Images of the day

May. 23, 2022

Kentucky is as large as any of our lady-slippers. The blooms can be five inches across. Slipper color varies from this delicate shade to more yellow, and the sepals and petal can be darker. These flowers are a very rare treasure. One study estimated that there are no more than 3000 remaining in the wild. They grow in isolated pockets in AL, AR, GA, KY, LA, MS, OK, TN, TX, and VA. Lewis Co KY, 5/21/22. Orchid family, Orchidaceae.

May. 22, 2022

Giant? Indeed, as iris goes. When I took this shot I was standing on a boardwalk about 18 inches high, looking straight across at it. Taller than I am! Giant blue iris grows in southern Louisiana and maybe AL and MS, depending on who you refer to. The flower is 5 or 6 inches across. Barataria Preserve, Lafourche Parish LA, 4/15/22.

May. 20, 2022

Ten feet tall and it's a dwarf? This is a relatively short century, which makes it ideal for conservatories. Others may require removal of glass roof panels when they finally send up a shoot. And of course, blooming is kind of final for century plants. This one has a bit of a different way of responding to those final moments. It never develops seeds. Dwarf century skips right past the seed process and produces small plants in their place. The species has a relatively short life, far less than a century. This is the second generation I've seen blooming at this particular conservatory. Dwarf century is suspected to be an ancient cultivar. It has been introduced into FL from Mexico. Hidden Lake Gardens, Lenawee Co MI, 1/21/22. Century-plant family, Agavaceae.

May. 19, 2022

Buttercups! Are there any more shiny petals in nature? Sometimes called crowfoot, the genus Ranunculus has about 300 species worldwide. According to Flora of North America, we have 77, eleven of which are introduced. Corn buttercups are among the introduced species, often occurring in cultivated or weedy areas. The habit of popping up in our fields led to many creative names in its native Britain, including devil-on-both-sides, hellweed, devil's currycombs, crowclaws, horse-gold, eggs-and-bacon, and jackweed. Here corn buttercups have been recorded in AL, AR, CA, GA, ID, IL, KS, LA, MD, MO, MS, MT, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, UT, WA, and WV. Polk Co TN, 7/6/18. Buttercup family, Ranunculaceae.

May. 18, 2022

British common names can be delightful. Over there, this plant is often windmill pink. Here it's just another common immigrant called catchfly. Common catchfly has become a weed in much of the world, but is in significant decline in its native area. In Great Britain it is now a protected species. These flowers are a little smaller than our even more common white and sleepy catchflies or campions, but the plants are similar. Here you may spot these in a field or on a roadside in AL, AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, LA, MA, ME, MO, MS, NH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TX, VA, WA, WI, BC, NS, or PE. Tyler Co TX, 4/16/22.