Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday Lagniappe: Quiz

The Bible mentions "tares" amongst the wheat.  What are tares?  Why do we care?

I will answer soon, unless you get it first!!!

The Winner is :CJ

The Answer: There is some debate about what plant tares is.  One candidate is a relative of the garden scabiosa, the other Lolium temulentum, a plant that carries a microorganism toxic to cattle.  The latter plant produces a plant and seed head similar to wheat, and the seeds are similar in shape and size, so it is hard to find in a field of wheat (it does stay green a little longer than wheat, a telltale sign ) and, if gathered with wheat, does not thresh out and is stored with the grain.  The plant is also the same height at harvest as wheat, so is gathered with it. A very tricky plant indeed.  One interesting point of the book "Weeds" by Mabey (review coming soon) is that agricultural plant pests evolved to mimic the desirable plants with which they often grow.  Some even have two forms, producing either form depending on what plant it is growing near.

No comments: