Wondering about wild grapes

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wandering around the drive way

I was out walking around the loop part of my drive way when I noticed one of my favorite wild flowers starting to bloom. There used to be several of them in my front “access” half acre lot, but they disappeared a couple of years ago. This new volunteer is trying to grow in some really thick stuff at the edge of the drive way. In this picture you can see that it is just starting to bloom:

And here is a picture looking down at it:

I was standing in my driveway when I took these pictures. I will keep watching it and will post more pictures as its blooming advances. This wild flower is one of my favorites. It has many common names, like “Red Texas Star” or “Texas Plume” to give a couple. Do you have any around your place and if so, what do you call them?

There is a blooming bush that seems to be everywhere on my place and my wife and I can not stand the smell from its blooms. I do not know what it is; maybe one of you can tell me its name. Its aroma is very strong and pungent and seems to be everywhere. Here are a couple of pictures of the shrub. This first one is one complete bush:

And I enlarged some of the blooms:

Do you know what it is? Is it wild or is it a cultivated bush that went feral?

Earlier this year there were a lot of dew berries in bloom along the drive way. The lack of rain turned an expected good crop into dried up small raisins. All the ripe ones are in bad condition. A few of the late comers look to be in fair shape so far, but I would guess that they, too, will shrivel up and dry out. You will have to enlarge the picture to see the ripe ones that I circled with yellow:
There is still some Honeysuckle blooming and it helps sweeten the air, unlike the white flowers on the bush I showed to you above.

On my way back into the house, I snapped a picture of some of my wife’s flowers. They seem to be doing well, but of course they do get watered.

A little walk in nature always brightens up the morning


  1. Take a sprig of that stink bush to your local county extension agent,they can tell you what it is. Shoot, it maybe something worth while.

    Sorry bout your dewberries.Is it too far for you to carry water to it? I got one transplanted tree that I have to do that with. ( Just another excuse for you to get you a golf cart so you can explore your estate without having to walk it) :-)

  2. Dont have those around here, but they r beautiful..Out bluebonnet seeds can lay there for years before sprouting, waiting on the right weather conditions. Ive seen about a dozen this year. lolol,

  3. I used to go dewberry pickin' when I was a kid. I probably ate more than went into the bucket!

  4. Not at all sure but it looks a little like mountain laural, I don't think I spelled that right. The red one is pretty,but we don't have that around here. Blessings jane

  5. It's a Privet Hedge http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://files.myopera.com/FrogBoots/albums/392478/privet%2520hedge%2520in%2520bloom.jpg&imgrefurl=http://my.opera.com/365/albums/showpic.dml%3Falbum%3D392478%26picture%3D7559998&usg=__KeB9S-aJFNgSdl731FFLXCj66V0=&h=890&w=1280&sz=282&hl=en&start=0&sig2=8CwXn_U5xCt33QUsGrI1LQ&zoom=1&tbnid=zTe9ZdZug08kcM:&tbnh=120&tbnw=127&ei=1MmtTf2NINDpgQe9-eDxDA&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dprivet%2Bhedge%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26biw%3D1024%26bih%3D679%26gbv%3D2%26tbm%3Disch&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=715&vpy=245&dur=855&hovh=187&hovw=269&tx=182&ty=115&oei=1MmtTf2NINDpgQe9-eDxDA&page=1&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0

  6. Dizz that just goes to show you that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.Privet Hedge is one of my favorite shrubs.Especially like the sweet smell.They make a good hedge,if you keep them trimmed or they will get as tall as your house if left alone.

  7. Ben, since neither my wife nor me can stand the stink of that bush; I don’t care what it is. I just went out and cut a few of them down. They seem to spread fast, got them all over the place.

    Trouble, you are lucky you don’t have them. They are pretty but stink. Of course some people may like the smell. Blue Bonnets were pretty nice around here this year. Don’t know why.

    Gypsy, they grow wild all over this place but you got to catch them at just the right time. They also require a lot of rain to get sweet and juicy. I never take a pail when I go berry picking (grin).

    Jane, no, it isn’t mountain laurel. I lived the first half of my life in Pennsylvania and am quite familiar with mountain laurel. I like mountain laurel. Yes, I like the red one and will take a picture of it every day to see its progress.

    Ted, that sure enough is a picture of it. If it is used as a privacy hedge, that may explain things. They tell me years ago there used to be a nursery on the edge of this property. I bet that they raised them and some got away and went wild. They must have another name other than “privacy hedge”. They do grow fast and thick.

  8. Privet is one of several plants which are poisonous to horses. In some parts of the world where they are not native, some privet species have become invasive weeds, spreading into wilderness areas and displacing native species. This is particularly a problem in North America, where no species of the genus occurs naturally.[4] Privet is a huge problem in New Zealand. It is banned from sale or cultivation in New Zealand due to the effects of its pollen on asthma sufferers. Privet pollen is known to cause asthma and eczema in sufferers. Privet can be removed by contacting local government agencies to report its presence.[5]
    Thirty six percent of respondents to a survey of gardeners in the United Kingdom said that privet would put them off buying a property.[6]

    Privet is also an invasive species. Many environmental volunteer groups seek out to remove it because it will take over most habitats.

  9. Thanks Ted, I will start pulling them out by the roots. Sure wish my old tractor was still running.

  10. Hi Dizzy Dick, I have privet planted all along my fence line at the busy road behind me. I hoped it would be a barrier from the north wind in the winter, like the British privet is, but mine loses it leaves then, so it is just a summer privacy hedge.
    I keep mine trimmed, so it has never blossomed.
    If it smells that bad, I hope it never does.
    Happy Trails, Penny, TX

  11. Penny, they also get purplbe berries on them and nothing seems to eat them.