05/29/2023 quarter inch rain

One of our four new prairie larkspurs has bloomed!!
I took several angles as I was excited. Three of four plants tried to bloom but their flower stalks got knocked over or snipped off by something toothy.
The showy milkweed in the side yard (north of the rainbow garden) is coming up!
Our three kinds of milkweed are growing!! The lower left one is a green milkweed. The two biggest plants are whorled milkweed (A. verticillata) from Abby. The one remaining viridiflora is not in the picture.

05/19/2023 pretty flowers, mystery solved, and babies

The first of our Ohio Spiderworts from prairie moon to bloom! (That’s a dayflower leaf under it in case that’s confusing.)

05/25/2023 Thursday shenanigans and winecup looking

On the left is this year’s soil to bring the level up. To the right is last year’s winecups!
A baby two leaf senna in one of the caliche planters!

Dayflower identification redux

Last summer I made an attempt at identifying the dayflowers (Commelina species) in our yard and the only ones I found were the invasive, human-introduced Commelina communis. However, Abby gave us some native Commelina erecta and this year we noticed some of the dayflowers had thinner leaves like on the ones she gave us. So I decided to take a look again.

It seems like for our yard, the broad vs narrow leaves are pretty indicative. So we’re going to continue pulling the broad leaved invasive ones. The Flora of North Central Texas indicates the native C. erecta has three varieties and one is narrow leaved, so the leaves probably don’t work in all regions. Once some of the dayflowers go to seed I will check to make sure they also have the smooth seeds that C. erecta has. I’m pleased to see we have more of the native species than I expected.

Even though the two species look very similar, the native species will have existing ecological and evolutionary relationships with the other plants and animals and microbes here. The human-introduced species may or may not have those. To be a good neighbor, I want to make sure our yard provides maximal food and shelter to local species, which means keeping more plants with those existing relationships.

05/26/2023 Friday assortment

Briar enjoys laying in the prairie among the primroses and englemann daisies.
Some of the grass in the new prairie (we’re calling it Leon’s prairie since it’s by Leon’s blackberry bushes) has turned out to be the native wild rye we seeded! Yay!
Yellow Coreopsis looking bright with the tiny purple Verbena halei and the starry pink widow’s cross sedum!
Shackleton had some thoughts.
Briar says “walkies please??” (We did go walkies.)
The showy evening primroses are looking lovely with their pale pink between the purple winecups in the back and the magenta Salvia greggii in the front. We didn’t even plant them on purpose, they were just in the soil Paula brought from the backyard berm.
Coreopsis provides a nice yellow contrast at the end of the Salvia greggii row.
More seedling winecups are coming up in the newer soil where we put seeds.
Gram says it’s hard to use a dichotomous key for plant identification when the only numbers you know are “hello?” And “Doggie”.
Shackleton somehow turned the pages and now says “I leave the identification as a trivial exercise for the reader.”
We planted one Winecup in a tall skinny planter. It has bloomed now.