Beewatching’s Blog

What’s in a name
August 5, 2009, 4:36 pm
Filed under: 1

In praise of a weed — little black and white wasps are feasting on Eupatorium perfoliatum, or boneset, a perennial herb that appeared in my garden last year. With no care needed, it stays robust in this summer heat, earning it a dedicated spot and an open invitation to return next year. Boneset has been used by native Americans, and others as a remedy for several illnesses, but to me, it’s just bee food. Next to the boneset, a black swallowtail caterpillar munches methodically on a fennel plant. I watched this eating machine for a minute yesterday — it is the insect world’s version of a teenager.

And you call yourself “Early Bird”? Today, I finally harvested a tomato. Looking at the rest of the crop, it’s clearly going to be a while before I get to do that again.bonesetplumbago

Looks better than it sounds — Plumbago flowers are pretty, aren’t they? They deserve a more pleasing name, one that doesn’t remind one of an ailment. (I’d like to go for a hike, but my plumbago is back!) In my garden, plumbago’s next door neighbors are the poetic sounding cerinthe and alchemilla, which might be enough to give her a complex, but she’s too gracious to whine.


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