Tree Fern, Peony and Buffalobur Nightshade.

A beautiful tree fern from D. Gregory, with a close up of those gorgeous, hairy furls,  a stunning peony from rq, so rich and satiny, and Buffalobur Nightshade from Kengi, a beautiful but dangerous plant. Click for full size.



© D. Gregory. All rights reserved.


© rq. All rights reserved.


© Kengi. All rights reserved.


  1. Ice Swimmer says

    The curled furl of the fern is cute. The pink-looking fallen leaves on the tree fern are a nice detail.

    The colours of the peony are so rich.

    The buffalobur nightshade looks dangerous, those thorns and all.

  2. Kengi says

    I’ve been told those thorns have an alkaloid toxin on them, making them even more painful. So far I haven’t been closer than ten foot from it (didn’t want to tread on other plants to get the picture). I’m going to have to find my heavy leather work gloves before dealing with it. For now I’ll just admire it from afar.

  3. says

    Kengi, you’ll want to get a handle on it quickly, it’s a dominant weed, and will take over anywhere it starts growing. Be sure you wear stout shoes, too, and keep animals away.

  4. Kengi says

    So far it’s only the single plant. It won’t seed until late summer, and the ground should be clean until the bur and spike covered seed pods fall. From what I’ve read it was probably dormant for years until I killed the grass by covering it in late winter and then turned the soil and got rid of all the dead grass, leaving some nice open soil for it (and the lemon clover) to come up. Thankfully the prairie plants I seeded seem to have a pretty dense ground cover, so I probably won’t be getting any more of the nightshade next year.

    The only animal I can warn away (by telling its owner) is Romeo, a black lab that lives next door. I should probably get rid of the plant today so Romeo doesn’t find it. Now you’ve forced me to look for my heavy leather work gloves which I haven’t seen in years…

  5. rq says

    That is one impressive fern… until you look inside and see all the cute and cuddly curls! :)

    Pretty nightshade. I don’t know how dominant it is once it has taken root, but I would strongly advise mowing it down right in spring when first shoots appear, before flowering (before seeding, at any rate). There’s a local issue with hogweed, and about the only way to get rid of it without chemical means is just to not let it grow, because even waiting until it flowers (but doesn’t seed) gives it enough strength to spread roots under the ground. So be careful! If it’s a dominant weed, it won’t even care about anything else you’ve seeded around it. :)

  6. Kengi says

    I’ve been reading up on it quite a bit.

    Nightshade isn’t a very dominant weed. It only spreads from seeds (not by roots), and will stay dormant for many years until it has a clear bit of ground above it to shoot out of. I gave it ideal conditions this year, but any future plant (unlikely in the same area since it would have come up this year if the seed was present) would be overgrown by the dense ground cover. It didn’t come up previous years because of the lawn grass.

    It’s more common west of me, and considered a bit unusual in my area in large part because it rarely comes up in the presence of heavy ground cover. It’s often found on roadsides in gravel shoulders, coming up where the foliage has died off due to salt from the winter roads.

    In areas of the country with less foliage, it can become quite a problem, but I don’t have anything to worry about. For me it’s just a cool plant with toxic spines. But still one that had to go so the neighbor’s dog didn’t find it.

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