Common Ragwort or Jacobaea vulgaris

The Common Ragwort is a mini-habitat for wildlife and seen growing here in a Cornish Hedge!

In my previous post all about the classification of the Asteraceae I mentioned Ragwort which used to be in the genus Senecio with 21 species but has now been split of into the genus Jacobaea.

The family is highly evolved to home many insects and supports a rich 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!

The first post is all about the classification which is extensive but makes good sense you will discover on the next page!

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

The sticky nature of the common Cleavers or Goosegrass! (pictures by Matt Summers unless stated)

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.

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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.

Salvia Chapter 8 Salvias from Ashwood and Robin!

Salvia ‘Moonlight Over Ashwood’ has unusual yellow-green variegated foliage making the plant attractive even when not in flower!

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..

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Sycamore and other woody members of the Sapindaceae or Maple family.

The pendulous flowers of the Sycamore in early spring with fresh palmate leaves.
(All pictures by Matt Summers
)

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.

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