Wildflowers in Winter 🎉
Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia)
I learned something interesting from a Buffalo Bayou Partnership colleague today who is and has been a bee keeper since childhood. The honey he has recently collected comes from the chinese tallow tree!
I hate Chinese Tallow, but was definitely surprised to hear that this was responsible for the honey he has collected. His cousin lives in the Appalachian Mountains and the honey he makes comes from the Sourwood Tree which is known across the world as the classic honey, the most pure raw honey there isssss. I tasted it and it was muccch better.
From April to June, Chinese tallow's flowers bloom as eight-inch spiky clusters of greenish-yellow and white blossoms that bees and other insects find tasty. Chinese tallow's leaves and fruit are toxic to cattle and cause nausea and vomiting in humans.
In the Houston area, this tree accounts for a full 23 percent of all trees - more than any other tree species. The Texas Department of Agriculture lists Chinese tallow as one of the 24 most invasive plants, and includes it in a list of noxious and invasive plants that are illegal to sell, distribute or import into Texas.
According to the United States Forest Service, this highly damaging tree species begins producing viable seed after only three years of growth. Additionally, the seeds invade a variety of habitats that range from swampy to saline waters, along roadsides and streams. Along the entire Gulf Coast, Chinese tallow grows profusely along banks of ditches and dikes, as well as along the edges of the Western Gulf coastal grasslands ecosystems, where it sometimes forms pure stands.
Also spread by root fragments and cuttings, Chinese tallow can invade quickly after a hurricane. Of the 100,000 seeds produced annually by just one tallow tree, nearly all are viable and can germinate - even after several years of dormancy. Additionally, tallow trees can remain productive for 100 years... #Rudbeckiahirta #blackeyedsusan #browneyedsusan #houstonaboretum #texaswildflowers #ighouston #texaswidlifeandscience #chinesetallow #bees #honey #asteraceae