Images of the day

Oct. 18, 2021

Rock-spiraea is a shrub that grows in western canyons, in this case along the Gunnison River in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. And it does get kind of dark down there. On our side of the river these shrubs were just beginning to bloom, and the result was this somewhat disappointing image. On the sunnier side things were in full bloom (see the blog). But there was no question of getting across fifty feet or so of river. The Isleta, Paiute and Shoshoni people used tea from rock-spiraea leaves to treat colds, digestive issues and sometimes other problems. Rock-spiraea can be found in AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, and BC. Montrose Co CO, 6/21/13. Rose family, Rosaceae.

Oct. 17, 2021

Roughleaf dogwood is like most dogwoods, with small flowers in modest flower heads. No big showy white bracts. Those dogwoods as a group seem to get little attention. They go quietly about their work, feeding birds and pollinators, while the 'flowering' dogwoods get to go to the ball. So next spring, get out there and see if this flower fits. The search will be as much the reward as the flowers. You will most likely find roughleaf in partial shade near streams in AL, AR, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MO, MS, NE, NY(E), OH, OK, PA, SD, TN, TX, WI, and ON. Lenawee Co MI, 6/19/11. Dogwood family, Cornaceae.

Oct. 16, 2021

Tasty coriander now adds its spice to our fields and roadsides. It's tasty to all of us, but a great bit of evidence that things don't taste the same to all of us. For about a quarter of us, coriander tastes like soap. Differences in perception of flavor can occur like that, or there are some things one group tastes that have no flavor at all to others. Avocados seem to be in that latter category, at least for me. Anyway, Old World coriander now has beeen reported wild from AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, HI, IL, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MT, NC, ND, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WA, NS, ON, and QC. Cultivated, Lenawee Co MI, 5/26/14. Celery family, Apiaceae.

Oct. 15, 2021

Mostly we recognize oriental poppies from our gardens. Here in Michigan they are being recognized as occasional wild flowers of fields and roadsides. Why just us? Because many people lump Papaver intermedium in with P. orientale. But it seems to us that the presence of the dark spots on the petals and leaves on the stems are cause for a separate species. And maybe serious collectors of plant specimens don't always take such obvious garden escapes seriously? Lenawee Co MI, 5/23/12. Poppy family, Papaveraceae.

Oct. 14, 2021

This image of silvery spleenwort has drawn some comment. Some like it, some really don't. Could opinions have anything to do with how far you walk through the Ohio hills before you see it? Silvery spleenwort has been a bit of a taxonomic puzzle. It has been Asplenium acrostichoides, Athrium acrostichoides and Diplazium acrostichoides before its current stop as Deparia. Whatever you call it it's a relatively large woodland fern with a very disjunct distribution in AL, AR, CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV, NB, NS, ON, PE, QC, and in east Asia in China, Japa, Korea, and Siberia. Scioto Co OH, 10/2/21. Lady fern family, Athyriaceae.