Monday, April 20, 2009
A Flower by Any Other Name Could Be As Pretty
While enjoying Carolyn H's blog "Roundtop Ruminations," I noticed she was calling Hepatica by another name: Spring Beauty. Apparently, where she lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania, that's the name Hepatica goes by. Well, Hepatica certainly is a beauty, and it comes up really early in the Spring. But the plant I know of as Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica) looks quite different, and Carolyn asked me to post a photo of it, so here it is:
I took this photo in my daughter's lawn, downstate in Westchester County. (I've never found it in Saratoga County. Yet.) She promised me she would beg the lawn service folks not to spread weed killer in the area where it grows. I begged her to beg the lawn service folks to not spread weed killer anywhere. Dear people, we have got to stop putting that crap on our lawns. If it's on the lawn, it's in our kids and our pets and all wild critters that need our green spaces to live. Just mow your broad-leaf weeds, folks, and your lawn will look just fine. And your kids won't come down with leukemia so often. I saw a statistic once, quoted by a pediatrician in a letter to The New York Times, that in neighborhoods where ChemLawn and other such firms are regular visitors, the incidence of childhood leukemia was increased by 650%. Yikes! And I believe it. When I worked as a Hospice nursing assistant, I visited suburban neighborhoods where the stench of lawn chemicals daily filled the air, and every other house, it seemed, held folks with cancers of every kind.
Anyway, how could anyone think of Spring Beauty as a weed and not want it in their lawn? Or Hepatica, for that matter? (Although Hepatica probably wouldn't grow in places where people obsess about raking leaves.)