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native weeds in maine hard tall stalk seed pods

Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis) is another spring ephemeral and another great choice for a shade garden. It is a compact plant yet, because of its abundance of flowers, quite showy. It’s easy to grow and blooms for a long time.

Here’s a flower that almost anyone in New England would recognize (if not as a solitary plant, then at least when seen growing, as it usually does, in masses). Few, however, would be able to attach a name to it.


The common name of “interrupted fern” may strike you funny at first. But there’s a very good explanation behind the common name for the plant that botanists know as Osmunda claytoniana. Look at the dark leaflets. Those leaflets have spores on them (ferns reproduce using spores rather than seeds) and are thus referred to as the plant’s “fertile leaflets.” The light-green leaflets, by contrast, are termed the “sterile leaflets.”

The plant belongs to the buttercup family. Besides pink, it also flowers in purple or white. Bloom time is March and April.

Bearing the common name “bluets” or “Quaker ladies,” Houstonia caerulea is a common flower along sunny roadsides. Anyone who logs many miles on the highway in May most likely has spotted it growing in masses, looking ever so much like sugar that some passing giant has spilled. Although it looks pure white from a distance, a close-up look often reveals a hint of blue (thus one of its common names), in addition to a yellow center. It’s one of those plants that everyone “knows” without really knowing. Even long-time gardeners are frequently stumped when asked to name this flower.

Your comment was posted man years ago, and even today I am having little luck finding an answer to this!

If you can’t find a wild mustard growing near you, you must be living in the middle of a desert ‘cause they even grow in the arctic circle. In fact, it’s among the few plants in Greenland and is even found near the magnetic north pole.

Mustards leaves are usually cooked

Cutting the Wild Mustard: Brassica & Sinapis

LOL! I’m living in the middle of the desert, and we get tons of blue mustard. Love it.

Can you eat/have you eaten Tower Mustard (Arabis glabra) in the same manner as other wild mustard? Specifically, are the seeds just as good as other wild mustard seeds? The leaves on the Tower Mustard are small and few, but it sure produces a large quantity of seed! I’m having trouble finding any evidence of regular use/consumption of these seeds by anyone online and wondered if you have any experience?

Although it is not formally listed there are not toxic members of the mustard family. Some are too strong to eat much of.

A native of Eurasia and cultivated for some 5,000 years, the Mustard — Brassica et alia, previously Sinapis et alia, or as the botanists write, spp. — came to North America in the 1700s and is as wide-spread and varied as possible. It usually blossoms in winter here in Florida and over Christmas I saw a patch in full bloom in a backyard, feeding honeybees. I would have brought some home for supper but couldn’t find the homeowner for permission to harvest. But that’s okay, there’s an orange grove near me that is starting to sprout mustards, so…