I love this biennial weed and he will always have a place in my garden. He is in fact one of the first plants you see when you come to the main door. The woolly leaves are soft enough to use as a cloth; the sage green coloring is a perfect foil for whites or deep purples; the symmetrical rosettes look stunning year round and the architectural stature, when it prepares to bloom all add up to one attractive plant.
But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, isn't it? What do you think?
Woolly sending up his flowering stalk. Once he blooms he will die off, but not before sending forth seeds to create many babies...not all will sprout! But enough that farmers and many gardeners see him as a pest. I will cut the flowering stalk off this year, before it sets seed...I have a first year rosette waiting next to his bigger brother. There are sources in the area for me to find other first year rosettes...which is the only time to move them....I don't have to let the seeds loose on the world.
He resides in my nearly native cedar glade garden, along with Juniperus virginianus ' Grey Owl', Echinacea tennesseensis, Euonymous americanus, Verbena canadensis, Salvia azurea, Hypoxis hirsuta...and a grass that desperately needed sun, in a space that desperately needed the variegated grass...Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light'.
Woolly is not a native of Tennessee or the USA...and was probably brought to America by early European settlers. He has successfully naturalized and can be found hanging around ditches, field and wood edges and roadsides.
....and of course, in my garden.
A flowering weed;
Hearing its name,
I looked anew at it - Teiji