Jun 15 2014
My neighbors will tell you I am not a gardener. When the growing season arrives I spend all my time birding. Around Memorial Day I glance at the garden and think, “Something must be done!” I go out there with my Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide and identify what’s growing. I pull out the noxious weeds and leave everything else in place.
That’s how I got King Devil.
Also called Field Hawkweed (Hieracium pratense), it’s a perennial creeping plant whose yellow flowers cluster at the top of a tall, hairy stem. The leaves are basal, thin, hairy, untoothed and hardly noticeable compared to the flowers.
I find the flowers interesting in all their phases.
I left the King Devil where it sprouted.
Wikipedia says, “This species finds its habitat where the soil has been neglected.” That’s a pretty good description of my gardening efforts. The birds are luring me away from home.
(photos by Kate St. John)