Friday, May 2, 2014

Flowers in the Wasteland

Dakota Vervain?  

           Every native plant enthusiast worth their salt knows that roadsides and wastelands are fertile hunting grounds for wildflowers.  These forgotten places go neglected and uncultivated, and thus provide refuge to 'weeds'- the native plants that I adore. I have a hoarder's soul when it comes to wildflowers, so I can't help but note where I find these gems.
            I recently moved to Fort Worth, and I've been quickly getting acquainted with the local flora.  My rental near TCU has a 2-3 acre vacant lot across the street. Yesterday I explored this marginal land to meet some of the locals.  This small sanctuary houses blooming green antelope horn (Asclepias viridis), golden mane tickseed (Coreopsis basalis), dakota vervain, pussytoes, prairie ragwort (Packera plattensis), horse nettle, pink ladies (Oenothera speciosa), and Texas wintergrass, whose inflorescences loosely resemble needle and thread. The thriving milkweeds made me smile (as a monarch fan), and transported me to my botanical state of bliss. Drunken frat boys, hooting from their patio, brought me back to the urban core. Ah, city living. 
Green Antelope Horn/ Asclepias viridis asperula

            I moved to North Texas from Central Nebraska less than a week ago. Some things are the same, in that the native flora includes a mix of familiar and unfamiliar tallgrass prairie plants, while some things are quite different (see: drunken frat boys observing my botanizing).  The weather's hotter, but just as variable as Nebraska. 95 degree days have been followed by 40 degree nights. My garden is in a state of panic.
            I am so excited to have the opportunity to live in a state rich in natural beauty.  I've already visited a few local prairies, and I plan to use this blog to capture my thoughts on my explorations of the open lands near my new Texas home.  I may also pontificate on prairies further afield, should I chance to visit them. My particular focus on native bees and flowers inspired the title of this blog, "The Bee Pasture".  I invite anyone interested to follow my musings, which I hope to update weekly on this site.

One more note: as I am new to Texas, all of my plant IDs are tentative, to be confirmed/contradicted (please do!) by friends and conservationists who know better.

Wish me luck and adventure!


Texas Bluebonnet

Golden mane Tickseed Green Thread


  1. The Golden man Tickseed is so pretty!

  2. The bluebonnets are beautiful. Enjoy yourself Anne!

  3. Carrie McLaughlinMay 3, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    There is a special secret joy in discovering the rare beauty of the common small things of nature dwelling among the detritus of a materialistic world. Each finding is a brave strong hope in slender, irrepressible defiance against man's overwhelming presence. They are treasured moments to be cherished near the heart.

    Thank you for sharing them with us, Anne. I look forward to what promises to be a richly vicarious urban jungle expedition through your Bee Pasture blog (I just love that name tag!).

    P.S. The vervain is commonly referred to as 'prairie verbena' down here. When in Rome...:-)

  4. Apparently the last image is green thread (Thelesperma filifolium), not tickseed. Thanks guys!