Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Weed By Any Other Name... Is a Wildflower

Have just returned from picking some of my favorite wildflowers: wild radish (or jointed charlock, as it is sometimes called) that is in the mustard family. It is Raphanus raphanistrum,from the Greek, meaning "appearing rapidly" which refers to how quickly it grows from seed. Linnaeus named it in 1753. Originally from Mediterranean Europe, it is now found around the world,including Australia and South Africa and in 42 of the 50 United States and most of the counties in Florida. It is found in disturbed areas, fields, and roadsides, growing about 2 feet tall. Resistant to herbicides, some list it as an invasive species. It is hard for me to imagine trying to kill it.

One reason I love it so much is for its amazing variety. Today we picked at least six different colors.








Kept full of water, this large bouquet will last for a week or more but it will "snow" all over the table as the old blossoms drop and the new buds open. It is worth it, for all its beauty.

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