Saturday, May 11, 2013

I Can't Wait to See This!

 I've been calling this yellow flower Yellow Wood Sorrel for a long time, and I can't remember where or when I first learned it.  Since they just popped up in my front yard this week, I thought I'd refresh my memory.  I was surprised that it was not in any of my field guides.  Not even my old Jepson manual.  So, I typed the common name into my browser and found many web sites that include it.  It's listed as Oxalis stricta L.  That "L" means the plant was named by Linnaeus.  Pretty important person in botany to be known by a single letter.  The plant is edible in limited quantities.  Beware of oxalic acid buildup.  Perhaps use it just to put a little zing in your salad.  I remember in previous years seeing the seed capsules form toward the end of the season.  I've even broken them open and marveled at the line-up of seeds like peas in a pod.  What I didn't know until this evening's web search was that when the capsules reach a certain degree of dryness they explode and shoot seeds up to 13 feet away from the plant.  Now I'm going to be watching daily.  I really want to see this happen.
I've consulted several botanically inclined friends about the absence of this common plant from the field guides and it remains a mystery.  Maybe it's been officially pronounced ugly.
Today I finally gave in to peer pressure and started removing dandelions from my lawn and side yard.  I was feeling pretty sad about it until I spotted these two buds.  They are the common field daisy, AKA Ox Eye Daisy, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum.  This is not a native, and that makes it a weed.  Why don't people go berserk about the presence of daisies?  In one of my field guides I looked up the description of Ox Eye Daisy and found this:  Large, daisylike flowers.  Well, duh! 
Anyway, while the buds are beautiful in their own right (click on the photo for a close-up), I look forward to full blooming as much for the insect and spider guests as for the flowers themselves.  Last summer I photographed over two dozen species of visitors, my favorites being the Goldenrod Crab Spider and the Thread-waisted Digger Wasp.

No comments:

Post a Comment