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Sassafras: Simply Fruitful

In a previous Tree of the Week, I featured sassafras, but noted that I did not have an image of their very cool-looking fruits, though I once did have said image. I figured that I had electronically misplaced or that it was from all the way back in the Kodachrome Slide Era (somewhere between the Dirt Age and the Middle-Age Anthropocene).  So…

 

Voila. I have seen bright carmine red fruits, and here you can see both the early speckled green phase and cool grape-Kool Aid purple. Sassafras, a lovely native tree.

 

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Authors
Jim Chatfield

Annual of the Week - Sunflower 'Birds & Bees'

 

 

Sunflower Helianthus annuus ‘Birds & Bees’

 

While at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, there was a sunflower in their vegetable garden that caught my attention. ‘Birds & Bees’ is a 6 – 8’ tall sunflower that has golden-yellow petals and chocolate discs.

 

While flowering, sunflowers offer a pollen and nectar source for foraging honey bees, native bees and many other garden pollinators. At maturity, these black seeded sunflowers of ‘Birds & Bees’ provide oil-rich kernels. The shells...

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Authors
Amy Stone

Harlequin Bug on Cleome

The harlequin bug (Murgantia histrionica) (a.k.a. calico bug, fire bug or harlequin cabbage bug) is a black stink bug with either yellow-orange or red markings on both its back and stomach. Additionally, there are some white markings around the edge of its abdomen.  As with all true stink bugs, it belongs to the family Pentatomidae.

 

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Authors
Curtis E. Young

Perennial of the Week: There is More to a Plant Than Just the Name - Joe Pye Weed

When a plant has “weed” as part of its name, it could cause a little bit of confusion. As a gardener, would you feel as you could really brag and be proud of a plant in the landscape that is called a weed? Well of course the answer is yes, especially if it is Joe pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum).  Brag away!  

 

While Joe pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum) can be observed growing along roadsides, some have never taken in to consideration its outstanding ornamental characteristics. It is a large plant which needs space, but when planted in mass it can provide...

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Authors
Amy Stone

Plants of the Beehive State

This past week I was in the Beehive State, Utah, first speaking at a conference and then for a bit of vacation. My wife and I visited both the red rock and desert areas in southern Utah and then in the north, the more verdant areas of the Uinta and Wasatch mountain ranges. Utah, which became the 45th state in 1896, was named the Beehive State for the hard-working, industrious inhabitants.
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Authors
Jim Chatfield