Flowers of Flying Hat (6-8): Sow thistle is not a weed.

Far field clouds, March 2012.

6. False Garlic, Crow Poison (Nothoscordum bivalve), March 2012.

This False Garlic flowers early and there are several colonies clustered together throughout the ranchito.  This False Garlic is closed and due to the rains and cold yesterday and today, I do not have an open flower to illustrate — but, I shall.  This is found in the lane to County Road 114, and other colonies are about the gate between the arena and the grove pasture.

7. Sow Thistle (Sonchus asper), March 2012.

Sow Thistle appears to be a weed, but it is not.  Authorities claim the milk of this plant relieves eye ailments.  I wonder if I could apply this to my left eye?  I think not.  I’ll rely upon Dr. Callanan, but then again…. This appeared one afternoon and then its flowers have closed.  This Sow Thistle inhabits the disturbed soil underneath the live oak tree to the southeast of the house.  I have read much about the categorization of ‘weed’ versus ‘plant.’  The term ‘weed’ seems culture-specific, a term of dislike, marginal.  Goats, sheep and cattle eat this with relish.  To them, it seems, this is a plant, not an obnoxious weed.  One person’s plant is another person’s weed?

8. Unknown.

These little-bitty guys erupt on the top terrace and emerge as small, almost unnoticeable flowers. As of today, I have failed to find their name, and I also need a closeup to gain greater resolution of their attributes. Today it is raining and the blossoms are closed.

More Violet ruellia, violet wild petunia (Ruellia nudiflora).

This is a another photograph of violet wild petunia, previously identified.  It has erupted in large numbers along Interstate 20 from Mingus to Abilene.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Flowers of Flying Hat (6-8): Sow thistle is not a weed.

  1. A nice selection of early wild flowers! Spring always brings so many surprises. We’re still a ways away, about 8″ of snow still on the ground, but I look forward to the first flowers that this year will bring us.

  2. Rubia

    Jack, thanks to you, I will look upon sow thistle more kindly from now on. It always looked like a nasty weed to me, but now I shall think of how tasty it is to some when I see. Have you known any of your horses to enjoy it? Your comment about applying it to your eye made me smile!
    Your hits are fast approaching the milestone 100,000 by the way!

    • Yes, it has looked like a nasty ‘weed,’ but it can be chopped up in salads. Beware of picking it from roadsides as herbicides are often used on roadways. I have not seen horses eat it, but I think they can. When I get 100,000 hits, I’ll try to set off fireworks. Thanks, Rubia, for your comments.

      • Rubia

        No worries about herbicide, Jack, I have some of these greens in my backyard. Come on over and we’ll have a salad. Bring Star too; there is plenty to share :)

      • Well, good. Don’t need herbicides in the salad. It looks like a lot of Sow thistle is coming up from the rains over here.

  3. The sow-thistle grows here also. My favorite plant book says that the young leaves can be eaten raw in salads or cooked as a vegetable. (I hope I can remember that when the plant comes to life here in about July!) The book also claims that pigs like to eat sow thistles, hence the common name.

  4. I took the time to double check a vacant lot today before the rain came, and it seems we have some sow thistle, too. I’d seen them from the car, and was curious, because the plants themselves looked like the larger purple thistle, but of course there were those yellow blossoms.

    Just a note to anyone who happens to notice this – I had subscribed to your blog, but when I came by tonight just to check, I discovered I suddenly wasn’t getting email notices of new posts. So, I’ve resubscribed. I hope others haven’t had the same experience and are assuming there are no new posts.

    We had two inches of rain today. Everyone is smiling and hoping for more.

    • Shoreacres: Thank you for resubscribing. Two inches of rain! Great. That sow thistle picture I took is the only one, so far, I have seen. We are cool and there is a mist. Thanks again for commenting.

  5. Thanks for the reminder that what we think are “weeds” may be something worth consideration. I recall my first year in NM, living in an ancient adobe farmhouse in Chimayo, and thinking I was “weeding” the yard. I was, in fact, assaulting some very old poppy plants (thankfully, someone caught me in the act) and dispatching large patches of what I soon learned were called “verdolagas” (Purslane), a green that Michael Pollen refers to as one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Who knew? My bad! PS Speaking of noxious plants, I just read “The Worst Hard Times” and learned where the tumbleweeds came from and how they helped many survive during the dust bowl. Fascinating reading for this girl from East Los Angeles, where our rivers ran in concrete beds!

    • Martie: What a great story. I hope people read the comments and your narrative! I’ve lived in LA and it was a much better experience that I thought it would be. I really liked it.

  6. Pingback: Shame and Kisses: More Flowers of Flying Hat (12-13) | Sage to Meadow

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