Saturday, September 26, 2009


Yomogi is a plant that grows as weed around the orchard, especially in watered areas under trees and around the edge of gardens. It was first intentionally planted because the leaves are used for coloring mochi. That was decades ago, and the plant now grows almost invasively in the area of the orchard around the house.

I haven't minded it growing at the edge of my garden though, because usually it grows and spreads so thickly that it chokes out grass. In the loose soil of the garden, its roots are easily pulled out, if it gets in too far.

During the past week I noticed another benefit of having yomogi around; its flowers are very attractive to bees. The yomogi plants that were never cut back at the edge of my garden have blossomed. When I've gone to turn water on in the mornings, I see and hear bees buzzing the the flowers. With fewer flowers from vegetables and fruit trees in the orchard during the fall, it must be helpful for the bees to have it growing, too.

Above is a honey bee gathering nectar from yomogi flowers. Click on the photo to enlarge it and see the bee.

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