Images of the day

May. 14, 2021

Oakfern originated as a cross between two other species of Gymnocarpium. In the process, it wound up with an extra set of chromosomes. One of those parents now only grows in a limited area of the Appalachians. The other is limited to the Pacific northwest and far northeastern Asia. But their polyploid offspring? Boom! Superfern! Oak fern is circumboreal, growing in all of northern Eurasia, and in AK, AZ, CO, CT, IA, ID, IL, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NH, NJ(S1), NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SD, UT, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY, all of Canada, and on GL and SPM. Cheboygan Co MI, 7/11/14. Fragile fern family, Cystopteraceae.

May. 13, 2021

Meadow geranium is another of our garden geraniums. True geraniums, that is, as opposed to those spectacular but confusingly named plants that are actually Pelargoniums. These are perennial, so there's no need to go buy a bunch every year, and plant them every year. For a few bucks you can get geraniums that will last, and grow into bushy plants as much as three feet tall. Of course the price of that is that they may spread to our fields and roadsides. So far these Eurasians have turned up wild in CT, MA, ME, MN, PA, VT, WI, AB, LB, MB, NF, ON, PE, QC, and SK. Beal Gardens, MSU, 5/24/12. Geranium family, Geraniaceae.

May. 12, 2021

Walter's viburnum or small-leaf arrowwood is a native shrub that is now popular in southern landscaping. Given a chance, it will be evergreen. Like others of the genus, it is a good attractor for pollinators, and feeds birds in the fall. A dwarf variety called 'Miss Schiller's Delight' has been developed. Walter's grows in AL, FL, GA, and SC. Flagler Co FL, 1/28/13. Moschatel family, Adoxaceae.

May. 11, 2021

Here's southern nodding trillium, in the right place at the right time. Edgewood Gardens was certainly the right place - an unrivaled collection of trilliums and other beauties. The right time was that famous ray of sun just behind the storm. Actually, the storm was a little off target, and we just caught a few sprinkles. But the sun was right on. Its always a bit of a challenge to shoot nodding trilliums. The hide so well down there below the leaves. You almost have to dig a hole to get a good angle. Not this day. While I appreciated this display, to the flower it may have been largely irrelevant. These trilliums attract pollinators not by being showy, but by smelling nasty. They're also called illscented wakerobin. Southern nodding trilliums grow in woods in AL, GA, MS, NC, SC, and TN. Edgewood Gardens, Chester Co PA, 4/21/21. Trillium family, Trilliaceae.

May. 10, 2021

Alhamd lilah! Hhamdid? Woodsorrrel or hhamdid or any other name in most every language, this one gets around. Where it probably started out in southeast Asia, it might be cu-jiang-cao. By no later than 1500 ossalide reached Italy. Kids all over the world probably nibble Oxalis leaves just like I did. Depending on need, their parents might eat this too. But not too much! All that oxalic acid! And there's another name thing. Which came first? Oxalic or ossalide? When people aren't nibbling, they might use this medicinally as an anthelmintic, antiscorbutic, antiphlog, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, lithontripic, stomachic, stiptic, or just for whatever ails you. And now after its long history, woodsorrel is mostly a weed that kids occasionally might nibble. Those kids could be in any state except AK, CO, IA KS, MN, NE, or in BC, MB, NS, ON, PE, QE, and SK. Lenawee Co MI, 5/7/11. Woodsorrel family, Oxalidaceae.