Balanced Living for Creatives

Balanced Living for Creatives
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August 17, 2010

Reverting to Wild


I discovered an interesting phenomenon when I identified this plant growing in my vegetable garden. It is a Raphanus raphanistum, or wild radish. This plant is a domesticated plant that has reverted to wild or combined with a wild plant so that it has the strongest qualities of both domestic and wild. It grows and is resilient like a weed. It is pest resistant and large like a domesticated. I found this one starting to grow in my garden. It looked something like a radish plant so I let it grow on. It was interesting to watch, definitely not the radish but I didn't know what until it flowered. The leaves are edible, like a radish (Raphanus sativus) but the root is not edible. Unlike the domestic radish, the root is long, whitish, and woody.

There is another plant growing near my garden that started as a domestic plant. I planted it one year as a sugar snap pea. It was not very prolific so I decided not to plant again. But then I saw it was growing up on its own from the previous years planting, so I let it grow. But because the sugar snap is a hybrid of regular pea and something (chinese snow peas?), as it grew in it reverted to wild, to something else. It has grown back with a vengeance. It would gladly take over the entire space. It's a viny weed, and grows quickly and thickly like the bindweed vine, only worse. There is no fruit, just tiny white flowers. I have to stay on top of it to keep it out of the vegetable garden, but it amuses me to let it grow up around the raised bed.

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