A plant pundit comments on plants, gardening, academic life, and life in general.
The Phytophactor's Latest Posts
A native to south-eastern North America, the bottle-brush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora) is hard to beat for summer flowering. The Phactors have several growing as part of a semi-shady border, and they are a great plant. The specimen shown is from our university campus where several shrubs (possibly a clone) hides a dirt bank. Even in closeup the flowering is quite lovely and attracts a big diversity of insects, including, unfortunately Japanese beetles, who last year really […]
Sometimes you don't know whether to laugh or cry after reading or watching the news. There's the middle eastern living laboratory for demonstrating that tit-for-tat (or is it tit-for-TAT?) is always a loosing strategy. You'd think they'd learn, but for some reason, probably a historical deafness, leaders of nations don't. Our country doesn't seem to have learned anything about our "big stick" foreign policy since the Vietnam war because people keep listening to old, dead-wrong, […]
The Phactors don't want to talk about weeds; it's been a very bad year. Black nightshade, poke weed, wild lettuce, lambs quarter, and Oxalis (Not sure about the species, probably O. stricta; too busy pulling it to ID it.) have been plentiful, robust, and aggressive, some growing to impressive sizes. In an effort to prevent them from producing more seeds, weeding has been a primary garden activity this year. But even after weeding one area, you return to an earlier area, and […]
Sometime back TPP commented on iPhone zombies, but a similar affliction can also occur due to ear buds and whatever they are delivering from an iPod, so the result is an iZombie. Like all zombies, you have to know the right way to kill them, but based on recent events that may not be too difficult. You turn an ordinary person, often a student around here, into an iZombie by giving them a smart phone and a set of ear buds either attached to the iphone or an ipod, either or both […]
You give a kid a BB gun, and sooner or later he'll shoot it at some windows. It's a given of human nature. You give rebels, terrorists, or even some other type of militia under limited central control some big boom-booms, and sooner or later they'll shoot at something they shouldn't have. And of course giving an implement of destruction to anybody who is more likely to shoot than to think makes you partly responsible for the outcome. This means you really have to think […]
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