Chapter 1: Some difficult terms explained in the world of Botany and Ethnobotany.

As I wrote in a recent blog, I would like to re edit most of the last year’s blogs as we now have the Gutenberg editing and this makes the blogs more beautiful and pleasant to read!

As in any science there are some difficult words and terms used of which I would like to explain some this week. If not explained you will often find a link on the ‘difficult’ word which will guide you to an explanatory page.

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Common Ragwort or Jacobaea vulgaris

The Common Ragwort is easily recognisable as a tall yellow daisy!

In my previous post all about the classification of the Asteraceae I mentioned Ragwort which was genus 74 (Senecio) with 21 species but has now been split of spp 1-5 into the genus Jacobaea.

The family is highly evolved to many insects and supports a rich ecosystem. I found out for example that the Ragwort supports a huge amount of biodiversity!

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Asteraceae part 1

Yarrow and Ragwort are 2 different members of the large ‘Aster’ family – All images are with thanks from Matt Summers

Today and in several future blogs I will be talking about members of the Asteraceae. This was called the Compositae for a very long time, which I think is a lot more descriptive about this largest dicotyledon family on Earth!

There is a lot to say about this family as you can imagine!

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Cleavers, Sticky Willie or Goosegrass and some more of the Rubiaceae

Close up showing the hooked hairs along the stem and leaves which it uses to attach itself.
All pictures by Matt Summers

This week all about this fascinating plant known as Cleavers, Goosegrass or even; Sticky Willie! It can be annoying in gardens but there is one very good use I saw in a ‘permacultural run garden’ which used the plants rather as a disguise for the maturing fruits on Gooseberry, as well as other soft-fruit bushes.  Once the fruits were ripe and ready to pick the entire clinging plant would be ‘peeled’ back and most of the fruit  picked. Any leftovers were for the birds! Much friendlier than netting I thought and it is something I would like to experiment with this year!

This plant is in the Rubiaceae family which is number 104 in Stace. The Rubiaceae is a very large, mainly tropical family and is mostly woody in that climate, whilst in this part of the world they are mainly annual to perennial herbs.

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Yoke’s Magic Salvias now closed for business!

Salvia buchananii
This is one of the best Salvias for growing in a container. A small plant with wonderful, large, furry, magenta flowers, attractive shiny foliage. For more info see Robin Middleton’s website. All the Salvia pictures by my partner Matt Summers.

Maybe the few who read my blog would have noticed that my Salvia shop or online mail order adverb has disappeared?

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Wonderful Weed weekly update!

Wild Strawberry flowering in May along an old shady wall.

As some of my loyal readers may have noticed, it has been several weeks ago when I did my last post on the very large Asteraceae family!

Unfortunately you may have to wait till I am getting a lot less busy, with all my activities in and around my professional gardening..

Hopefully will see you back in several months time as there are many families and genera still not written about in my Virtual Etnobotanical Garden….

Will also attempt to rewrite some of the older blogs as several pictures have disappeared and I can’t add those back in as there is now a new editing version of WordPress.

Are Salvias hardy?

You might be wondering are salvias hardy? Hopefully this post will answer all your questions.

Salvias are a fashionable plant as they seem to have been popping up in recent years in your local garden centre, on markets and even in your local supermarkets.They are showy and very colourful, come in reds, pinks and purples and as a salvia collector and salvia lover I’ve noticed that in this very large group of plants many varieties are either towards the red and others are totally on the other scale; towards the blue of the spectrum, and then obviously all those colours in between as well as the whites, greys and pastel-shades in between!

They are very seductife as the colours are shouting out; buy me!

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