Three late October field finds….

Just a little time at the soccer fields yesterday and found three interesting plants, including a brand new one for me, mile-a-minute vine.

So three pics and a bit about each.

Since I haven’t tamed the wild Wore Press yet, the pictures, of course, wouldn’t show up in the order I wanted. Instead it’s burdock, mile-a-minute and bur cucumber,  while the text is different. Nothing’s easy.

First, one-seeded bur cucumber. Looks awfully aggressive close up.

July to

Habitat of the herb: River banks and damp yards.

Edible parts of Bur Cucumber: Leaves – cooked. They can be cooked as greens. The fruit is said to be edible. Possibly the seed is edible but there is no flesh on the fruit, it is just a bristly skin around the seed. The fruit is about 1cm long and is borne in small clusters.

Propagation of the herb: Seed – sow in mid spring in a greenhouse. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle. Make sure the compost is fairly rich and grow the plants fast. Plant them out after the last expected frosts and consider giving them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away actively. The seed can also be sown in situ in late spring, though this sowing might not produce mature seeds and fruit in cool summers.

Next, Burdock. Yum. Yum?  We normally just curse at it for sticking to our clothes; I’ve got a doozy of a set on a pair of running shoes right now, but it’s also edible. Really.


Burdock root is an underground tuber which is used as a vegetable and medicinal herb. Roots are normally slim, fleshy, tapering roots similar in shape of carrot or parsnip, which grows up to 120 cm long and 3–4 cm across. Roots are brown in color with white colored flesh inside. Roots are sweet, mild, and pungent flavor and have taste similar to parsnips, scorzonera or Jerusalem artichokes and features crunchy texture along with gummy consistency. Nearly all the parts of the plant are being used either for cookery purpose or as a curative medicine for certain medical conditions.


The fruits are achenes and are long, compressed, with shortpappuses. Seeds are brownish-grey, wrinkled, about 1/4 inch long and 1/16 inch in diameter.


And a big thank you to Kenneth Klemow for Id’ing this for me as mile-a-minute vine, a new one for me. it’s a little bedraggled looking but I got this pic of the very last bunch of berries I could find so happy with it. Name comes from the fact that it can grow six inches in a day.

Mile-a-Minute Vine Fact Sheet

An annual herbaceous plant with triangular leaves and blue fruits, mile-a-minute vine (Persicaria perfoliata) can grow up to 26 feet long. It was accidentally introduced from Eastern Asia.

The Problem

It grows rapidly, covering and smothering native vegetation.

The Solution

For small populations, hand pulling and repeated mowing can be effective. Pre-emergent herbicides may prevent seed germination. Systemic herbicides also work when applied as a foliar spray. Biocontrol organisms have been used to suppress populations, with some success. It may be found growing in areas subject to the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act; anyone planning control measures in such areas should first check with the local conservation commission, and only apply herbicides registered for use in these areas. Always read and follow the directions on the label when using herbicide.


Author: luzerne2112

As I get older -- and I'm 70 now -- I seem to find more and more that nature is the true source of peace, inspiration and, most of all, the truth the passeth understanding. Though my knowledge is sketchy and superficial, I wanted to share it while I can.

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