word for satyr because the herb belonged to the mythical creatures.  The specific epithet, hortensis, comes from the Latin word hortus meaning garden, and refers to the cultivation of the plant in a garden. [click to continue…]

Native to the forest edges of tropical areas in Southeast Asia, this herbaceous perennial shrub is also known as Java tea, and is a member of the deadnettle family, Lamiaceae, that also includes mint, basil, and bee balm.  The plants gro up to 40″ tall and have  purple tinged stems tinged bearing pairs of  narrowly ovate, dark green leaves that are 2-4″ long and deeply veined with coarsely toothed margins.  From late summer into autumn, white to light pink flowers appear that are attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.  Each flower has a tube-like corolla 1″ long and 2″ long  extruded stamens that resemble cat’s whiskers. The plant has been used medicinally to treat many problems including hypertension, inflammation, jaundice, diabetes and problems related to the kidney and bladder.  It has been cultivated for tea in Java and Sumatra.   The genus name, Orthosiphon, comes from the Greek words othos meaning straight and sipon meaning pipe, and refers to upright tube shape of the flower.  The specific epithet, aristatus, is the Latin word meaning having an ear-like structure, perhaps referring to the fact that the petals extend outward like ears. [click to continue…]

A shady nook is always made more appealing by lush green vegetation that looks soft and inviting. Deer fern is a good plant to use in the shade with its two distinctive types of fronds one standing upright in the center, and the other spreading out around the center in a graceful swirl. The evergreen fern grows 1-3′ tall and adapts to a variety of conditions including deep shade and highly acidic soil. It can be used as a ground cover for a shade or woodland garden, or even as a houseplant. As a bonus, it provides winter food for game animals such as deer, moose and elk so is valuable in a wildlife garden

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Native to swamps and shallow water of eastern North America, this perennial emergent water plant is also known as water dragon and swamp lily.  It is a member of the Saururaceae family that also inclues chameleon plant (Houttuynia cordata).  With  a rhizomatous root system, the plants grow 2-4′ tall in the wild but 1-2′ tall when cultivated, and have somewhat zig-zag stems and bright green leaves 3-6″ long.  The leaves  are  lance-shaped to trianglar with heart shaped bases, and are palmately veined.  From late spring through summer, long narrow racemes appear carrying small white fragrant flowers.  The racemes have drooping tips and are usually 4-6″ long but can reach up to 12″ in length.  The small green warty fruits capusles  appear from late summer to fall.  The flowers, leaves, and roots have a sassafrass or citrus aroma.  Lizard’s tail is a good choice for a water garden planted in containers where it will rapidly form a colony.  The genus name, Saururus, comes from the Greek words sauros meaning lizard and oura meaning tail, and refers to the resemblance of the inflorescence to a lizard’s tail.  The specific epithet, cernuus, is the Latin word meaning inclined forward and refers to the droop of the inflorescence.   [click to continue…]

Also known as soft rush and mat rush, this herbaceous perennial is a member of the rush family, Juncaceae, that includes plants  resembling sedges and grasses.  Common rush is native to Europe, Asia, Africa, North American and South America where it is found in wet areas such a marshes, bogs, ditches, wet pastures, and along streams. The plants grow 2-4′ tall and form spreading clumps that  may be considered invasive. The grass-like, green stems are soft, smooth, solid, and unjointed.  Leaves are reduced to sheaths at the base of the stems.    From July to September inconspicuous, scaly, yellowish green to brown flowers appear in spikey clusters on one side of the stem near the tip, and give way to an an obovoid capsule. Photo Credit Meegar Wikipedia [click to continue…]

Kudzu is a deciduous woody vine and a member of the legume family, Fabiaceae, that also includes peas, beans, and lupines.  It is native to Japan and was introduced into the United States as an ornamental at the Japanese pavilion in the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and later used for soil erosion control.  Kudzu has spread into the the Mid Atlantic and  Southeast where it has become very invasive, growing in field and woodland edges, roadsides, and  near riparian areas.  Plants prefer moist soil in full sun but  are tolerant of some shade and drought and quickly grow over shrubs  and trees killing them by heavy shading.  Although  kudzu is attractive and its roots increase soil nitrogen by means of their symbiotic relationship with nitrogen fixing bacteria,  its rampant grown makes it impractical for the garden. [click to continue…]