Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ragweed or Cosmos?

A row of ragweed sprouts next to one Cosmos seedling.

Cosmos seedling has a few lateral rootlets off the primary root.

Ragweed has long shallow root with rhizomes.

Ragweed on the left, Cosmos on the right.  Don't confuse the two!

Last summer I let a young plant grow in my flowerbed.   It looked to me like a Cosmos (C. sulphureus) seedling.   When I noticed it again, it was not a beautiful, glowing Cosmos, but a mature ragweed.  I pulled it up, of course, but too late.  This February, I had hundreds of little ragweed babies popping up in that flowerbed.  Arrgh!

To be sure I would never make the same mistake, I took these photos of a cosmos seeding next to the ragweed sprouts.  I might still confuse the foliage, but there is NO WAY that I will mistake what happens under the soil with the roots!  The Cosmos seedling has only a small set of lateral rootlets of the primary root.   The ragweed has a clever, extensive underground system of threadlike roots and rhizomes that supports multiple plants.   To get it under control, I dig up each bit of ragweed and collect as much of the root system as possible.  I declare that this flowerbed will eventually be ragweed free.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Green Tree Frog for Valentine's Day

Green Tree frog, Hyla cinerea, in Loropetalum shrub
Look before you clip!   That is my mantra.  I have cried in the past when my pruning sheers sliced through butterfly chrysalises so now I try to prune more carefully.  Today's unharmed critter is a gorgeous, sparking green tree frog, Hyla cinerea.  He was sleeping in the overgrown Loropetalum that I was trimming.   This green tree frog has a pink bouquet ready for Valentine's day!  "Froggie went a courtin', mmm-hmmm."