Sunday, June 29, 2008

Spiderwort in bloom

Likely one of the most eccentric flowers in our pond garden, the grass-like leaves of the Western Spiderwort can make it easy to confuse with crabgrass when it sprouts from the ground. It grows quite tall in the right conditions (ours is just under a yard tall) and are a haven for pollinators, including native and imported bee species.

Common to much of the midwest, Spiderwort is extremely resilient, and has been known to spring up on lawns between mowings in areas in which it grows native. It has the peculiar nickname "Cow Slobber" for the gooey quality of its sap. The entire above-ground portion of the plant is edible, and the leaves and stems are often added to stews or even (so I've heard) juices. The flowers are actually very short lived, each blooming for only one day, but a single stem can produce around 20 blossoms.

Temperatures have been warmer lately, holding in the high 70's and low 80's, with moderate to high humidity. Last of the Columbine have gone to seed and Tomatoes are growing in the vegetable garden.

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