How To Spot An Alien

– Posted in: Native/Invasive

Native plants, those that are naturally occurring in your garden's locale, are adapted to your climate. They won't leaf out while there's still a chance they'll be harmed by cold weather, and they drop their leaves when it's clear wintery cold is returning. Alien plants came from Somewhere Else--whether by your hand or uninvited--and don't [...]

Adenophora and Its Evil Twin Revisited

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

A while back I wrote an essay for Horticulture detailing my attempt to figure out the difference between ladybells and creeping bellflower, and I wrote up a blog post with additional information. Anne Larson, the Des Moines Gardening Examiner, has tracked down more information about these two plants, including how to determine if you really [...]

Campanula rapunculoides, The Evil Twin

– Posted in: Native/Invasive, Plant info

I call creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides) the evil twin because it looks just like ladybells, (Adenophora confusa), only it is aggressively spreading and ineradicable, and ladybells is well-behaved. So they say. I outline my futile attempts to figure out the actual differences between these two plants in an essay on the last page of the [...]

Wicked Beauty

– Posted in: Native/Invasive, Pests, Plagues, and Varmints, Plant info, What's up/blooming

Isn't this a stunning specimen of Polygonum cuspidatum? The generous rainfall we've had this season has brought it into top form. Too bad it's on America's Most Wanted list. Yes, this is Japanese knotweed, aka Japanese bamboo, Mexican bamboo, fleeceflower, and Fallopia japonica. (I've been told that it's also known as privy weed, but I [...]