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Monday, July 3, 2017






Monday, 8:30 AM.  64 degrees F at the ferry dock, 59 on the back porch.  Wind variable and mostly calm.  The sky is mostly clear with a few whispy white clouds, the humidity 87%.  The barometer is mostly steady, at 30.12".  The holiday skies will be mostly clear, with highs in the high 60's,  Thursday and Friday will be a bit warmer, with chances of thunderstorms, but fireworks watching should be fine.
   What constitutes a "wildflower?"  Are wildflowers only native plants, or does the term include non-native, showy flowers in a naturalized environment?  I will postulate the later, if they are aesthetically pleasing and occur naturally.
   Many of our roadside and field "wildflowers" are indeed European or Asian plants, often familiar since times of early settlement because they arrived on our shores with agricultural seeds from Europe.
Two very floriferous (and mostly innocuous) flowers are the wild daisy, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, and orange hawkweed, Hieracium aurontiacum, both in the Sunflower Family.  The former can be very prevalent on roadsides and in pastures throughout Central North America, and in the past had a host of medicinal uses.  The later is more restricted to northern and eastern North America. In the ancient past hawkweed was considered an aid to eyesight, the Latin names translating directly into its common name. The two alien species often grow together and provide a very colorful "wildflower" display.
   Some will object to my calling these and other innocuous, colorful alien plants  "wildflowers," but "One man's weed is another man's wildflower.

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