Tick tok

I’m habitually wary of anything that includes the word “tick”, but that changed this morning when I read up on the

Showy Tick Trefoil or Desmodium canadense

When my poor brain read the name, it flooded with evil thoughts of this plant playing host to a Caligula bacchanalia of microscopic, eight-legged vampires of disease.

I just had to get past the name to discover it’s a Nitrogen fixing legume that is adored by butterflies, hummingbirds, quail, turkey, and apparently me.

I think I might have a touch of Floracism, or Laura Ashley disease.


Today’s precious purple plant photo is of

Purple False Foxglove or Agalinis purpurea

This is the first time I have seen them at Sparkle Farm. Apparently the conditions have to be just right for them to come out of hiding.

I learned today that they are hemiparasitic, which is a completely new term for me. They have chlorophyll and do the whole photosynthesis thing, but also don’t mind stealing nutrients from the roots of other plants like Kendall Jenner.

Tie vine

Fall is prominently purple around here. I thought our first purple flower identification here at the ol’ Sparkle Farm would be an easy one. Growing up, we always just called them Morning Glories. Nope. They are from the Morning Glory family but this particular purple pretty is probably

Torrey’s Tievine or Pomoea Cordatotriloba var. Torreyana

Now why would you say that Ray Prewitt? That looks just like Purple Tievine or Ipomoea Cordatotriloba var. Cordatotriloba, said only the nerdiest of us nerds.

There seems to be decades of hubbub about what to call this species and I haven’t been able to find out who this Torrey person is. It’s all very boring, even by my loose standards.

I had to go back out and check the flowers naughty bits and undercarriage to see if it was hairy, which it was not, so I’m thinking it’s the Torrey’s.

It’s pleasant to the eye, but it’s everywhere. Probably why most gardeners frown on this lightening fast tangler.

Stay pretty little vines, because otherwise you are exhausting.

Old Man’s Beard

Sparkle Farm flowers pretty purple this time of year, but I came across these Phyllis Diller-y things in a couple of spots and thought they were worth mentioning first.

Old Man’s Beard or Clematis drummondii

The species name of this plant is named for Thomas Drummond, (ca. 1790-1835), naturalist, born in Scotland, around 1790. In 1830 he made a trip to America to collect specimens from the western and southern United States. In March, 1833, he arrived at Velasco, Texas to begin his collecting work in that area. He spent twenty-one months working the area between Galveston Island and the Edwards Plateau, especially along the Brazos, Colorado, and Guadalupe rivers. His collections were the first made in Texas that were extensively distributed among the museums and scientific institutions of the world. He collected 750 species of plants and 150 specimens of birds. Drummond had hoped to make a complete botanical survey of Texas, but he died in Havana, Cuba, in 1835, while making a collecting tour of that island.