Images of the day

Apr. 14, 2021

Swamp gooseberry to the rescue! Cultivated gooseberries used to be Ribes uva-crispa. Then American gooseberry mildew was introduced to Europe, with devastating results. Swamp gooseberry is an American native, and is resistant to that plague. Now most cultivated gooseberries, here and in Europe, are hybrids of the two species. Swamp gooseberry typically grows around wetlands in CT, IA, IL(E), IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI(S), SD, VA, VT, WI, WV, AB, LB, MB, NF, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK, and on SPM. Lenawee Co MI, 5/17/17. Gooseberry family, Grossulariaceae.

Apr. 13, 2021

Many of us would recognize Thunbergia from those beautiful blue-flowered vines popular in pots and conservatories. White lady is a tropical relative from southeast Asia that gets around a lot. It's a vine that you might now see in Australia, Polynesia, Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, and FL and HI. Fragrans implies you might also smell it, but I haven't noticed any fragrance. It's probably fragrant at night, when photographers won't be attracted, but moths will. Polk Co FL, 3/22/16. Acanthus family, Acanthaceae.

Apr. 12, 2021

Moroccan toadflax is a garden delight that occasionally will spread. At my one sighting of it along a roadside, it did not last more than a few seasons. It has been reported wild in AZ, CA, CT, MA, ME, NC, NH, NY, OR, VA, WV, and PE. Cultivated, Lenawee Co MI, 6/19/16.

Apr. 11, 2021

Notice the differing colors of the central florets. The disc flowers of most if not all asters change from yellow to purple as they age. Could this be the reason for calico's name? Or could it be the relatively small heads arranged on short stems along the branches? That tends to make them line up in rows. In any case, they're a nice sight in late season woods in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, PE, and QC. Ives Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 9/17/11. Aster family, Asteraceae.

Apr. 10, 2021

This grass has converted all its flowers to bulbs. A reproductive accident, or an effective strategy? The advantage might be that the bulbils get a head start, with well grown leaves before they fall from the parent. There is a variety that still has flowers that I have not seen. Bulbous bluegrass is sometimes planted as fodder, and does provide a little extra nutrition. This patch grows in Winston's pasture. Yes, I know he's canine, but it doesn't always seem like he does. Bulbous bluegrass grows in every state except AL, FL, HI, MS, NH, RI, and SC. It is in Canada, particularly BC and ON, but the complete Canadian range is not clear to me. Lenawee Co MI, 5/20/14. Grass family, Poaceae.