|...PRETTY, BUT INVASIVE|
Monday, 7:45 AM. 72 degrees, wind WSW, light. The sky is cloudless but a bit hazy and the barometer predicts partly cloudy skies. It rained enough last night to dampen the grass but not enough to leave even a trace in the rain gage. It will be a warm summer day for our trip to Duluth for some shopping and Joan’s eye exam.
The roadsides are donning their summer garb, and the mullein, Verbascum thaspus, in the figwort family (Scrophulariaceae) with their huge basal leaves and tall stalks of yellow flowers, are everywhere, and the poorer the soil the better they like it. Native to Europe, mullein has naturalized virtually everywhere in North America as a field weed and roadside flower. The English common name is candles, a very suitable name indeed. Mullein, which is a biennial, is actually quite beautiful and there are a number of garden varieties. Its hairy leaves make a fine healing poultice for cuts, burns and skin eruptions.
The multiflora rose, Rosa multiflora, of Eurasian origin, was introduced some decades ago by the USDA as a conservation plant and now is found in hedge rows and woods edges throughout much of North America. It is a rather nice, fragrant white rose, but it is quite invasive and is now considered a pest by the very agency that bought it here.