Monday, September 13, 2010

Native Plants of Franklin

Sorry I'm late with the native plants this week! Here is the most recent mystery plant:

This is yet another native flower doomed to obscurity by the word "weed" in its name: jewelweed. This tender annual grows abundantly in moist, shady areas, and from mid to late summer it is covered in little orange orchid-like flowers.

The name "jewelweed" comes from the way water beads up into brilliant, flashing gems on its waxy leaves.

The Latin name of jewelweed is Impatiens capensis, which gives a clue as to what common garden plant this is related to: impatiens.

Jewelweed also goes by the name "touch-me-not", because when you touch the little bean-like seed-pods, they pop open violently! That aspect makes this plant especially fun for children.

This next plant is tricky. Forget about specifically what plant it is. If you can pinpoint what type of plant it is, then you're doing well. I'll give you a hint: this is a flower.

Happy plant-sleuthing!

Michelle Clay writes about gardening here in Franklin at the Clueless Gardeners Blog.

Franklin, MA

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