Today I took a long-overdue lunchtime walk. I didn’t walk my usual route though, as I wanted to stroll past a building site in downtown Concord. My office will be moving into this new building in August, which makes the construction infinitely more interesting.

But there are a few places along that route where wildflowers grow.

Hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella?)

Hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella?)


I think this is mouse-ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella), but I’m not 100% sure about that. I do know it’s not dandelion though.

I was a little surprised to find some bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara) still in bloom.

Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara)

Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara)


This stand also had plenty of fruit in various stages of ripeness.
Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara)

Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara)


This plant, unlike a few of its relatives, is poisonous and should not be eaten. It is closely related to the tomato, and it is my understanding that before man intervened with selective breeding, tomato fruits were about the same size as these (i.e., about the size of a blueberry). At one time European Americans were utterly convinced that tomatoes were poisonous (Native Americans knew better). In 1830, Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson demonstrated their edibility to a crowd of people by eating an entire basket of them. His doctor warned him that he would die of “brain fever” and that his skin would stick to his stomach causing cancer. He ate them anyhow, and lived.

Thanks, Colonel Johnson!