Fire consumed the wooden structure and left behind a pile of junk. Previous tenants found this to be an ideal place to deposit additional junk. Every spring I take some time to comb through the junk pile soil and remove all manner of glass, metal and plastic artifacts. No matter how much I collect, winter frost heave of the soil brings an entirely new batch to the surface. I’ve done a good job of clearing the outlying area, but the ground that was once beneath the shed floor seems to be more junk than soil. It’ll be a few years before this task is completed.
There’s no mistaking Potato Dandelion, Krigia dandelion, especially when
there are some leaves attached to the tubers.
The question is why this state threatened
species was growing in this particular spot.
surprised to find it thriving away from its pot. Potato Dandelion is an exceptionally vigorous
grower and can quickly spread out to fill any sized opening. Except for two things: 1. It competes very
poorly with other plants and loses out in crowded growing conditions; and 2.
Every animal in the world that eats plants will eat Potato Dandelions and they
will continue eating until every leaf, root and tuber is consumed.
The screen was added two years ago when Chipmunks
squeezed through the woven wire and ran off with 95% of my tubers.
They have now
been returned to a safe pot environment.
The Blue Jay Barrens patch of Potato Dandelions, from which came my pot
bound population, rarely produces flowers and never produces viable seed. I’m surprised that it persists and even more
surprised that, through vegetative means, it continues to expand. I suspect that the species originally arrived
here by way of a tuber, possibly carried in the tread of logging
equipment. Then I begin wondering where
the source was. The entire population
may be a mass of clones originating from a single tuber, or seed. I will probably never be sure.
If I keep at it long enough, I may unravel
some of the mysteries associated with this neat little plant.
Color and Aroma of Spring
3 hours ago