Last week’s column on wildflowers prompted responses from readers with interesting flower stories of their own.
Jerry Toler of Liberty said he ran across a plant with yellow blossoms and uncommonly large leaves.
Plant expert Gay Austin of Holmesville looked at a photo and did some research before identifying it as a polymnia uvedalia, commonly known as large flowered leaf cup, hairy leaf cup or bear’s foot.
It’s a member of the sunflower family.
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Janice Hoaglund sent in photos of a gardenia jasminoides, sometimes called a cape jasmine, growing in her yard at Dixie Springs.
“It is a tropical and subtropical plant of African and Asian origin,” she said. “ It is related to the coffee plant. It is strongly scented and reminds me of summers at my grandparents’ farm in Neshoba County.”
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McComb Pike County Airport board member Robert Hensarling said he observed a huge expanse of wildflowers at the airport when conducting a monthly inspection recently.
A variety of yellow and purple flowers grows on all sides of the runways and taxiways, including a vast expanse south of the runway.
Hensarling did a little research himself and learned the flowers were apparently part of a Keep Pike County Beautiful project several years ago.
In 2016 Weyerhaeuser donated $10,000 to KPCB to be used for beautification, said KPCB director Tammy Strickland. In turn, KPCB wrote a check to the airport board.
Hensarling said when seen from the air, the flowers frame the runways with color.