The Letter X
X...Y...Z and then we are done!!
X is for Xanthium
My grandmother Amy Lucy Peck was a brilliant woman. She surrounded herself with poetry books, biographies, theology, and books on science.
|My Grandmother Amy, about 1916|
She became a pharmacist in 1916, a difficult career move for a woman of that era. When Grandma died in 1972, she left me a number of these collections. Most interesting were the books on science.
In Gray's School and Field Book of Botany by Asa Gray, she assiduously (!) made notes in the pages and pressed leaves. A rather vague comment was on the page for "Xanthium". Xanthium--such a lovely word! I thought.
A coarse and vile weed, with stout and low branching stems.
Grows in barnyards and waste manured ground, about 1 to 2 inches high
....hooked leaves and the fruit is a burr fully 1/2" long, with 2 beaks at the apex
....numerous prickles with sharp bristles.
What!! What?? The Xanthium is a burr plant? The kind that catches on socks, pants, every fabric, and resists removal?
I was severely disappointed by this. I am sure you are as well.
Please share your experiences and/or thoughts of the hated Xanthium.