Author: Heather (page 1 of 25)

– pleasantly peltate –

I love when I know the exact word to describe something, whether that “something” is an emotion, a color, taste, or plant part. To help you feel more confident in the words of the botanical world, I’m writing this Botanical Alphabet series. It may or may not be published in exact alphabetical order.

peltate: shield-shaped leaf with the petiole (that little stem that connects the leaf to the main stem of the plant) attached to the lower surface, rather than the base of the leaf

There are so many different shapes and types of leaves, but I think maybe my favorite are peltate leaves. (Maybe? I mean, how do I choose?) I’m not sure why I would choose them as a favorite, except maybe they are more rare? And the rarity makes them special? I mean, I can only think of nasturtiums (pictured here in this post) and lotus that have peltate leaves, though I’m sure there are more.

Or maybe it’s just a fun word to say? I was going to include miner’s lettuce in that list, but when I stopped to think about it, it actually has perfoliate leaves (another fun “p” in the botanical alphabet!). Perfoliate is when the leaf wraps all the way around the stem so that it sometimes seems like the stem is growing right through the middle of the leaf.

Clasping or perfoliated pepperweed (Lepidium perfoliatum)

Peltate. Perfoliate. Similar but different. And both fun to say.

(And if you can think of others – plants with peltate leaves and/or fun words to say – please do let me know in the comments below.)

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day – 15 August 2020

Each month on the 15th garden bloggers around the world post what’s blooming in their gardens. Here’s what’s blooming in mine. Thanks to the May Dreams Garden Blog for the idea.

It’s that time again…the day when I share with you a glimpse into my garden.

The petunias (both in the ground and in the baskets) continue to bloom and bloom and bloom. In the past I have given petunias short shrift, but I’m being converted slowly but surely. There’s not a lot else that looks consistently good throughout the hot summer, week after week and month after month.

The nasturtiums started blooming and have surprised me with shades of yellow, orange, and a peachy-pink. They’ve been a fun mix with the purple petunias.

Finally! I have a zinnia that is blooming! It’s not summer without zinnias and I was almost giving up hope that mine would actually bloom. But they’re starting and I’m so happy.

yellow zinnia flowers
Let’s ignore the weeds and sad small plant and just enjoy the yellow blossoms, shall we?

The lupine mother-plant has bloomed again, and the little lupine seedlings have bloomed for their first time. Like petunias, I haven’t thought much of the lupine hybrids previously. I’ve tended to be in the “I like the native ones best” camp. But, once again, the plants are proving me wrong. The blooms are big and beautiful, wand while pink might not be my color of choice, it sure is better than nothing.

Perhaps the most surprising of the garden blooms has been my okra. Who knew that it had such beautiful flowers? I mean, I guess the people who have grown it before or knew that it was in the mallow family probably knew. But not me, so I was very excited to see the flowers. Now, if you could send me your favorite okra recipes, I would appreciate it.

okra flower
Seeing as how it is in the mallow family, I guess it’s no surprise that the flower looks like a hibiscus.

And, lastly, the sunflowers are *this* close to blooming. Sometime in the next week or so would be my guess.

sunflower bud

What’s blooming in your August garden?

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day – 15 July 2020

Each month on the 15th garden bloggers around the world post what’s blooming in their gardens. Here’s what’s blooming in mine. Thanks to the May Dreams Garden Blog for the idea.

There’s not much to report this month as far as what’s “blooming” right now. I mean, the tomatoes are getting flowers and so is the cucumber, but they’re not super exciting to look at, at least as far as flowers go; but they do make me excited for the future harvests. And speaking of harvests, last night at dinner we had lettuce, chard, beets, and peas all from our garden. Plus, our carrots are now ripe according to the almost-four-year old.

Back to the “blooms” though: the purple petunias and the dianthus are still blooming. The salvia needs to be deadheaded, and the Jupiter’s beard is looking raggedy but still is technically blooming.

The Asiatic lilies bloomed at the end of June, but they’re not currently blooming anymore.

orange and salmon asiatic lilies

My hanging baskets, though? Those are what I want to talk about today. When I got them at the end of May they were quite leggy and a little sad, to be honest. With a bit of deadheading they quickly looked better, but it wasn’t until I cut them way (and I mean way) back that they really have started to flourish. They’re full of leaves and full of flowers. Sometimes you have to cut the extra “stuff” way back in order to truly enjoy the abundance.

photo of two hanging baskets - white petunias and pink and white calibrichoa

There’s probably a life lesson in that. Have you been learning any life lesson’s from your garden? Share them below.

– silicle or silique –

silicle (sil-ickle) and silique (sil-eek): two-chambered (loculed) fruits on species belonging to the mustard (Brassicaceae) family; when opened, a central septum (or wall) between locules is revealed, to which the seeds are attached.

As far as I know, the only plant family with silicles or siliques is the mustard family. I have always found it a little amusing that there are two names for essentially the same thing, the major difference being the shape. A silicle is a short, wide, flattened or rounded fruit; a silique, on the other hand, is long and narrow.

closeup photo of blue mustard siliques
These are the siliques of blue mustard (Chorispora tenella).

For help remembering which is which, just remember that a silique is “long and sleek”, and a silicle is everything else (heart shaped, spherical, or a flattened circle).

The photo at the top of the post is of the silicles of field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense).

Suburban Weeds: the path

Near our house is a place we call “the path”. It’s a short stretch of paved path (from about 100 S to 500 S) next to the Lake Creek canal. Being near water, home landscapes, and a couple of ag fields it has quite the assortment of plants present.

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