Images of the day

Aug. 15, 2022

Fennel is sort of one of those plants the human race grew up with. Originally from the Mediterranean area, we would have encountered it early in our history. From there our common ranges have expanded around the globe. Can you picture being the first to encounter the strong aroma of fennel? How could you possibly resist a gnosh? It also seems to be our nature to find medicinal uses for aromatic herbs. Among the many problems fennel has been put to use for is as a carminative. Makes sense? First a spicy gnosh, then a carminative? With us fennel has now been found wild in AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV, AB, BC, ON, and QC. Beal Gardens MSU, 7/26/14.

Aug. 14, 2022

Dalmatian toadflax is much like butter-and-eggs (L. vulgaris). These plants are larger, and the flowers have less contrast in color. They've both been garden plants and escaped to our wilds. Dalmatian is less widespread and frequent, but still has become officially noxious in 12 states. It occurs in AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, MA, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY, AB, BC, MB, NB, NF, NS, ON, QC, and SK. Lenawee Co MI, 6/1/14. Plantain family, Plantaginaceae.

Aug. 13, 2022

As soon as you enter Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, you are surrounded by color. That first stretch is formally planted, with eye-catching flowers everywhere. A photographer's dream! You have to start with the obvious, but after that you might spot this little plant. These little jewels looked more like a gardener's creation than something that would ever be wild. But a bit of research reveals that these are tough little guys. In their region, they are liable to grow almost anywhere. Hairy tubetongue is as likely to turn up in disturbed ground as it is in any natural area, and they bloom through most of the season. Hairy or Gregg's tubetongue grows in TX and NM. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4/17/22. Acanthus family, Acanthaceae.

Aug. 12, 2022

If you wander the shores of northern Lake Michigan and Lake Huron here in Michigan, you might be familiar with Arkansas. Limestone or Arkansas calamint are those little matted plants that tickle you're ankles and nose. Everything about them is little except for the outsized minty aroma. In the spring you might even might even stir that up when the seedlings are only a couple inches high. The flowers are sometimes white or shades between. Limestone calamint grows damp open often rocky or sandy areas in AR, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, and ON. Wilderness State Park, Emmet Co MI, 7/13/11. Mint family, Lamiaceae.

Aug. 12, 2022