Laboring on WWI (Weeds, Wildflowers, and Invasives), I was reunited with the work of Euell Gibbons, who (50 years ago) served as a cheerleader for eating foods from nature, rather than agriculture. Eat your weeds!
Archive for August, 2015
An exercise in names, common and taxonomic.
It starts with the genus Gerbera, which I looked at in “Gerbera and other daisy-oid flowers”, here: the Transvaal daisy, Barberton daisy, or African daisy. That posting runs through six other genera with daisy in (one or more of) their common names: Bellis, Leucanthemum, Symphyotrichum (formerly Aster), Anthemis, Argyranthemum, Erigeron. None labeled as African, however.
But there are at least three other genera with African daisy as one of their common names: Gazania, Osteospermum (formerly Dimorphotheca), and Arctotis. All (like Gerbera) gorgeous, showy flowers with Africa in their histories.
Laboring on the WWI (Weeds, Wildflowers, and Invasives) detail yesterday, I came across two useful technical terms in this domain. The concepts were long familiar to me, but the terminology was new: the adjective and noun ruderal; the adjective allelopathic and noun allelopathy.
My continuing investigations into invasive plants take me further and further afield (so to speak), today to Bay Area wildflowers, of which there are a great many — some shy woodland flowers, some small plants that (in their season) blanket hillsides and meadows, and some weedy and imposing plants. Now a web list of area wildflowers turns up many familiar plants from my days of wildflower tracking, including a giant, the cow parsnip:
(Note the big white umbels and the huge celery-like leaves.)
“Here I come to save the daaaaaaay!”, he sings (theme song by Mitch Miller).
The delightful animated cartoon that rocked the world in 1942 and went on for decades:
A gift from a friend a few days ago: a gorgeous, showy Gerbera plant, in bloom. An assortment of hybrid Gerbera flowers:
(Mine is orange-red, with a yellow center.)
Gerberas are often referred to as Transvaal daisies, with a bow to their land of origin and their daisy-like composite flowers — but then an extraordinary variety of composite or compositoid flowers have common names with daisy in them. In fact, daisy has no fixed reference as a botanical term, though common practice seems to fix on two species as the standards: the ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) and the common daisy (Bellis perennis) — a “field daisy” and a “lawn daisy”, respectively, both having modest-sized flowers with white rays and yellow centers (or capitula).
In a posting on the 15th I recalled an odd experience with tv commercials: back in July a commercial went by for a fast-food or casual-dining restaurant (possibly Red Lobster, though I didn’t catch the name) advertising specials on crab, a feast of snow crab and king crab. The commercial — which was indeed for Red Lobster’s 2015 Crabfest — then mysteriously disappeared from the channels I watch, only to reappear yesterday, just as (it seems) the special offer is about to end.
But the commercial provided an opening for me to talk about kinds of crab (and “crab”). And now I’ll say a bit more.
Yesterday’s Dilbert, one in a series on robot technology in the workplace:
… up their asses (though the pointy-haired boss doesn’t get to finish the phrase because the C.E.O. understands where he’s going and continues his own thought).
In any case, the C.E.O.’s idea is to have robots up the wazoo, both literally (up the employees’ anuses) and figuratively (to have lots and lots of them).