Category Archives: plant parts

Tulips: Old Masters

This is the most bustling, enticing, delicious farmer’s market I’ve ever been to. Local spring greens, potatoes, herbs, leeks. Muffins, honey, goat cheese, maple syrup. And flowers, flowers, flowers, flowers. The famous Greenmarket in Union Square. Funny, I had to go to … Continue reading

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Thistle: No More Waiting

Last December, I was at the Beacon train station, and I noticed a really magnificent specimen of a thistle. It was growing, still green in December, thriving among the gravel so carefully placed to keep weeds down (see Thistle: Waiting for the … Continue reading

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Yew: Life and Death at the Mall

Sears department store is better known for tractors and washing machines than for floral arrangements. The landscaping around the Sears in Colonie Center Mall, Colonie, NY, is pretty sparse. Actually, once you get up close to these plump round balls of bushes, the … Continue reading

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Red Osier Dogwood: Winter Fire

This time of year, all the color seems to have drained from the world. No flowers yet, no  butterflies. Even the birds are hiding till the warm weather comes. In the early spring drabness, this shrub stands out like flame … Continue reading

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Burdock: Hooked Like Velcro

One day in 1941, a Swiss scientist was walking his dog, and noticed with annoyance, like so many other dog-walkers before and since, that his pet had blundered into the tall prickly plant called burdock. And as he was picking the … Continue reading

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Sensitive Plant: Am I Bothering You?

A Sri Lankan byway. Alongside the curb is a small roadside weed, very easy to miss. It has little lacy leaves and a small purple pom-pom of a flower. Pretty but not remarkable. But it’s one of the most incredible plants … Continue reading

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Thin-leaved Coneflower: What’s in a Name?

A cold and dreary winter field. In summer it’s a green and golden wildflower meadow. In winter it’s brown stalks. Peeking out from under this abandoned piece of haying equipment (I think it’s a baler?) is a not-very-well-known wildflower. In summer … Continue reading

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