Posts made in December, 2013

Groundsel: A Little Poison

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in edible, fall, flowers, Unmowed Blog | 4 comments

Groundsel: A Little Poison

Groundsel. A tiny plant, growing close to the ground. A dandelion relative, a hardy little plant, able to cope with the forbidding habitat of the Price Chopper parking lot. Common Groundsel is a European plant, (Senecia vulgaris) like so many that sneaked over centuries ago.  The word groundsel is very ancient—the first recorded use of the word is before the 12th century, and it was probably used well before that. It’s such a humble plant, you’d think it hardly worth mentioning. Wikipedia describes it as a plant that’s “easy not to notice.” The name comes from ground Old...

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Cattails: Winter Warmth

Posted by on Dec 7, 2013 in adaptations, birds, native American, plant parts, seeds, Unmowed Blog, wildlife, winter | 0 comments

Cattails: Winter Warmth

Cattails in a winter marsh, with a skim of ice on the water. This chilly picture seems to be the very essence of cold. But actually this is an image of potential warmth. You’ve seen cattail seed heads, I’m sure, when they’re just ripe–they look like a brown velvet hot dog impaled on a stick. Just one of those spikes can hold an unbelievable number of seeds–somewhere in the vicinity of a quarter of a million seeds on each stalk. Each individual seed is a tiny dot, almost invisible, attached to a little cluster of fluff, which acts as a parachute so the seeds can...

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