July 29, 2012

My 'Oh So Fancy' Weeds. That's Right, Weeds.

Plantago barbata - a toothed slender leaved plantain from Chile, growing in an alpine trough.

Plantago major 'Variegata'. The variegated form of our common lawn weed, the common plantain.

My friend Glen Lord, a plantsman from central Massachusetts who lives not far from me, shared some seed and seedling of variegated weeds. He goes in for such things, anything variegated, odd dwarfy things, and weeds that are interested, such as these common plantains in mutated forms. Glen also loves dandelions, the red leaved ones, variegated ones, and he even entered one as a bonsai in the New England Spring Flower show...and won! Sure, Glen is also a very talented bonsai master, as well as a knowledgable horticulturist, but I have to admit, these weeds he gave me are pretty interesting.

Plantago major 'rubra' or 'rubrifolia', a red leaved species which get's brighter if grown in full sunshine
 With the intense heat and heavy rains over the past weekend, it seems all I've been doing is weeding, weeding and weeding. Crab grass seems to grow 12 inches after just one thunderstorm, but these plantains from the other side of the tracks are helping me feel a little differently about some weeds.

Plantago major 'rolularis',  a plantain with green produces these odd rosettes. Amazing, right?

This rosette form is like a green auricula primrose.
Plantago major 'rosularis'
Plantago major ' Frills' As fine as any alpine plant, growing in one of our small troughs on the deck

Phytolacca americana -"Variegata' a variegated Pokeweed - I dare not plant these in the garden, but in the greenhouse, they are OK.
The green flowered Nicotiana, N. langdorfii, is a weed that I don't mind seeding around here and there. It's not really a weed, but it does survive our winters, emerging in the warmer crevices in the bluestone walk. 

This Nicotiana plant came up in between the bricks, and although I know that I need to pull it as it is the common tobacco. I am impressed with its size. I have two nicotiana species that self seed around the greenhouse, and this is one I do not want, where the green flowered N. langdorfii I love, and try to keep those seedlings everywhere.

I did find this variegated ( or virused?) Oxalis while weeding the tomatoes today! I know, it's probably just a virus but I  left it anyway.

And just in case you are wondering if I have regular weeds........


  1. Love that greenhouse! Nice pics and the green tube-like flower is pretty great. LT

  2. Don't worry about the Phytolacca becoming a weed in the garden, it's very well behaved. You might have a few self sown plants, but it's never been a problem for me.

  3. With the intense heat and heavy rains over the past weekend, it seems all I've been doing is weeding, weeding and weeding. herb grinder

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