Sunday, August 2, 2009

Looking Out My Backdoor

Native plants are a huge part of the landscape at our house, tucked into formal plantings and pots, along with the more traditional floral fare. In an informal grouping with pink impatiens you can find the following natives: Clearweed- Pilea pumila, Spotted Jewelweed- Impatiens capensis, White Vervain- Vervain urticifolia, and Virginia Jumpseed- Tovara virginiana.

Tovara virginiana- known as Virginia Jumpseed or Virginia Knotweed is another member of the Smartweed Family, the Polygonaceae. Polygonum means "many knees" in Latin, and it refers to the ocreae or sheathes that resemble swollen joints, commonly found on these plants. The flowers, a fine wisp of white held aloft, and the medium sized leaves are often water-marked with a chevron of color.

Balancing along the unopened flower stem like a tight-rope artist was this year's first Woolly Bear, the Isabella Moth caterpillar. A mere half inch long, it is probably too young to predict the coming weather by the condition of his coat, but it might be as accurate as some weather forecasters.


  1. Very nice. You should show more pictures of containers around your house, like the hanging baskets with ornamental cabbage. You have some really original ideas for these plantings.

  2. That bunnie looks 'stoned'...

  3. Oh yeah, maybe he was nibbling on the Bittersweet Nightshade or a wacked-out mushroom!

  4. I like the grouping of potted plants with the bunny figure! I grew up in N Calif., and those catepillars were a common sight around my folks' house back then.