Images of the day

Jun. 14, 2021

There's a poem called "Waiting for the Barbarians". Why does this sweet pea remind me of that, or maybe Godot? The poem ends in disappointment because the barbarians don't show up. At least they would have been some kind of solution! I'm waiting for the Flora of North America to publish the volume about the pea family. Until then we have chaos when we try to identify this pea. It could be L. lanszwertii or L. laetivirens. And why Godot? Because one of the guys at FNA told me they probably won't finish their work in my lifetime. Until FNA, we will go with Weber and Wittmann's version. Of course they say that this does "not clarify the species problem". Summit Co CO, 6/17/13. Pea family, Fabaceae.

Jun. 13, 2021

Beautyberry lives up to its name. The closely packed bunches of bright purple berries really catch your eye. But these flowers certainly are nothing to sneeze at. This cluster approached two inches across. During flowering the branches are lined with these. The berries are edible, tasty, but astringent. Don't eat too many or your tummy will ache. American beautyberry grows in AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, MO, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA; also the Bahamas, Bermuda, Cuba, and northeastern Mexico. Lowndes Co GA, 7/7/18. Vervain family, Verbenaceae.

Jun. 12, 2021

Lodgepole lupine has flowers that are a little smaller and farther apart than many of its kind. Hence 'parviflorus'. There are about 200 species of lupine, centered in the Americas. The seeds of most of them were often eaten in past days, but if you are allergic to peanuts, don't try lupines. Lodgepole probably got its name because it can be found growing among lodgepole pines, as well as in other open to partly open areas in CO, ID, MT, ND, NM, SD, UT, and WY. Summit Co CO, 6/17/13. Bean family, Fabaceae.

Jun. 11, 2021

Hawthorns are worth a closae visit. The flowers are very attractive, often with these crinkly edges. They often have colored centers that range from this shade into orange or reddish tones. What's not to like? Well, if you get really close, you might want to leave your nose behind. Flies like them too. And of course, well, the thorns. But most of all, they defy order. They're a hybridizing taxonomic mess. As a result, and treatment of hawthorn's you pick up will differ fom any other. If you want to name one, you just have to pick one of those stories. So, this is pear hawthorn, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it. But also, I sent a specimen to UM, and it turns out they liked the same story my story. According to Flora of North America, pear hawthorn grows in AL, AR, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, TN, VA, WI, WV, and ON. USDA alsohas it in LA, NC, and TX. Lenawee Co MI, 5/20/13.

Jun. 10, 2021

Scarlet creeper or scarlet morning-glory is native to tropical America, including our four most southeastern states. It has been introduced elsewhere. The flowers are certainly eye catching, but scarlet creeper has less interesting foliage than cypress vine, so it is not as often planted. Collections of scarlet creeper have been reported from AL, FL, GA, HI, LA, MA, MS, NM, TX, VA, and VT. Dooly Co GA, 10/19/15. Bindweed family, Convolvulaceae.