A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 54 – Tansy

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

“Not-so-Common Tansy” – Summer 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Tansy is one of those plants that we all know exists… We have all seen it… But I’d be willing to bet none of us have paid much attention to it… I never have… And then last summer I was watching a red-tailed hawk try to steal a cooper hawks nest… During the course of this I caught a black object moving in my peripheral vision… It turned out to be a dog… A big ass dog… I got a little nervous at first… Then he saw me… As my tail crept between my legs… His tail shot straight up in the air… He ran at me full speed… I have to admit I almost ran… But I didn’t… When the dog got close… He threw himself on the ground at my feet… With his tongue out he started  howling… I had a new friend…

The human attached to this dog was close behind… She was a little old lady with a thick British accent… At first I joked in my head that the dog was obviously walking her… Then she shook my hand… She had a grip like a navy seal… I’d be willing to bet she was 70 years old… And could probably kick my ass blindfolded… Anyway…

This lady knew her stuff… We talked at length about flora and fauna as we walked through the woods… I taught her a little… And she taught me a lot… One of the plants we came across on our walk was Common Tansy… Her face lit up and I could see the wheels of reflection turning in her head… I knew I was about to receive something very special… And believe me… She did not disappoint,..

Apparently… As a young girl growing up in England (wish I could be more specific – I want to say Cornwall – But I don’t even know if that’s really a place) they did not have much money… Or as she put it “pot-less”… Sanitary conditions in her neighborhood were apparently not the greatest and as a result… Flies were everywhere…

Now… It is well-known that Tansy is a powerful insect repellent… Many of todays organic insecticides contain its oils..

Every autumn her and her grandmother would go to the countryside in search of Tansy… They would harvest as much as they could carry… Bring it home and dry it… It was then placed on the sill of every window in the house… The windows could then be cracked in the hot summer months without letting flies into the house…

I have run into a lot of interesting people while walking in the local park… But I have only run into this individual once… I gave her my blogs address… And if she is reading this right now… Please email me…

Tansy is also used as a medicine… Though it borders on poison… I wouldn’t recommend using it… And I wouldn’t ingest this plant…

And I will eat just about anything… Especially tasty treats I find in the forest… Never-the-less… I gathered some Tansy seeds and will be germinating them this spring…

I was looking through my seeds the other day and realized I had gathered elderberry seeds… I forgot about them… I have actually secured permission to transplant some from private property this spring… But I plan on germinating the seeds anyway… I may try to write about Elderberry tomorrow… I know I have photographs of the plant and flowers… I just have to go find them…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tansy

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 20 – Yarrow

Yarrow

“Gift of Yarrow” – Spring 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Achillea millefolium… Known commonly as “yarrow” or “common yarrow”… Is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae… In the old world… Yarrow was known as herbal militaris for its use in stanching the flow of blood from wounds… Other common names for this species include gordaldo, nosebleed plant, old man’s pepper, devil’s nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier’s woundwort, thousand-leaf, and thousand-seal…

Yarrow is considered an especially useful companion plant… Repelling some insect pests while attracting predatory ones… It attracts predatory wasps which drink the nectar and then use insect pests as food for their larvae… Similarly, it attracts ladybugs and hoverflies…

It is also planted for improving soil quality… Its leaves are thought to be good fertilizer… And a beneficial additive for compost…

It is also considered directly beneficial to other plants… Improving the health of sick plants when grown near them…

Yarrow can cause severe allergic skin rashes… Prolonged use can increase the skin’s photosensitivity… This can be triggered initially when wet skin comes into contact with cut grass and yarrow together…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

New To writing and never had to site sources before… These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring… My source is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information… But much of this is just related from the web…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 16 – Forget-Me-Not

Forget©

“Through the Cracks” – Spring 2013 – Private Garden – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Commonly called “forget-me-nots”… Myosotis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Borgainaceae… One of the first seeds I can ever remember planting was forget-me-nots…

There are approximately 200 species in the genus… They bloom in spring. Leaves are alternate… Forget-me-nots prefer moist habitats and where they are not native… They have escaped to wetlands and riverbanks. They can tolerate partial sun and shade.

Forget-me-nots may be annual or perennial plants… The pods attach to clothing when brushed against and eventually fall off leaving the small seed within the pod to germinate elsewhere. Seeds can be collected by putting a piece of paper under the stems and shaking them… The seed pods and some seeds will fall out…

R-Room

“Forget-Me-Not in the Rape Room” – Spring 2013 – Jeannette Street – Wilkinsburg, PA

In a German legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out… “Forget-me-not, O Lord!” God replied, “That shall be your name”… Another legend tells when the Creator thought he had finished giving the flowers their colors… He heard one whisper “Forget me not!” There was nothing left but a very small amount of blue… But the forget-me-not was delighted to wear such a light blue shade.

Henry IV adopted the flower as his symbol during his exile in 1398… And retained the symbol upon his return to England the following year…

Freemasons began using the flower as a symbol not to forget the poor and desperate… Many other German charities were also using it at this time… In later years by a handful of Masons… It was a means of recognition in place of the square and compass design…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

New To writing and never had to site sources before… These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring… My source is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information… But much of this is just related from the web…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 15 – Violet

Buddies

“Complimentary Colors” – Spring 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – These violets were growing together in the same patch… I wanted to photograph them together… But none were close enough… So I made them close enough…

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Seven Days of Spring Wildflowers

I personally prize violets… Especially the yellows… And the whites… I seek them out in the early days of spring… Something about them reminds me of life… They remind me that brighter skies are ahead…

Viola is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae… It contains between 525 and 600 species… Most being found in the Northern Hemisphere… But a few are found other places…Some Violas are perennial… Some are annuals… Hell… Some are even small shrub… In Horticulture the term “pansy” is normally used for those multi-colored cultivars that are raised annually and used extensively in bedding… The term “Viola” and “Violet” are normally reserved for small-flowered annuals and perennials included in the species…

Violets transplant relatively easily… Depending on your beliefs… They are often considered weeds… They are often considered a problem in lawns… Though I don’t know why… Violet blossoms are edible… They taste slightly sweet…I like them… The young leaves are also edible… Very bland… Though varieties are now being bred for flavor… Including “Rebecca” which is a vanilla flavored cultivar…

Between

“Stuck in the Middle with Blue” – Spring 2013 – Jeannette Street – Wilkinsburg, PA

Violets are known to have a “flirty” scent as its fragrance comes and goes… Lonone is present in the flowers… Which turns off the ability of humans to smell the fragrant compound for moments at a time…

Violets show promise as a future “Super medicine” as they are called here in the states… A bunch of promising antioxidants have been discovered… And more are being found on a regular basis… I’d be willing to bet we will one day see it on the shelves next to the “Super Fruit” juices marketed all over the place… As with any other natural medicine… Do your own research… And draw your own conclusions…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

New To writing and never had to site sources before… These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring… My source is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information… But much of this is just related from the web…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 14 – White Trillium

TrilliumG

“Perfect Light” – Trillium grandiflorum – Spring 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Seven Days of Spring Wildflowers

April 23rd, 2013… Bright green buds breaking against a baby blue sky… Hiking through Frick Park enjoying the air… As I walked the path I noticed a sea of white above me on the hillside… After a short hike up the slope… I found myself surrounded in White Trillium and Dutchman’s Breeches…  I sat for a while… Took some photographs… Became familiar with the colony… Trillium is a magical plant that I will seek out every spring from now on… If for nothing else than to reproduce the feeling I got the first time I found one…

Grandiflorum

“Laughing Hello” – Trillium grandiflorum – Spring 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

Trillium grandiflorum… Known by many common names… “White Trillium”, “Great White Trillium”, and “White Wake-Robin” are among the more popular ones… It is a perennial that grows from a short rhizome… Producing a single… Showy white flower atop a whorl of three leaves… The leaves and the stem share a dark green color that often persists into fall… The single root will produce colonies that can become very large…

Trillium grandiflorum has a pink form… It is very uncommon and it should be noted that all Trillium grandiflorum turn pink a few days before wilting… This should not be confused for the much rarer pink form that actually blooms a light shade of rose-pink…

ColonyTrillium

“Among the Colony” – Trillium grandiflorum – Spring 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

Trillium grandiflorum has long been thought to be self pollinating… This is a result of a lack of insects during flowering period… The “Science” guys have proven this to not be the case… In fact… They have actually proven Trilliums are not self-compatible… They produce an enormous amount of seeds during years when pollen is plentiful… And they rest on years when it is not…

Fruits are released in the summer… Each fruit contains around 16 seeds… These seeds are typically dispersed by ants… The seeds have an oil-rich body attached to them… This oil causes the ant to believe it has encountered a corpse… The ant then carries it back to the nest… Ants are the only animal that transports the seeds… White Trillium is a favorite food of white-tailed deer… Where ants can transport the seeds 30′ from the nest… Deer have a much larger range and are often responsible for random patches found in the woods…

NATIVE PLANTS DO NOT TRANSPLANT WELL AND SHOULD BE LEFT IN THE WILD… It takes a great deal of experience to transplant from the wild… 99% of the time your transplants will be dead before you even get back in your car… Please don’t dig wildflowers…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

New To writing and never had to site sources before… These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring… My source is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information… But much of this is just related from the web…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 12 – Red Trillium

RedTrillium2

“Wake-Robin” – Spring 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Seven Days of Spring Wildflowers

Trillium erectum… Common names include “Wake-Robin”, “Red Trillium”… Or my favorite “Stinking Benjamin”… Is a flowering plant native to the eastern parts of North America… It is a spring ephemeral… And a herbaceous perennial that flowers before the trees leaf out… And then goes dormant after…

Like all Trilliums… Its parts are in groups of three… Three petaled flowers above whorls of pointed triple leaves… Often growing with three stems per rhizome… The flowers are a deep red color… Though there is a white form… The flowers smell really bad… Like rotting meat… Making them irresistible to the flies that pollinate them…

RedTrilliumWhite

“Trillium erectum – White Form” – Spring 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

Trilliums rely on ants for seed dispersal… The seeds are surrounded in a sweet covering that5 ants love to eat… They collect them and transport them back to their nest… When the ants are finished they then discard the seeds in the back of the nest… Which also happens to be the perfect growing medium for the Trillium seeds…

Picking Trilliums… Or even parts of the Trillium can and will kill it… Even if the rhizome is left undisturbed… Some species are listed as threatened or endangered… ALL of them should be considered threatened as they are EXTREMELY sensitive to disturbances of any kind… Collecting wild specimens is illegal unless on private property… And even then it is highly unethical…

Trilliums will grow in a shade garden… And seed propagation is possible for very experienced gardeners… I have successfully germinated and flowered several species… As a general rule transplants almost always fail… The change in conditions is almost always more than a delicate wildflower can handle… If it were that easy… These plants wouldn’t be threatened…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

New To writing and never had to site sources before… These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring… My source is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information… But much of this is just related from the web…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 2 – Crocus

CrocusBee

“Towards the Sun” – Spring 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Crocus is a genus of flowering plants in the Iris family… They are typically very early blooming flowers… Though autumn blooming varieties exist… They are perennials that grow from corms… The name of the genus is derived from the Greek language and translates to “Saffron”… A variety of crocus is in fact the source of this spice…

Crocus flowers and leaves are protected from frost by a waxy cuticle… In areas where snow and frost occasionally occur in the early spring, it is not uncommon to see early flowering crocuses blooming through the snow…

Some crocuses seed prolifically and are ideal for naturalizing… They can become invasive if not kept in check… Crocus look stellar when naturalized in a lawn… It is important to hold off mowing till a few weeks after they bloom… The simplest way I have found to accomplish this is to literally peal sections of sod back with a flat spade… Place your crocus bulbs how you like… And carefully replace the sod over top…

CrocusGroup

“Cluster of Crocus” – Spring 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

Crocus are extremely easy to propagate…  Although tolerant of overcrowding… They will lose some vigor over time… The process starts by digging up the existing Crocus corms after they die back and remove the smaller corms that have grown around the base… If the original corm is still producing foliage and flowers… Put it back in the ground… But if the corm is spent… Remove it leaving a few of the smaller corms to replace it… The recovered corms can now be planted wherever you decide to put them…

Newly planted Crocus corms are a favorite of squirrels, mice and voles… These pests will quickly dig them up for food… You can discourage these pests by placing a cage of chicken wire over your new planting… I find that once established the pests tend to leave them alone… If you can get your corms through two seasons of growth… And learn to successfully divide them… You will have more than you will ever know what to do with…

plant Petunias and question everything – chriscondello

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

I also accept Bitcoin donations… My digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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