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Buttercup or Primrose?

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By Lisa Bellows, Ph.D.

Buttercup?  Nope, it is a primrose.  Every year I hear someone refer to this pink beauty as a buttercup.  Botanically speaking buttercups have five petals and as you can see in the photograph, the primrose has only four.  There are some 124 species of Oenothera in North America and this one, Oenothera speciose, puts on a dramatic display along our highways and byways each spring.  Often numbering in the hundreds in one small patch, they are impossible to miss even at 70 mph.

To read the full article pick up the June 2015 issue of North Texas Farm & Ranch.

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Grazing North Texas: Wild Onion

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By Tony Dean, [email protected]

There are 14 species and several varieties of wild onion in Texas. These herbs are biennial or perennial and all are strongly scented with an onion or garlic/onion scent. During early spring in Texas, underground bulbs (small onions) give rise to two long narrow leaves and a stalk that grows between the leaves which supports a cluster of small flowers. These flowers can be white, yellow, pink, red, or purple.

Wild onions belong to the genus Allium which includes not only onions, but also shallots, scallions, leeks, chives, and garlic, all of which are edible. Wild onions are common over much of the United States and grow in every region of Texas. They are adapted to almost every soil type.

Both wild onions and cultivated onions contain trace amounts of a toxic agent called N-propyl disulfide, which destroys red blood cells. The amount of toxins varies widely in plants, varieties and species, and a large amount would need to be consumed for poisoning to occur, so poisoning issues in people or livestock are very rare.

To read more, pick up a copy of the June issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Parting Shot: Dancing with Rain…

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By Jelly Cocanougher

With rainfall expressing all over the region, it looks in resemblance to landscapes that drape over the English countryside when viewed with a squint. There are lush and greened up landscapes with newly adorned blossoms peacocking themselves. Meanwhile, cowboys chase the horizon, in pursuit of cattle they seek to gather. A poetic infrastructure claims the enriched land, solace between nature, and the symbiotic relationship of horse and man.

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Grazing North Texas: Bud Break

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By Tony Dean, [email protected]

Many of us who live and work in the country take note of when mesquites leaf out in the spring. For most people, this is just a casual observation of life around us and a promise that warm weather is around the corner.

If you are interested in killing mesquite with an herbicide, “bud break” on mesquites is a significant event and signals the beginning of your planning for a successful control.
Mesquites go through a fairly predictable life cycle every year. This, of course, changes somewhat with location, weather patterns, soils, and other factors, but the overall process is very similar wherever you find mesquite.

To read more, pick up a copy of the May issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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