Valerianella radiata: “Beaked cornsalad”

Torilis arvensis (left) and Valerianella radiata (right)

I woke early this morning and it was so beautiful out, I took the camera after feeding dogs, cats, and birds. I decided to walk down to the bottom of the driveway to check out a patch of blue flowers I had spotted the day before while bringing up the trash bin. On the way, I noticed a plant I have not seen before–the one to the right of the common hedge parsley.

It took a while to discover the identity of valerianella, common name “beaked cornsalad” according to the USDA natural resources conservation service. It can grow 6-15 inches high, and has stems and branches that are divided in Ys. The leaves are opposite each other and the tiny white flowers are clustered at the stem tip. It is native to the US and ranges from Texas to Florida, and from the Gulf coast to Illinois and across to New Jersey.

The stems and branches creating the Y is more visible in the photographs below.

Common hedge parsley, field hedge parsley, or spreading hedge parsley

This stuff is found all over the place around here. Native only to British Columbia in North America, it was introduced and has spread widely. The only place it is listed as an obnoxious weed is Washington state, across the border from its home.

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4 Responses to Valerianella radiata: “Beaked cornsalad”

  1. Katie says:

    I’m so loving all of these posts about beautiful growing things. 🙂 I’ve got a few more of my own coming up. This year especially, it feels like we’ve all needed this new energy in spring. It’s just so nice to be outside in nature lately. I mean, always, but especially lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      Thank you so much Katie, and I think you are right–we all need this newness and rebirth. We always have, but now especially, we can perhaps appreciate more the cycles and phases.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The ferny foliage is nice, but their fruit is about as annoying as anything on the planet. I try to avoid them like the plague when wildflower hunting once their fruit starts sticking to my pants… I always manage to get plenty so sit down and pick off. I remember as a kid my mom would complain about them being on my socks. One day when she did the laundry she didn’t pick them off so when I went to put on clean socks… GEEZ! Lesson learned. 🙂

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