Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday flowers

I found the name of the red rose (see below image of the rose) and added another prolifically blooming bush type apricot/salmon pink rose which I don't have the name of because it didn't have a tag.

"Home Run (TM) Rose", Rosa "WEKcisbako' PPAF
Rosa Home Run (TM)

A few flowers blooming in our yard this Friday morning. The wild aster was a surprise, hidden by taller plants. The salvia keeps blooming prolifically. This plain red rose is such a great bloomer too but the real attraction is the gorgeous deep red color, so I had to add two images of the flower. I'm surprised the Buddleja davidii 'Black Knight' is still blooming and nearby, a black millet sprouted from seeds dropped from the bird feeder which I thought was interesting because all the other millet are green in color. Two toad lilies Tricyrtis happily blooming in the shade and the black cohosh after the main stalk finished it is the side stalks turn, and the flowers are still very fragrant.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sorbus, mountain ash

This small mountain ash is growing in some uncleared land next to our water tower. The leaves are an attractive dark green and the flowers are dark coral which eventually turn into dark purple colored drupes which compliments the dark green leaves very nicely. I have looked through a couple of books but have not identified what kind of Sorbus it is.

The I tried to dig up a small tree which was actually a sucker and planted it in a pot but it did not survive the winter. It's probably best to just admire it as I pass by almost daily on the dog walk because it does sucker readily and eventually creates a small grove.

When I looked up Sorbus in the botanical books I found that there are many different varieties with different characteristics. Many had very attractive white, pink and yellow fruit. I have not seen very many different Sorbus in the nurseries or planted in people's yards. I wonder why?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Weird larvae or caterpillar? Common Cattle Grub larvae??

I did an online search and it may be the Common Cattle Grub larvae Hypoderma lineatum or Hypoderma bovis the Northern Cattle Grub both also known as, heel flies, warble flies, bomb flies, or gad flies. The name Gad fly comes from "gadding" the wild running of cattle when the fly buzzes as it deposits its eggs on the hapless beast. Warbles are the larval stage of the Cattle Grub. See this website for more information. Or this site for a photo and description.

We don't have cattle or horses anywhere close to where we live so I don't know how the larvae appeared on the street one house away from us. The nearest horse facility is about 5 miles away and though there is a small farm about 1/4 mile away, I haven't seen any large animals there. When the woman who lived on the farm had a corn stand, I remember she said they kept a goat and maybe a sheep or two but no other livestock. So it is a mystery how this larvae came to be where it was found since the hosts are "mainly cattle and Old World deer but they have been known to parasitize horses and humans"* too.

A note about parasitism: The cattle grub would be considered a endoparasite because it lives inside the body of the host. An ectoparasite is one that lives on the outside of the body like ticks, fleas, lice etc. An epiparasite parasitizes another parasite.

Now I have two mysteries to solve, where this grub came from and how a frog and only one frog appears in our pond every year when there are no large bodies of water close to us, not even a small stream or brook. I'll look for crop circles next... I just remembered that we did have a crop circle in a field only about two blocks from where we live. The local paper took some aerial photos of it. So maybe we just live in a weird place. :)

Anal end. Bottom view.

Head end. Bottom view.

Side view.

Top view.

I was walking the dog several weeks ago and just happened to look down while stepping off the curb onto the asphalt roadway and saw something that looked like a rubber grommet or a part from a car. Actually it looks very much like a dark Turkish dried unsulphured apricot. Upon closer inspection it looked like a flattened dark brown insect or butterfly larvae. It had very short black hair all over it and it looked like it had a head end with head retracted and an anal end. It had no feet or legs but the body was semi segmented with circumferential lines at regular intervals. The body is also curved slightly - the top is convex while the bottom concave. It resembles a tiny trilobite. It never moved all the time I held it and positioned it to take the pictures so it was probably dead. It was about 3/4 of an inch long or 20 mm.

I sent a photo to the "What's that Bug" website about 3 weeks ago for identification but haven't received a reply yet. They do say that they are extremely busy with the start of the new school year so I don't expect a reply soon if ever.

Let me know if you have any idea what it is.


Tiniest tomato redux or "I could have been a contender!" II (too)

Well, I was knocked out in the first round. Only a pretender and not a contender at all. Carol pointed out to me that Chigiy (Sept. 17th post) submitted the smallest tomato and I have to admit it is tiny, very tiny. Chigiy's currant tomato will be hard to beat.

Ever since Carol at May Dreams Gardens threw down the challenge for the tiniest tomato, I've seen a lot of pretenders to the throne but I think I have a winner. Here it is with and without its stem. It's a 'Sweet 100' tomato. There was actually a smaller one but it had split its skin and was a bit shriveled so I thought it would be disqualified under the dessication rule. ;)

"Read um and weep!"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Black Cohosh, Cimicifuga racemosa, aka: Black bugbane or Black snakeroot

What a difference a few days make. The flower stalk of the black cohosh is in full bloom and emits a very nice fragrance. I was surprised that a sweet strong smell emanated from the flowers. At first I thought something else was blooming but there was nothing close to the cohosh so I stuck my nose closer to the flower spike and voila. I previously didn't notice the scent when the flowers first started to open.

Our Black Cohosh, Cimicifuga racemosa is just starting to bloom. It is in the Ranunculaceae family so it is not coincidental that it blooms when the Anemones are also in flower. The flower stalk is over 4 (54 inches) feet tall at this time with dark purple almost black stems and dark green-purple attractively shaped tripinnate (Divided into pinnae that are subdivided into smaller leaflets, as in many ferns)leaves. Quite an attractive and elegant plant for a dappled light spot. This is the best it's been since we planted it about 5 years ago.

The roots and rhizomes of the plant was used for many many years as a treatment for menopausal symptoms. Here's a site from the NIH which has more information about Black Cohosh and symptoms of menopause.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Very late post for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, September

I thought the 15th was today, Sunday but it was yesterday. I was busy all weekend so this is a very late post but better late than never. I'll add the names of the plants when I have more time.

Anemone 'Prince Henry or 'Prinz Heinrich'. New to our garden. Looks similar to A. 'Party Dress' but with a darker hue of pink. I like this one better than 'Party Dress' because it stands on thicker stems and doesn't fall over as easily. I also like the deeper color.

Anemone 'Max Vogel'. This is also a new introduction to our garden. This was a disappointment with small very light pink flowers. Maybe it will do better next year.

Anemone 'Andrea Atkinson'. Looks similar to the very popular A. 'Honorine Jobert' but the flower doesn't seem to be as large. The plant is not as vigorous either. This is blooming for the first time also so maybe it will do better next year.

Two photos above of A. 'Honorine Jobert' the first Anemone we planted in our garden which at one time I tried to eradicate but luckily was unsuccessful in doing so. We have come to love this vigorous and lovely windflower.

Japanese Anemone, hupehensis. This is the second anemone we planted and it has turned out to be a very lovely prolific bloomer.

Variegated Liriope. Technically not in bloom but the buds on the flower stalk still look quite lovely.

Seven Sons tree Heptacodium miconioides a rather rare and unusual small tree or large shrub with beautiful fragrant flowers. Here's a site that has more information about this unusual tree.

A yellow form of Crocosmia which along with a couple of the red flowered ones amazingly survived the winter in ground.

Angelonia angustifolia, this was a $1 sale plant and has turned out to be a great buy.

Singapore Plumeria/frangipani. This plant has been steadily blooming for most of the summer, wafting it's fragrance near our back entrance.

Two photos of Clematis paniculata or ternifolia. Some say it has a wonderful scent but ours has no perfume, just a musty pollen smell when you stick your nose right up to the flowers. Very pretty though, with mounds of flowers covering the plant.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Quick Fire' intermediate stage. Supposedly the panicles will turn a bright red but at this stage it's not any redder than our regular H. paniculata 'Grandiflora'

Anemone 'Party Dress'. This is also new to our garden. The stems tend to be thin so the flowers flop over. I'm hoping it will grow more vigorously next year and won't need staking. I hate plants that need staking.

Another group of A. huphensis Japanese Anemome growing amongst some Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’ grass which has turned more green than yellow in all the shade and a 'Katsura' Japanese maple. This was newly planted so it looks very nice close to the ground. I wish the propagators would create dwarf versions of anemones but I haven't come across any.

Another differently colored Angelonia.

Another photo of A. 'Prince Henry'

Two photos of my favorite Anemone. This is A. 'Whirlwind' coyly peeking out from the foilage.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandifolia'. The panicles are turning quickly to a nice dusky deep red.

The old standby impatiens and a aster doing the "job" between perennial flowerings.

And last but not least Lobelia erinus 'Crystal Palace' which I grew from seed this spring and transplanted them out into the garden about a month ago for some fall color.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Psychedelic flowers

My Photo
Location: Zone 6, New Jersey, United States

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