Monday, July 25, 2011

indian tobacco and enchanter’s nightshade

New species, new species!  Today’s catch is a type of lobelia. I’m fairly sure it’s Indian Tobacco – Lobelia inflata – which would be cool, if only because it’s psychoactive. That sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to get high off random lawn weeds?
It’s used to treat asthma, as well. By the way, if you stumbled across this blog hoping for Truthiness, as far as the medicinal properties of plants go, you’re in the wrong place. I just repeat what the interwebs tell me. There may come a time when I get serious about understanding the medicinal and edible qualities of my plant neighbors, but for now, I’m content just to watch them unfold.
And what’s not to love about these lovely, irregular flowers?
Right next door to our druggie little friend above, we have a stalk of mullein. It’s a wee plant now, just a couple of feet tall, but at some point it will easily tower over me.
Let’s take advantage of its shrimpy size to peer into its naughty bits.

I found another stash of Enchanter’s Nightshade over by the double-ruffled day lilies.
A couple of years ago, I probably would not have even noticed this plant’s existence. Or if I had, I would have assumed it was the same thing as the lobelia we just saw: similar height, stalk of little more-or-less white flowers, there, done. But the more I pay attention, the more I notice. These aren’t the same plant at all.
Enchanter’s Nightshade
Circaea lutetiana
Lobelia – “Indian Tobacco”
Lobelia inflata
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opposite leaves alternate leaves
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regular petals, not stalked. This one’s already forming a seed. irregular, stalked flowers
And I also saw the cutest ever black-eyed susan.
I should be able to monitor the whole fabulous unfolding tubular petals, as this was just steps from the front door. Remind me to continue avoiding mowing the lawn.
I got busy with the hammer and nails today, hanging up more prints of my photos.

Don’t you wished you lived in my house? You can do this for yourself at home, if I ever get organized and figure out how to market these prints off this website.

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