Old Man in the Ground

Eighty degrees yesterday, and so much humidity it felt like swimming. After all the rain the past few weeks, the sun and warmth means every blessed plant is exploding.

The Prince and I took Miss B on a ramble after dinner last night. (I thought I was going alone, but the Prince wouldn’t hear of it, because he had to tell me all about gym class and something called Dungeon Defenders.) This was one of the plants I couldn’t identify, but the trusty internet sprang into action when I posted it. It’s marah, also known as old-man-in-the-ground because its, uh, tubers get big. Really big. *snork*

Anyway, I’ll be going back and checking on it, and if it develops gourds I’ll be beside myself with glee. We also saw stinging nettles, flowering dogwoods, and something that might be a ranunculus, but I’ll have to wait for its blooming to make sure. It was too hot for a truly long ramble; we came home, Miss B drank water and lay on the tile to cool off, and the Prince gave me a hug before dancing off to take his shower.

Who knew a fourteen-year-old boy would enjoy botany nerding so much?

  • Phil

    I have been inquiring about this vine (Old man in the ground) in the Kern Cayon for serval year. Today driving back from Lake Isabela I drove the old highway 178 and came across serval plants hoping to get a gourd to my surprise they had already dropped their seeds. Be very careful handling the gourds take along really tough and unpenetrating gloves these gourds can hurt badly and the way I understand is a skin and eye irritant. looking at the open end of the gourd looked empty but I was able to extract two seeds. The seeds looked like acorns without the little cap. very slimy. I will be planting these two seeds in my garden. Hoping for germination.

  • Keep me updated! I’m not sure I’ll grow them in my own yard, but I’m fascinated to see the gourds at the park if they survive the summer.