Monday April 04th 2016, 10:53 pm
Filed under: Garden

(Photo taken before flowering stage. Spikes on this one.)

What the smell of rain is. Fascinating stuff.

I finally found the correct name for the weed I’ve been yanking out for weeks: storkbill. It’s a biennial in our climate, not the perennial I’d thought all this time–all those hundreds of taproots I’ve yanked out made no real difference. And yet, it is so satisfying to hear that weed riiiiip all the way out of there, gone.

Of late the plants were getting a tacky feeling to them and the Smithsonian article explains why, and why that disappears after a rain: they produce an oil under dry conditions that inhibits seed germination, which, here, would definitely be a survival mechanism for the next generation waiting for the next winter’s downpours.

Storkbill would be a marvelous ground cover, given how fast it spreads on runners and those pretty tiny purple flowers–but the spikes! All those long vicious spikes. If someone somehow bred those out of there I would replace my lawn with them. Except, wait, they’re a favorite food of harvester ants.


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I was out pulling something similar in my back yard. It had gotten 18 inches high and was doing a good job of keeping other things from coming up…no, all the weeds were growing great guns. The lavender and Russian sage have some breathing room. 🙂

Comment by Helen 04.05.16 @ 9:35 am

Lovely to catch up with your blog after time away with Andrew. No weeds to pull here, yet, but I do have those safflower hulls that I could sweep up. I will take care not to bang my head – I hope yours stays safe, too!

Comment by twinsetellen 04.05.16 @ 6:59 pm

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