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03/17/2011 in gardening, native plants

We’re all tip-toeing around the disaster in Japan…
The nuclear plant remains a huge concern.
I’ve linked to The Survival Forum, a thread that contains multiple links to video footage, and a discussion about whether to be scared, including appropriate precautions to take vis a vis the nuclear mishap.

I think that Godzilla is especially relevant to this discussion, his back story is that he was created as a consequence of all the nuclear testing we (USA) did at the bottom of the Pacific ocean.

If you were exposed to a dose of radiation, is that something that you would want to know about?
Whether you believe the Japanese gov’t estimate (of safety), or the US gov’t… or believe that there’s gonna be fallout in Los Angeles… Exposure is generally conceded to be bad news…

From the US NRC Fact Sheet on Biological Effects of Radiation:

High radiation doses tend to kill cells, while low doses tend to damage or alter the genetic code (DNA) of irradiated cells. High doses can kill so many cells that tissues and organs are damaged immediately.

Ok… How is the average joe gonna know that he’s been exposed… or that his vegetables are unfit for consumption?

How about if everyone plants spiderwort in their gardens?
spiderwort close-up

There’s a ton of mentions of spiderwort online, and most mention the stamens changing colour, but I can’t find any pictures of that happening…

From Phytoremediation of Radionuclides

Spiderworts (Tradescantia bracteata) have been found to act as biological indicators of radionuclides because their stamens are usually blue or blue-purple in color, but when exposed to radionuclides, their stamens turn a pink color.

Whew! That’s some heavy reading! The article goes on to discuss using plants to clean up the mess at Chernobyl… Something the Japanese might want to look into… if they can ever get their current problem stopped…

Is there anything wrong with having a nuclear detector in the garden? Spiderwort is a very interesting plant… Here’s a well researched spiderwort paper published on the sierra club’s website.

Medication for spider bites… Now we all know…

The plant is supposed to be edible… but… ew!

when the stalk of the Spiderwort is broken, sap emerges… this is the source of the vernacular name “Cow Slobber.”

white spiderwort

This white spiderwort is a hybrid… It isn’t seedy and invasive like the species plants (pictured below). Blue spiderwort pic taken: 3-20-2011

blue spiderwort

Spiderwort has a reputation as invasive… It’s not invasive, it is just successful…

In one of my gardens, I thin it by colour… any that have a slightly different colour get to stay…

Spiderwort put on a nice display of color…

spiderwort covered in blooms
pic taken April 10 2011.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about nukes… when I discovered a video that showed every nuclear blast (some 2 thousand and fifty-three [2053] bombs already exploded), I sat down and wrote an Earth Day post… It’s a bit of a bleak vision for the future, consider yourself warned.

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7 responses to spiderwort

  1. Elaine said on 03/17/2011

    Well done Stone.

  2. Thank you Stone… great well researched info. I’m no Doomsdayer, but I think things are going to go south for awhile. And I actually have a Spiderwort… with a blue stamen last year. Hopefully this year too.

  3. Kay said on 03/18/2011

    Godzilla you’ve got to go!

  4. Hello Stone,

    Well, seen over at V7N you wanted input, so here I am. It’s readable, understandable, the only issue I’ve got with it is, at my screen resolution 1024×768 widescreen, the text of the regular paragraph format is a bit small. Other than that, it looks and reads fine to me. Don’t feel bad, I haven’t had allot of blog visits either.

    As for the Japan stuff, yeah, I get where you’re going with that. I don’t trust the government one bit to be up front about much of anything anymore. Hopefully, the radiation hitting the west coast will be so minute that it will do nothing to anyone, nor the crops. With our economy in the state it’s in, that’s the last thing we need right now, crop damage to further drive up food costs.

  5. “Spiderwort has a reputation as invasive… It’s not invasive, it is just successful…”

    Love the way you said that. I’ll have to remember that when I am thinning out other of my plants that see to be … just successful, lol.

  6. I have a few small patches of spiderwort in my gardens, and I find them to be the opposite of invasive. They seem to barely hang on for me.

    I absolutely love your research on the changing of stamen color, and believe that plants and non-human animals can heal the earth, if we’d only give them the chance.

  7. Spiderwort is invasive in my garden and the adjoining pasture. I wish now I hadn’t deleted the pics I made of the cow patch. I let it go in early spring because it fills in space. Eventually it has to be bobbed back to the ground and dug and thinned the following year.

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