Thursday, June 30, 2011

What's the Madia with These Plants? - Part II


I wrote in this post about the odd behavior of common madia, Madia elegans, which I grew and planted for the first time this year, to try to establish a self-maintaining population around our property. Some plants remained smallish and others became thugs - but they all got the proper pretty Madia elegans yellow flowers -

Well I talked to a very experienced botanist and gardener from our local CNPS chapter and she said that - that's just what they do. In thin soil and dry conditions it gets two to three feet and with thinnish stems, which is what I saw on the hill nearby where it grows natively. But when they get lots of water and good soil (as the ones in the corner next to my neighbor's well irrigated fruit trees did), they just turn into gigantic thugs, very similar to the much more weedy and less attractive Madia sativa - which does grow around here, unfortunately.

I also note that after it has done buking up like the Hulk on steroids - it falls over!

So - word to the wise! Keep your Madia elegans on a strict diet if you want it to behave!

5 comments:

Susan in the Pink Hat said...

Common ailment of plants on the high-life.

Country Mouse said...

Haha - yes and not only plants indeed! We can all take a lesson from the madia! I should note that we had a drenching day or two of rain - so unseasonable - and after that was when it keeled over. Between the weight of water on thos thick leaves, and the extra juiciness of the stems, it was just too much. We didn't have wind, either.

queerbychoice said...

Not just Madia elegans, either - all the tarweeds seem to be very unpredictable. I have a Madia elegans that has stayed at about two feet tall, but two feet away from it I have a Hemizonia congesta that's taller than I am. I definitely did not expect it to get anywhere near this tall.

Christine said...

I can't stop chuckling over the title of this post. Well done! It would be kind of fun to do a list of native "bullies" -Fireweed would be on mine or Clarkia amoena.

Sue Langley said...

Mouse, It IS interesting how the same plant will act differently in different situations. Your madia does look very robust!

I happily watered a very nice patch of Mule's ears, (Wytheia) only to have them keel over and die. Don't mess with Mother Nature, I guess.