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Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The Secret of the Clammy Ground-Cherry
This plant has an unfortunate name and a secret. It is the Clammy Ground-Cherry. How's that for an endearing moniker? It's not clammy, and it's not a cherry, but it does grow near the ground. You'll find it in open fields- either in bare spots or hidden in the grass- but it definitely wants to be in the sun.
I'll tell you one of its secrets today. Did you notice any flowers in the first picture? Probably not. But when the leaves are spread a little you can find these pretty yellow flower bells hanging underneath the leaves.
Here's another secret! Look at how different the flowers look on the inside. I just have to show you that close-up!
This plant is actually a relative of the tomato. Did you guess that? It looks a little like a tomato. That whole family is Solanaceae (SOUL-an-EH-see). This member has fuzzy, slightly sticky stems. You can see how fuzzy even the flower is in the closeup.
Finally, in this picture some of the fruits are beginning to form. So this story is not over yet. Stay tuned... the rest of the secret will be revealed in due time.
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