Such pretty flowers. They start as cerise buds, turn to purple flowers and fade to blue.
The problem is that it's Paterson's Curse, one of the worst pasture weeds west of the ranges! So what on earth is it doing in my back yard? My guess is that it came with the chook feed.
The native blue-banded bee likes the flowers, as did another smaller bee that moved too fast for me to photograph. Beekeepers refer to the plant as Salvation Jane, since it provides forage for bees during drought and produces a delicious honey.
This plant was only 30cm high (they grow to about 120cm), but the tap root was already 1cm thick when the Geek pulled it out on Saturday. We hope it will not resprout. I've never seen Paterson's Curse in Sydney -- it's an echium, and prefers a Mediterranean climate. There is a distant view of Paterson's Curse in a previous post.
I hadn't found a reason to cook this lovely beetroot before we left, but just had to pull it on the weekend as it was getting a bit too big. That's a four-cup teapot behind for scale. Still haven't worked out what to do with the beetroot!