On Friday the 11th, Rachel and I and one of our sons visited one of the two Ever’man groceries in Pensacola. Ever’man is a nice, whole-food style independent market with good produce and a very nice buffet that also serves good coffee.
After lunch and some shopping, we headed back to our van. As we got in, Rachel said, “Hey – look at those nitrogen-fixers on that lot!”
Sure enough, there were multiple nitrogen-fixing shrubs at the edge of what looked like a construction site. The soil was terrible and beat up, with patches of sand, and obvious subsoil exposure. But there, right in the middle. nature was stitching itself back together. I borrowed Rachel’s smartphone and filmed a video.
Today I got around to actually uploading that video and identifying the nitrogen-fixers on the lot.
Here are the pictures I took:
According to PlantNet, they were Sesbania drummondii. You have to be careful with plant ID apps, and check the species against lots of photos later, but PlantNet is one of the best I’ve seen. It’s also browser-based, so I don’t need a dang smartphone to use it.
According to Plants for a Future:
“Sesbania drummondii is a perennial plant with stems that become more or less woody, especially near the base; it can grow up to 4 metres tall. The plant has potential for use as a biomass crop and hyperaccumulator plant on sites contaminated with heavy metals. It is occasionally grown as an ornamental.”
Looks like a good food forest addition. If they can grow in the awful soil next to a hot parking lot and still be green and happy, they should do great in our food forest project.