Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Another Native Treasure
It is a common sight at this time of year to see a pinxter in flower in front of many older homes. Some of these plants have reached an impressive size in their many decades as a tended plant. New York State identified pinxter as a protected plant but the fine for taking one remains at only $25. The state law clearly identifies the landowner as holding the responsibility for plants located on his property. Transplanting with permission is permitted in our state. This plant was recently moved from our dry woods to a spot near a stone wall. Stones have a way of gathering moisture on warm summer nights and this plant has found its new location to its liking. Afternoon shade seems to be a plus but many of these plants are in full sun. We shall not move it again. It will hold this spot in the garden as long as we are here.
Our other native wild specimen has been in this spot for several years. Last year it flowered impressively and even set seed. The three pots at the base of the bush were filled with sterile potting soil and pinxter seeds. Some of the seeds were scratched into the soil while others were simply sprinkled on top of the soil. Unless some animal plants wild seeds, dropping on the surface seems like it might be the natural method. If any of these seeds germinate, we will have no way of knowing which seed placement produced plants. We frequently see this plant growing above but near running water. If any of these seeds grow, we will place them near a sunny spring run at the base of the ridge. Somehow we feel obligated to help increase the number of native plants to offset our having transplanted some here.
The brazen presentation of these fetching pink flowers never fails to catch my eye. Upturned bent buds also appear unusual. This is where we are sticking our noses now. Both our arbutus and clove currants are past flowering. Rhododendron nudiflorum is currently on our list of sweet smelling treats. It has been been quite a strange Spring so far, frost is in the wings both tonight and Friday.