PLANT OF THE MONTH
Spurred Butterfly Pea
Few flowers of the southeastern United States invoke a sense of the tropics more than Centrosema virginiana. The common name, Spurred Butterfly Pea, refers to the resemblance of the flower to the insect. The spur is the white part of the flower which contains the stamens and pistil. This trailing or climbing vine is found in woods, sandy soils, and disturbed sites throughout the southeastern United States.
To enjoy the numerous flowers produced on this vine, let it grow on a trellis or trail along a split rail fence. The blooming period is prolonged and each flower lasts for several days.
PLANT OF THE MONTH
Angelica venenosa grows in open oak woods and borders, but especially on dry slopes. The upper part of the stem and the umbels are densely covered with short, whitish, and velvety hairs. The lower leaves can be twice or thrice pinnate, and the leaflets are elliptic and thick. The petioles are sheathing, which is one its major characteristics. The flowers are snow-white and in umbels without bracts. Although many years ago Angelica venenosa had been reported to be poisonous, it was probably confused with Cicuta maculata (Water Hemlock).
Angelica venenosa is not common in southern Ohio. It took me three years and numerous botanical excursions before I located my first plant. When I finally did come upon one, it was growing right beside a patch of Queen Anne’s Lace. Its flowers, however, were different and the sheathing along the lateral stems helped to positively identify it. I had to wait three months for the seeds to ripen, and hope that the county would not spray herbicides or brush-hog the bank. Hairy Angelica now occupies a special place in my display gardens.
Available in quart-size containers for $8.00 per plant, plus shipping. Quantities are limited. Order early.
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