A Misinformed Life

Discussion in 'The Village Square' started by Jewell, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Jewell

    Jewell Incorrigible Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Oh no, :eek:I just read information about Shasta daisy and I have been living a misinformed life! White Shasta daisies line our roads and grow in disturbed areas in my region and despite the name are not native. They are escapees from my garden. Actually, they are crosses of daisies from Europe and Japan by Burbank. I’d also found out recently that foxgloves (another prolific naturalizing flower here in Western Washington State) are from the Mediterranean region. Next thing I will find out, is California poppies and fern leaf bleeding hearts aren’t native either, but just pretty weeds from other places.

    Yep, sure enough!!! The poppies traveled across the Columbia Gorge in Oregon with settlers and the Discentra formosa (fern leaf bleeding heart) while native to parts west of here are travelers also and not originally here.:oops: But then I find out BC ginger is native and was used by indigenous peoples in the area. I thought it was from north of us:confused: when I purchased it years ago.

    I was only correct about the white trilliums and the deer and sword ferns...but I did get some of those from our wooded area or they pop up in favorable areas (like weeds;)).

    Now, I wonder about lupine.....
     
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  3. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Good thread, Jewell. It is interesting to see how foreign plants can adopt here and be used by bees, butterflies and so forth. It is a big thing for insects to switch...but they do it in many cases.
    Thanks for this posting.
     
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  4. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    A weed is simply a plant growing where it is not welcome. But one person not liking it does not make it a weed to everyone. If you like those plants then grow and enjoy them. They may not be native to your region but have become well adapted to the growing conditions and provide beauty, medicine or food in their new home. Being a country that was settled and developed by people from all over the world there will be many non-native plants here, many finding a loving home in gardens over the years, some becoming an additional flood source for areas of this country that became a totally accepted plant, some have provided new medicines not seen before in this country but greatly needed.

    I try to stick with native plants when adding new ones to the gardens but
    I have Henbit, Asiatic Dayflower, Chickweed, Purslane, Thistle, Dandelion and a couple I have not found a name for yet all growing in parts of my front and back gardens.

    Henbit provides a beautiful color in January when all else is brown.
    The Dayflower has been found to be a pollinator magnet and those pollinators therefore find other good food sources in your garden.
    Puslane is an edible addition to salads.
    Thistle attracts butterflies and other beneficial insects.
    Dandelion, can provide dinner and a drink.

    If you do research and find that they are sucking up nutrients needed by your veggie plants then pull them up but if they actually doing no harm then leave them alone and enjoy their diversity.

    I consider any type of lawn grass to be an invasive plant and have taken it all out. Still having problems with a few stray Johnson grass plants so I will be pulling them out for the rest of my gardening life.

    Lupines - There are over 200 species around the world some being specific to a region but others have traveled to get where they are. In many places some species are a food source for humans.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  5. Dirtmechanic

    Dirtmechanic In Flower

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    I personally believe every plant from China could prosper in my Alabama yard.
     
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  6. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

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    The ease of transportation has made it easy for seeds to find themselves in a strange habitat. I was reading about the history of lawns in an attempt to understand the origin of my mothers fascination with a lawn full of clover. The article provided methods of seed movement by grass in the middle of the last millennia. In addition to grass propagation by medieval castle owners to provide an unobstructed view of enemy combatants as they approached their castle, grass lawns were a status symbol of landowners who could afford to maintain large expanses of greenery. Other seed movement was provided by early migration of settlers to North America, wishing to bring with them seeds formally reserved for those wealthy land owners. Other seeds hitched a ride in the hems of coats, bundles of bedding or in crates of imported goods. Still other seeds traveled in the rope used to secure cargo.

    The invention of the lawnmower allowed for the landscaping of homes without the demanding labor to maintain them. The need for grass seed increased.

    Here in the U.S. one of the largest participants in seed propagation is the USPS(postal service). Each new season brings the seed catalogs and yearning gardeners select from thousands of non-native seeds for their gardens. A little time later the desired seeds arrive. Shasta daisies along with others almost jump off the page when you see them. I have yet to meet a plant that objected to packing off the kids in an envelope to live in some far-off place they could only have imagined long ago.

    Global warming has opened the door for new flowers to migrate and also ended the reign of others. The dynamics of seeds has many stories yet to tell. A favorite radio term fits....."stay tuned"

    Jerry
     
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  7. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Our gardens have many "native" plants such as Vitex (originally from China but adapted so very well to Texas), various daisies from all over the world, some decorative grasses from Japan and other countries. The wildlife enjoy the nectars, cover, and seeds provided by our friendly invaders.
    I like to think of our garden as a microcosm of the US--accepting, welcoming, and allowing growth.
     
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  8. Jewell

    Jewell Incorrigible Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Sjoerd, you are so right about the adaptability of insects. I love having blooming plants the year round just to see native bumblebees on heathers in early spring, foxgloves in late spring and California poppies now.

    Toni, I love hearing all the plants that you have in your yard and there uses. It always makes me happy hearing about the use of native plants and that you are making a home for as many natives as possible. We have no lawn, but one small area we do mow. I am sure the plants there are all introduced: red and white clover, buttercups, ajuga, bindweed, bulbs and assorted grasses.

    DM, you definitely live where an abundance of flora would gladly settle. I bet there are few things that don’t thrive in Alabama.

    Jerry, an app interesting bit of history there. You are so right about USPS and those seed catalogs. A garden without our intervention quickly changes in unexpected ways. Global weather change is another piece of the puzzle. Here are two articles to make you wonder, first from NASA https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/nasa-earths-poles-are-tipping-thanks-to-climate-change. Another view from the Inuit elders https://www.disclose.tv/inuit-elders-issue-warning-to-nasa-and-the-world-earth-has-shifted-315583. Too much for me to totally wrap my mind around..mind boggling.

    MG, I love your view of our gardens as a microcosm of our country (countries), of the world around us. We are certainly all richer for the diversity.
     

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