Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Winter Weed

Last Saturday I was a guest on the America's Home Grown Veggies hour, on Radio Sandy Springs. When the host, Kate Copsey, asked about winter weeds, purple dead nettle is one I mentioned. She asked when it would flower, and I said something like, "oh, maybe February."

Well, I was pulling a few weeds in the garden a couple of days ago and saw that the purple dead nettle (Lamium purpureum), which is in the same genus as henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) and looks a bit like it, is already flowering! This is annoying for a couple of reasons.

The first is that I thought it wouldn't flower until later in the season, which explains why there is so much of it around right now. In years past, I must have let it go to seed before pulling it up.

If I thought plants could purposely bloom to show how I'm not such a know-it-all after all, I would say that this is an example of just that behavior. Obviously, however, I need to pay more attention to what is going on in the yard before opening my mouth.

The other reason its blooming now is annoying is that it means I need to get busy pulling up all the rest of the purple dead nettle before it can flower and go to seed yet again, so maybe NEXT year there won't be quite so much of it.

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