Friday, August 8, 2008

Another nightshade

Yesterday evening, I walked by our nearly dead vegetable garden and spotted some little bright yellow blooms. I kneeled down for a closer look. Hmmm, look a LOT like the silverleaf nightshade I'd photographed just a few days ago. I bet they're related, I thought.

I pulled down Wildflowers of Texas by Geyata Ajilvsgi and quickly found a photo that looked like the same plant I'd found–a buffalo bur (Solanum rostratum), which is part of the Nightshade family (Solanaceae). According to the book and Texas AgriLife Research and Extension at Uvalde, the "fruit is covered in spines and is said to have attached itself to roaming buffalo, hence the name buffalo bur." It hasn't gone to fruit as yet.

I guess most people would consider this plant a "weed." In my past life, I would have, too. But now I think it's so fun and fascinating to investigate the volunteer plants we find in our Wildscape and figure out what they are. When they're actually related, that's VERY interesting!

(Click on the photo and find the ant!)

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