Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

September Roadside Beauties

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Knotweed, Fallopia japonica

Hello fellow readers,

“Is there such a thing as wild hydrangea?” asked Tammy of Marshalls Creek PA. There is. Hydrangea arborescens is commonly known as Smooth Hydrangea or Wild hydrangea and its native in the woodlands of the northeast, but it blooms in the spring. What Tammy is noticing gracing roadsides this time of year is Japanese knotweed, also called Asian Knotweed, which tells its origin. From late summer into fall, it’s a showy white lacey plant is often seen in swaths. And, it’s quite magnificent with white sprays covering shamrock green smooth-edged leaves. Though indeed shrub-like, Fallopia japonica is not a woody plant. Rather, a hefty herbaceous perennial in the buckwheat family. Its stems are hollow and look bamboo-like growing ten to thirteen feet each year. Sadly, its invasive, though pollinators are pleased with the plethora of plumes.

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Knotweed, Fallopia japonica

Japanese Knotweed – also called Fleece Flower, Monkey Weed, or Donkey Rhubarb

Some call it Fleece Flower, Monkey Weed, or Donkey Rhubarb. It is said it tastes like very sour rhubarb and you’d have to be dumb as a donkey to eat it. The thing is, donkeys aren’t dumb. In fact, quite smart but indeed stubborn. We can’t blame an animal for digging in its heels to protect itself.

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Impatiens capensis, Jewel Weed

Jewelweed

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Impatiens capensis, Jewel Weed

Jewelweed

Another wild beauty is Orange Jewelweed also known as Spotted Jewelweed. I look forward to seeing this annual North American native along streams, creeks, and in trenches roadside. Native Americans used the juice of the leaves as a poison ivy rash remedy. They grow three to five feet tall and have stems that are almost see-through and succulent-like. The flower’s shape reminds me of foxgloves, though they dance on the tips rather than ride all along the stems. Upon researching Impatiens capensis, I learned about a unique feature that earned its other common name Touch-me-not. When the inch-long seed pods ripen they explode! With just a light touch the pods promptly peal back and fling out tiny seeds. Whoever thought plants could be such fun! Garden Dilemmas? AskMaryStone@gmail.com

Here’s a link to a video demonstrating Jewelweed seed pod fun! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ_vxAZZ–4

 

 

Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

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