HIgh in the Mountains
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
4d ago
False Solomon’s seal was formerly in the family Liliaceae, but is now in Asparagaceae. There are 2 subspecies of Maianthemum racemosum. The subspecies out here in the mountainous forests of the western U.S. is amplexicaule, so it reads like this: Maianthemum racemosum subsp. amplexicaule. Between the 2 subspecies false Soloman’s seal can be found all over North America…all over…and into a bit of northern Mexico. So wherever you are, search the rich damp soil of the mountain forest under story. Doesn’t “rich damp soil” sound glorious? It almost makes me want to create a forest garden with that ..read more
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Spring in the Borderlands
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
1w ago
Asclepias asperula is found beyond the borderlands around the Southwestern United States and into Northern Mexico. My explanation of the common name antelope horns being the result of drug use wasn’t fair. At one point the species name for this milkweed was capricornu from Latin meaning goat horn. And here is a good quote from I forget who (drug use), “the common name Antelope Horns is reflective of the maturing seed pods which begin to curve as they grow and soon resemble antelope horns.” Sooo, antelope horns or inmortál, your choice, but always Asclepias asperula. Whenever we see this milkwe ..read more
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Lifted by Friends
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
2w ago
A story about how friends always save the day. Alleluia. Photo credit: Marian ..read more
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Ubiquiticola
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
3w ago
I love following the drainages out of the mountains and across the deserts, observing all the plants and animals that follow them as well. Do I always tell you that? Having wild turkeys come out of the nearby mountains and wander by our little homestead reminded me to talk about the magic of canyons and arroyos that cross our deserts. The reintroduction of the Gould’s turkey into the mountain ranges of southeastern Arizona began in the early 1980s and continued through the 1990s. There were blunders and successes. Now a days we can’t go into the mountains without seeing turkeys ..read more
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Pale Wolfberry
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
1M ago
When the Mesquitey family lived near Tucson I worked in a crazy wonderful nursery that was at the base of A-Mountain (Sentinel Peak) right next to the Santa Cruz River. It was there that I fell in love with the native Fremont Wolfberry, so much so that we propagated it at the nursery and I ended up writing song called When the Wolfberries Bloom on A Mountain. Sad, but true. Anyway, near our home in Cochise County, Arizona we find two species of wolfberry; Lycium berlandieri and L. pallidum (this episode). And here is good news… we need all we ..read more
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Fendler's Desert Dandelion
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
1M ago
I hope you’re getting a chance to do some wandering this spring…maybe your backyard or a nearby park or even out in the wild. I owe you an episode about pale wolfberry (Lycium pallidum) and I’ll do that, but this bright little annual that looks so much like a dandelion is abundant around out little homestead this April. I like the common name Fendler’s desert dandelion and of course I like the botanical name Malacothrix fendleri. The photos are mine and taken very near our home. The underside of the flower helps identify it from other dandelion-like flowers you may ..read more
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Sumac
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
1M ago
It is the ground dried fruit of Rhus coriaria that’s used in cooking throughout the Middle East. The fruit of our southwestern species of sumac is almost always used as a refreshing tart drink and you come across local names like Apache kool-aid, sumac-aid or Rhusade. And, it has been used that way by indigenous folks for centuries. Reem Kassis is the author/chef I was reading about in The New Yorker. She is the author of the cookbooks The Palestinian Table, The Arabesque Table and the children’s book We are Palestinian, A Celebration of Culture and Tradition. The photos are ..read more
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Springtime Penstemon
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
2M ago
Penstemons are in the Figwort Family, Scrophulariaceae. There are about 250 species and the majority of them, 99.9999%…okay I dunno, but there is only one other species somewhere in Eastern Asia… are found in North America and most of those are in the western United States. Lucky us and yay! Oh, and here is a fun factoid: It was botanist David Mitchell in colonial Virginia who suggested the name Penstemon to a plant he was working with, but he didn’t explain the name. Other botanists thought Mitchell was referring to the five stamen of the flowers using the Greek pente ..read more
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Grinding Holes and Wild Dock
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
2M ago
We love finding grinding holes in rocks when out traipsing in the wild. One of our favorite destinations when we lived in Tucson was the Coyote Mountains west of town. There was spot in one of the canyons where we found grinding holes and it became a family and friends gathering place. “Let’s meet at grinding hole rock.” You can find grinding holes in rocks all over southern Arizona and they are such a wonderful reminder of the people that lived here centuries before you and me. I love to stand by them taking in the view and imagining the ..read more
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Petey Loves Toumey Oaks
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
2M ago
Quercus toumeyi Arizona Sonora border foothills oak The photos are mine ..read more
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