Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Good Fences Make Good Flowers

The wheat field that caught my eye last week was protected by a wire fence. The fence was a mix of wood and wire, some new, some old, but still struggling to guard the wheat from interlopers like me. Flanking the fence line was a wheat free trail about as wide as an ATV. This perimeter trail had been mowed once long ago and was now supporting a host of wildflowers.

Phlox of deep pink and every shade of "in between pink" clustered along the fence with the occasional white blossom adding contrast.

This looks like Porter Weed to me, although a subtler shade of blue than the the "improved" varieties found at Home Depot. If it's not, I'm open to suggestions ...

Any fence line that has stood for awhile will usually support a variety of berry producing trees and shrubs, thanks to the pooping perchers who use the fence as rest stop.

Typically, it's black cherry, cedar, blackberry, farkleberry, around here.
This fence was loaded with one of my favorites, "Toothache Tree" ... aka, "Hercules Club".

(The bark has an anesthetic affect when applied to the gums ... it's a tingly numbing feeling, but I'm not sure I'd rely on it during oral surgery)

This is a wickedly gnarly tree that just dares you to come any closer.


Laura said...

I think it's the porter weed that smells like... ughhhhh. I bought a bunch of it years ago, not realizing what I was getting into. On the way home, I thought the cat had let loose inside the car, the smell was that strong.
Kind of reminds me of cat spray, it's horrible!

But the flowers are purty and the butterflies love 'em! Great pics.

Sharon said...

That first picture looks exactly like that place I found not far from me...same kind of fencing and phlox-apalooza! That does look like porterweed. I've only seen it in butterfly gardens, I hadn't noticed the smell Laura's talking about though. Maybe the "improved" versions did away with that too! :)

threecollie said...

Nice, very, very nice!

SwampAngel65 said...

Oooh! I've never seen one of those trees before! Very cool and unusual, but my silk floss tree still has it beat on the "fear factor" of it.

So, Laura's porterweed stinks??? I have lots in my yard, and at work, but mine don't smell at all. We do have a weed around here that smells like cat spray, but it's not porterweed. I think it may be called a skunk vine or skunk weed. I'll have to find out for sure.

Anyway LOVE the pretty flowers. Wish we had wild phlox down here.

robin andrea said...

Love to see all those wild flowers entangled and weaving along the fence like that. So pretty. That's quite a thorny tree. Have you ever seen ocotillo? Whenever I see something thorny like your Hercules Club I think of ocotillo. Great for natural fencing.

Anonymous said...

The photos are lovely and that is one wickedly cool tree. Thanks for telling us about it. Had not heard of it before and I love learning new nature stuff!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I didn't know "wild" phlox could be so purty.

Anonymous said...

Wicked thorns!

Floridacracker said...

I didn't get my smeller against this one, but I was macroing it for the photo. No smell ... maybe Rico did spray?

The roadsides here are pink and white with phlox.


I'm thinking Laura's cat, Rico, probably slipped some spray into her flowers.
Silk floss tree?

Ocotillo is a one I've never seen in real life, only pics. Thanks for the link!

Glad to be of service.


SwampAngel65 said...

Yes, silk floss... check out my blog from a couple days ago...the one with the video of my tort eating collards. It has wicked thorns that are big and very tough. Wouldn't fell good at all to run into one of them.

Yeah, um...I bet Rico did decide to add his own aroma to Laura's plants...better that than the carpet!

The Troll said...

I've never seen a Wheat Field in Florida. Who grows it? Where? Why? For what market?

Floridacracker said...

Will do!

I've seen several, although sometimes it looks like more of a cover crop ... like when it's planted beneath a pecan orchard. This one is an extensive field tho. I checked the ag stats and the value of Florida wheat is listed.

Thunder Dave said...

That last picture just makes me think "Ouch".

Laura said...

LOL! The next time I hit the Home Depot, I'll hunt down the flower and find out the correct name of it. They do sell a flowering plant in their "butterfly" section that makes me think Rico made a field trip to the Home Depot! I thought it resembled the porter weed when I saw the photos.

S N B said...

Coming back to Tallahassee yesterday from Gainesville, we drove for miles and miles amazed at the awesome phlox in all its colors and coreopsis by the millions. That was on US 441 and then US 27. Going down to Gainesville through Old Town through Cross City, the blue flags were putting on the show a little more subtly. We have patches of each of these but nothing on such a scale. WOW!