Strange Mutant Dandilion?

merricat(Zone 3a Canada)June 29, 2006


See if this makes any sense to you:

I had a bunch of perennials that I grew from seed LAST YEAR (spring of 2005). They never made it out of their pots, so I put them underground along with the strawberries (my tomato bed serves as winter hostel in the off-season). Most of them made it fine, and have new homes.

One plant grew into a straight-stemmed, tall plant. Looked like it was going to make a nice yellow flower, if the yellow tinge at the tip of the flowerhead was any indication. Then I did it again: snapped the stem off while moving things around. Sigh.

I put it in water - figured I'd get a flower at least. I didn't. What came out looks like a giant dandilion seedhead. It's beautiful, roughly the size of my palm, and full of giant seeds-with-parachutes. I'm hoping it'll dry nicely and I'll keep it on the window ledge, watch the sun play through the little parachutes.

But what the heck IS it?

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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

Perhaps Tragopogon dubius Yellow Salsify?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 2:20AM
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merricat(Zone 3a Canada)

Well I'll be a newt's pyjamas......

That's EXACTLY what it looks like. And the flowerhead-part and leaves are spot-on too. So it looks like I have a salsify/oyster plant in a pot.

Which leads to my next question: who snuck into my garden and planted this thing? It looks like a parsnip (I hate parsnips) and I'd remember the name.

Hmmm...I wonder if it's a perennial and actually makes flowers, too. Time for a little googling.

THANKS, Crazy and Abgardeneer! :-D

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 3:38PM
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sharon_sd(SW ON)

My husband threatned our neighbour with palting a dandelion in the night on her 40,000 sq ft of new sod. (Yes, a whole acre.)
Maybe you live near us?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 8:38PM
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Good to know! I have those too. I let them grow, thinking I'd discovered some wonderful new flower.
THey are very invasive and the roots are a killer to pull out.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 10:59PM
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merricat(Zone 3a Canada)

*L* Sharon, if you can FIND the lawn amongst the dandelions, volunteer seedlings (I have a lot of fruit trees) and general're a better man than I! ;0)

You know, I have a neighbor across the street (we both have huge corner lots), and he mows the lawn every Saturday, 10 a.m., Moving from NW to SE in perfect rows. It looks like a carpet, not a lawn. I don't have anything agains lawns in general (unless you waste a lot of water on them), but really...we're firmly into the land of OCD, I think.

Cheryl, I don't mind the plant (yet), but how the heck did it GET there? I don't think they're wild here in central Alberta (zone 3a), but maybe a passing bird makes a liar out of me? Hmmmm....

Still a pretty giant puff, though. And still marvellously whole through the use of that common bio-hazard, won't-move-in-a-wind-tunnel chemical: hairspray.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 2:27AM
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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

Salsify is not native to Alberta, it was introduced from Eurasia. I live in Central Alberta too and it surely does grow here, take a drive out in the country, you'll see it gowing along roadsides and pastures.

How did it get in your pot/garden....the seeds are attached to those "parachutes" which are disseminated widely by the wind.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blowing In The Wind

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 4:45PM
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