23 May 2007

Word of the Day: Stoloniferous

Nice word, huh? Very…mellifluous.

Yesterday, Miss M. and I were poking around in the garden. W. had recently patched some bare spots in the so-called lawn with grass seed, and I showed her how the new grass was coming up. She asked “how do we make grass?” It’s a common type of question of hers, and is always phrased that way:

  • “How do we make cows?”
  • “How do we make Jeeps?”
  • “How do we make eggs?”
  • “How do we make airplanes?”
  • “How do we make ants?”
  • “How do we make frogs?”

I like that she thinks all of those things are made by us humans. Anyway, in the strange way my mind works, I got from grass and grass seed to stoloniferous grasses and stoloniferous weeds. I have an evil weed in the garden, a stoloniferous evil weed called goutweed or bishop's weed. I get down on my hands and knees and start pulling it out, carefully so as not to break it off and leave the roots in the ground, following the root along to get as much as possible, muttering to myself “stoloniferous weeds, stoloniferous weeds…” It is the kind of weeding that is like eating peanuts; once you start, you can't stop.


Furrow said...

I can easily lose hours pulling up weeds. Or overeager wanted plants that I've let get unruly; the passiflora is fun for that. I can follow a runner all over the garden. The game is to try not to break it. I kind of miss the ubiquitous bull thistle that came with the house. Husband and I both got addicted to pulling up those things.

Stoloniferous... I'll add it to my vocab.

Anonymous said...

Good one.

I get those questions too. Recently: How do we make kiwi? and How do we make salmon?

PS: I'm about to hit publish on the "I am" meme.

S. said...

Goutweed is one of the ones I'm thrilled not to have--it overruns much of our neighborhood, but somehow not our side of our block. Okay, there's no "somehow" about it--the yards on our side of the block are so big that no one not a gardener would take them on.

A friend who is beset with the stuff was just describing her technique: hand fork and compost sieve.

Good luck!

niobe said...

I love the word stoloniferous.

And, sadly, I never have any trouble stopping myself from weeding or, somewhat less sadly, from eating peanuts. Perhaps the two are related.