A Volunteer Weed to Keep

My gardening and landscaping project is in its beginning stages.

Some of our land — what I call the “lower 40” — was cleared of what the tree consultant called “junk trees.” In their place now are over 60 fruit and ornamental trees. More about the orchard later.

But at the top of the orchard where it meets the newly-laid front lawn is an area that until now was consisted of construction debris and soil that was more rock than dirt.

Despite the poor growing conditions, a volunteer plant took hold, and it’s been thriving. It’s called Cat’s Tail, the Latin name being stachytarpheta mutabilis, and it’s from the verbena family.

These tiny flowers bloom in bunches of 3 to 5 and slowly the blossoms travels up the long stalk. The hummingbirds and butterflies love it. My only regret is that they don’t bloom all day long. By early afternoon the blooms close. Given how the color is so striking in the morning sun and the appeal to hummers and butterflies, it’s a keeper that I’ll encourage to spread.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.