Wednesday, August 12, 2009

B is for Broccoli

88. Broccoli
Already knew: This kind of Broccoli has skinnier heads and more slender stalks then the kind you can buy at the store. I cannot tell the difference in taste, but I'm sure there is one. It is excellent in stirfrys because there's fewer little bits on the head to break apart and get everywhere. I didn't know until I grew this one and left it in the garden too long, but the little things that comprise the head of a broccoli are flower buds. The flowers are white. I should have known that, it just never occurred to me. It is a Brassica, which used to be called Crucificous, but like the Brontosaurus has changed it's name for some random reason.
Recently learned: Broccoli is a cool weather crop. It does best between 65 and 75 degrees, so I can blame the summer heatwave on my Broccoli bolting.
Butterfly Bush
89. Butterfly bush
Already knew: Also called Wild Lilac. This is a big stalky bush that has lone cone shaped clusters of flowers in many different colors. In my yard I have three different colors of purple and yellow. One of my neighbors has a white one. As you can guess from the name, butterflies like it. It is also invasive in cooler climates like ours.
Recently learned: Latin name is Buddleja. It should be Buddelia, but Linnaeus wrote it down wrong and it has never been changed. The most commonly planted variety, which I think this one is, is from China and thrives in dry soil.

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