Sunday, February 1, 2015

Tradescantia plant / duckling grass

Each time I watch Jamie Oliver talk about organic farming, I think of Mum and her farming. When we were little, we used to collect this Tradescantia plant, chop it up and feed it to our ducklings. We called this plant "Duckling grass." or ARP ZAI CHO.

This grows in my garden, and makes me wish I can rear ducklings in my own back yard, the way Mum did in Borneo. My colleagues told me to catch some at Western Springs.

***I took my new friend W. from Hong Kong to Western Springs. She was frightened by the geese and swans. Tradescantia grows very fast and ismajor plant pest when it has escaped into bush land, A member of the spiderwort family, tradescantia flumensis is native to South America; its name commemorates the discoverer of the species, John Tradescant, a 16th century English naturalist, gardener, and intrepid plant collector. The succulent green stems and oval leaves of this plant are accompanied by simple white flowers, but no seeds are produced. Instead, the tiniest stem or leaf is capable of sprouting leaves, and forming a new plant which grows rapidly. Tradescantia plants thrive in solid shade and form a dense mat completely inhibiting the survival of native plant seedlings or ferns. I grew it in my worm farm in school, and it has pushed out the lid. The kids love it.

No comments: