six on Saturday, 29 June 2019

I’m still enjoying some natives coming up where they want to both in the wooded area of the garden and in other open areas.  One of those natives I had never seen before.  I’ll save that and a non-native until the end.  I’ll begin with a more familiar plant I have often cut to the ground.

1. Maroon Carolina Milkvine (Matelea carolinensis), or Angel-pod, is native to the Southeast US.  I find it particularly hardy and an aggressive grower.  I confess that there have been times when it has overcome other plants, as it has with the Starry rosinweed below,  and I have had to forcibly put it back in its place.  It is threatening to envelop part of my little bridge over a dry creek bed now.  But the attractiveness of the small maroon flowers cannot be denied, as seen in the featured image for this post and in the photos below.  I suspect that my love-hate relationship with this vine will continue.

2. Carolina wild petunia (Ruellia caroliniensis) is coming up in singles and doubles, short and tall, throughout the garden.  The flowers just last a day, but they do attract butterflies.  In fact, it is a host plant for the common Buckeye, Junonia coenia.  

3.  My third native for today, Hairy Angelica (Angelica venenosa), is one reminiscent of  Queen Anne’s Lace.  Worth noting, the Alabama Plant Atlas suggests it as an alternative to that non-native, even though it is a poisonous plant.  In the photos below it is just beginning to bloom.  I’m thankful to my wildflower-wizard friend Karen White for helping in the identification of the plant.  I knew some things it wasn’t, but not for certain what it was.

Hairy Angelica appears to be the only Angelica native to Alabama, and while at first I questioned the descriptor hairy, on close examination, it proved to be accurate.


4. False Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum), another North American native, comes in next, and comes in extremely fruitful.  I have patches throughout the garden, but this is the largest pictured below.  It is threatening to envelop the Japanese anemone behind it and has already overcome some butterfly weed.  Fortunately, it is easy to transplant, so it is scheduled for thinning.

false Soloman seal

5. Butterfly pea (Clitoria mariana) is the native I had not seen before, but when I did see it I immediately photographed it.  As struck as I was by the flower, when I identified it, I was even more struck by its botanical name.  About the name, the USDA Forest Service says this, “The genus name ‘Clitoria’ comes from the Greek word ‘kleitoris,’ which refers to the shape of the flower resembling female genitalia, and ‘mariana’ possibly refers to a woman Linnaeus was courting when he named this plant.”  Missouri Plants offers this, “Carl Linnaeus was responsible for the genus name Clitoria, which irreverently referred to the Virgin Mary.  A later effort to change the name in the interest of modesty was unsuccessful.”  It does have another common name, however–Atlantic pigeonwings.  Given that this is the only specimen of the plant I have, I am going to be on the watch for the pod that should develop to see whether I can propagate it.  The flowers are short-lived but unabashedly stunning.

Clitoria mariana butterfly pea

Clitoria mariana butterfly pea2

6. Crocosmia Lucifer is my final entry.  This particular section I planted two years ago, and I am pleased to see it blooming heartily this year.


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10 Replies to “six on Saturday, 29 June 2019”

  1. A fascinating post about your native plants. I think I prefer the name Atlantic pigeonwings out of the three the blue flower (which is very pretty and quite suggestive) has. It’s a gorgeous colour too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the false Solomon seal. I have never managed to get a patch to spread and fill in space so very well. I’ll keep trying! (this from a man who has yet to grow wild mint with much success!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope my crocosmia flowers like that this year. In fact, where are they? Haven’t seen them for a while, I think they may have been bullied by other nearby more established plants nearby.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anything that wins a battle w/Japanese anemone is a force to be reckoned with. Love the story about the butterfly pea’s Latin name & if it grew here, would probably learn to pronounce it. Alas, I’m destined to be more refined in my plant names, for the moment. Hope you’re successful propagating it because it’s truly a beautiful plant, both foliage & bloom.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Is the crocosmia invasive? Montbretia moved into a riparian area a few years ago, and has dominated so aggressively the even English ivy won’t survive there now. I am pleased that the ivy is gone, but I am not certain if it was worth it. This montbretia is pretty wicked! The only advantage is that it does not climb trees or walls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would not call it invasive, but I would definitely call it aggressive. Ten this year, legions in two years. I did not think that anything could stop English ivy!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “. . . Linnaeus chose for the Maryland butterfly – pea , a species originally named clitorius Marianus trifoliatus subtus glaucus by James Petiver in 1704 .”
    It was described from specimens that David Krieg had collected in Maryland.


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