Sort of. It's a native plant form that is a much larger flower, common name "Hounds Tongue" Did you know that somewhere along the way, a kind of good hunting dogs actually had a blue tongues? That's the story, anyway. But garden forget-me-not and mountain Hounds Tongue (also called stickseed for the burr seeds) are both in the Borage Family, Boraginaceae.
Post by breezygardener on Mar 5, 2015 11:03:33 GMT -5
He recently changed it to the Forget-me-not (pardon me - the Hounds Tongue). Previously it was a Thistle with a Bumblebee on it. While I also know what a pain in the a** Thistles can get to, I do leave a few to grow out around here because the bees, butterflies, & finches love them so.
**My body is a temple - unfortunately it's a fixer-upper.**
A good example indeed. A fine native pant to have on your property, and you might like to use the berries. You can make jelly or wine (Google for recipes. I tried making jelly once, thought it too thin, added a boatload of pectin and ended up with dark blue synthetic rubber!) I have a friend who saves plenty of brries in his freezer to add to salads during winter.
Of interest: the name has nothing to do with age, the "elder" part comes from Anglo-Saxon aeld,fire! The hollowed stems were used as blow pipes to get a fire going, just like w blow on embrs now. And the genus is Sambucus, coming from a Greek word for a musical instrument like a pan flute. Elderberries have a long and interesting history as a useful plant.
that's interesting Steve. Sambucus Elderberry is also recommended to fight the flu, and to build the immune system.
Speaking of which, I think we used to have a herbal forum on the old site. Would you be persuaded to make one here, assuming there is interest?
Somewhere in all this thread Milkweed was mentioned. I recall it's invasive. I have an area on a slight slope at the back of my yard that really needs plants. I read that that the Monarch Butterfly loves Milkweed so I bought 2 large plants. While waiting for the weekend to plant them, a Monarch flew into my yard. It headed right for the Milkweed and we watched it for a few hours as it sat on it or flew around it. It came back the next day. I have to admit we got a kick out of it. I had also bought a Russian Sage, like DW has, and 3 Lantana plants. We planted yesterday and my hubby found 3 caterpillars on the Lantana. He almost killed the big one but stopped and took a picture and googled it. We are very surprised to find that it's a Monarch caterpillar. This morning DH found the large one crawling, fast, towards the Milkweed. He let it crawl on a leaf and took it to the Milkweed and it crawled up on one flower bud and started eating it, so he put the other 2 on the plants. I guess they will eat the flowers and the plant will still grow. We will see what happens. I'm assuming they don't kill the plant or their food source would go away. This has actually been fun to watch.
Excellent report! As for milkweed being invasive: if you bought the plants at a nursery, chances are good it would be Asclepius alifornia, a native plant. Check this page on Calflora for lots of info and photos. The only milkweed that earns a caution is the tropical, A curassavica. It's really pretty, and yes, sold in nurseries too. Avoid it.
As for eating flowers? I can tell you they eat the leaves and from those, pick up the bitter taste from the milkweed that discourages birds from eating the critters! One bad taste and the bird skips future opportunities.
Each butterfly species has a specific host plant (or plant family), like the Cabbage Whites which favor most anything in Brassicaceae (the Cabbage family!) Monarchs happen to zero in on milkweed. Butterflies can sense the plant they are on by "touch". They determine the correct plant by sensing it with their feet. The host plant is important food source for the larva (caterpillar)
The botanical name Asclepius honors the Greek God of Healing! Milkweed apparently has always had value in home remedies.
Your lantana is also a butterfly magnet. You should have a fun time this summer!
I checked it, but it does work,...Just takes a few seconds for the page to appear. CalFlora might be a site you'll want to look at for other info on California native plants (invasives as well!). And as you get more interested in butterflies, watch out! I got interested a few years ago, never really realizing how many species are flying around. In two years of spending summers out to get photos, I managed to collect 60 species, about half the number listed for this county. Butterfly ID can be an interesting activity.
Not even close. Milkweed is Asclepius (Family: Asclepiadaceae) and milk thistle is Silybum (Family Asteraceae). While milkweed (because of its milky sap) is named for the Greek god of healing, you'll need to search out what remedies are attributed to it, I have no info on that.