Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Eeeee Gadssss - A Weed In My Garden!

Look at what had the nerve to plant itself in my garden! A Yellow Goat's Beard! This is all because no one did any weeding last year. The garden was allowed to do whatever it wanted! This plant started life as a small inconspicuous grass-like plant last year. Yellow Goat's Beard, you see, is a biennial. This spring I noticed its reddish grassy leaves. I thought that perhaps my daughter had planted some kind of ornamental grass in my garden last year. I decided to leave it until I had asked her about it. But it soon started to grow... and grow... and grow! It is now almost three feet tall! And it is starting to bloom! It even has some spit bugs on it. That is how I always think of this weed in the wild - with spit bugs! It is actually not an ugly plant, but the spit bugs... Yuk! Now is the time to pull it up! Because it has grown so quickly and really doesn't distract from the rest of the garden yet, I decided to feature it here, on my blog. Sort of as a last farewell! It is coming out later today!

This weed is kind of interesting. It's a biennial, but I already said that. It has large yellow dandelion-like flowers, only much bigger, about 2 inches across. It belongs in the aster family because of it's composite flowers.

Another interesting feature is that the flowers open in the morning and close again by around or a little past noon. This has given this plant the common name of 'Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon'. That's kind of cute. Another common name for it is Meadow Salsify. The seeds on this plant look a lot like that of a dandelion too, except much larger! They are spread by the wind, floating through the air just as a dandelion seed would. But that will never happen to my Goat's Beard! It is coming out...now!

Family: Asteraceae. Genus: Trogopogon. Species: T. pratensis
Common name: Yellow Goat's Beard, Meadow Salsify, Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon.

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