Saturday, August 05, 2006

more weeds

Purslane, Portulaca oleracea -- behind the zinnia -- can be seen all over the garden. It's one of those annual weeds that was imported from Europe and north Africa. There is a variety that is a gourmet salad herb that fetches a nice price in New York; I tried my variety and must tell you I don't think much of it. I think even less of it's ability to perpetuate itself!

If you do yank it out by the roots, don't leave it lying around in the garden. I have discovered the hard way that the leaves and stems stay viable for a long time and can root down from the nodes if they touch the soil at all. Seed formation can also continue for a long time from the residual nourishment in the leaves and stems, and voila!: more purslane all over the garden.

Another goof -- since I seem to be confessing to things this morning -- the zinnia was supposed to be for cut flowers. The tag says quite clearly that I bought dwarf seedlings. I didn't read it, obviously, because I kept wondering why the zinnia was not behaving as I thought it should. Finally.... I read the tag.


Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Down here there is a purslane that's grown for the medium size, assorted-color flowers. I guess it was selected from the original garden weed, and related to Moss rose/portulaca. Flowering purslane does wonderfully in hanging baskets, even in a Texas August, because it's really a gussied-up weed!

Last summer I planted cutting zinnias, too - they were 5-feet tall and had to be staked. Is there no middle ground in zinnia size?

2:36 p.m.  
Blogger Carol said...

I had trouble with purslane earlier in the spring, still have some now. I just keep pulling it out. My mistake might be throwing it into the compost bin. I am hoping if I can keep it from going to seed, someday, someday, I'll be rid of it!

5:58 p.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

Oh yes, Annie. I remember seeing quite a lot of portulaca (P. grandiflora) in used in a block of annual plantings outside the library next door when I used to live in Willowdale (a suburb of Toronto).

6:31 p.m.  

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