Friday, July 22, 2011

curly dock ~ 07/22/11 ~ Elkhorn Slough

posted 09/12/11 - I usually only notice this non-native (and other Rumex spp.) sticking out by its reddish-brown, erect, mature form. I believe I've seen it frequently in the late summer vernal pools at Fort Ord (the second picture in my post from 08/04/10 shows a good example). I was surprised to discover this is classified as Polygonaceae, the buckwheat family; although, worldwide I think the family is better known as the knotweed family. To my untrained eye, docks seem very, very different from buckwheats. Wikipedia says this originated from Europe and western Asia. Cal-IPC and UC IPM classifies this non-native as a limited invasive weed.

Sigh, I'm still trying to examine my prejudices against non-natives and will probably post more non-natives here on Nature ID. Isn't that the American way? Non-natives making a new life for themselves, surviving and succeeding in a new environment against all odds? Apologies, the media proliferation of the 10-year anniversary of 09/11 is still running through my head, and I'm wondering what it means to me to be a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. If anything, the seed coverings are an interesting form.

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