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!
The first post is all about the classification which is extensive but makes good sense you will discover on the next page!
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 110 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.
Some weeks have gone past since I last wrote about my Salvia nursery here in the West-Midlands and thought I’d update on our latest new varieties which we collected from our good friends and colleagues, Hillview Nursery in Shropshire.
Last week I wrote about the purchase of my first few salvias for my new venture: Yoke’s Magic Salvias. These first few salvias were particularly important for me as they were some cuttings of my Rodbaston-named varieties, which I had been worried about that they might have gone extinct forever..
The Sapindaceae is a large family (number 77 in Stace) but in Britain it is represented by only “3 genera which all have a totally different appearance” (Stace, 370). He mentions Acer, Aesculus and Koelreuteria. Only one of those genera and one species is native and the genus Acer is what gives the Sapindacea it’s common name, ‘the Maple family’.
In the Wild Flower Key it is still called the Aceraceae and only the 3 most common Acers are mentioned here, while the Horse Chestnut, now also in the Sapindaceae, has his ‘old’ own family here too; the Hippocastanaceae.