Tag Archives: native

Starry Campion (Silene stellata)

As i was spot spraying woody brush on the road banks the other day, i came upon a tall slender plant with lovely white flowers.  Being morning, it was in full reaching-for-the-sun glory and i realized i had never seen or at least not noticed this beauty before.

The query was posed with a photo on Facebook as to its identity with no correct responses.  Later that evening, i drove back to my farm to spray brush again and pulled up a plant.  I took more photos and sent them to my daughter-in-law who is a top notch plant identifier in addition to her agronomy degree.  Within minutes, she had it nailed.

Starry Campion  is a Missouri native wildflower, but is not limited to Missouri.  It can be white or pink and is a member of the carnation family (Caryophyllaceae ).  Here’s the official description from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Description

A perennial with several stiff stems having short, soft hairs. Flowers in a loose panicle, subtended by a pair of small, leaflike bracts, with a cup-shaped calyx from which 5 white, finely fringed petals protrude. Stamens are long and slender. Blooms June–September. Leaves mostly in whorls of 4, lanceolate to oval-lanceolate, sessile, opposite, to 3 inches long.

Size

Height: usually 2½ feet.

Also called widow’s frill, this plant is a flowering forb but doesn’t seem to be desirable for most grazing mammals.  I don’t know – i’ve never seen it in my pastures!

Seek out beauty!

Cheers

tauna

 

Silene stellata
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
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Order:
Family:
Genus:
Species:
S. stellata
Binomial name
Silene stellata

 

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Ivan Tomato Seed Saving

As you may remember, my husband was beat up by a mature bull last summer and ended up in hospital and eventually ICU for several days.  Fortunately, and against all odds, he was back on a four wheeler and checking cattle in 15 days from the incident!!  So the tomato story comes from his nurse in ICU who gave us some heirloom seeds he had saved – a tomato called “Ivan”.  The seeds he share were prolific with high germination rate, so i had far more plants that i could possible use.  i just had to end up throwing them away.  However, a 25 foot row of about 20 plants produced ample enough fresh eating and canning for our family until next year’s crop is ready.

“Ivan” i learnt is a native tomato of Missouri which was apparently in need of rescuing!  My plants were not properly pruned or staked, so i had a lot of vines which no doubt took away from crop production. But, i simply didn’t have time.  If Yah allows, I’ll be ready next year with panels and time to care for the plants properly.  These tomatoes are delicious.

For the first time, I’ve tried my hand at seed saving with both this Ivan and Pink Oxhearts (Hungarian Heart Tomato), which i like for slicing and using on sandwiches.

Happy Gardening!

tauna

 

 

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