Images of the day

Jul. 6, 2022

Appalachian or scentless mock-orange is another of our natives that has made a round trip. It is native in the southeast, where this showy shrub first caught the eye of gardeners. It's pretty enough to compete even among its more fragrant relatives. Now it has spread from gardens back to the wild in new areas. Scentless mock-orange can be seen wild in AL, AR, CT, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, and ON. Culrivated, Lenawee Co MI, 6/12/14. Hydrangea family, Hydrangeaceae.

Jul. 5, 2022

Rockslide fleabane, according to FNA grows on "talus slopes, boulder fields, and other rocky or gravelly habitats, meadows, spruce, lodgepole pine, alpine tundra." So, rockslide fleabane it is. One of the very many similar fleabanes of CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, and WY. Summit Co CO, 6/17/13.

Jul. 4, 2022

Colicroot flowers are only about a third of an inch long, on spikes a couple of feet tall. They're fun to see in groups or up close. The spikes earn them the alternate name unicorn root. Aletris is toxic, and was a homeopathic treatment for a variety of ailments. One of the mentioned side effects is stupification. Could that explain the unicorns? Colicroot was also used by Native Americans, most often for digestive disorders. Colicroot grows in damp, mostly basic openings in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, and ON. Lenawee Co MI, 6/29/11. Bunchflower family, Melanthiaceae.

Jul. 3, 2022

Here's the best of the story! The prelude involves purple loosestrife, a well known, beautiful but hated invasive from Eurasia. Winged loosestrife is closely related, but is native. In fact, there are several native loosestrifes with pink/purple flowers. They grow in similar habitats, often with the invader. Winged is mostly seen in fens, and is very nicely in bloom now around here. So it's a decorative plant of fens that we can enjoy without guilt, it helps clean our water, and the Cherokee used an infusion of it for kidney problems. It grows in AL, AR, CO, CT, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY, and ON. Monroe Co MI, 7/22/11. Loosestrife family, Lythraceae.

Jul. 2, 2022

Palegreen may be called tubercled or rein orchid, with one or another adjective attached, as in northern tubercled orchid or southern rein orchid. Tubercled is the interesting one. If you look very closely you may see a little bump -tubercle- on the lower lip of the flower, inside the mouth. Inside the flower are two pollen bearing structures, one on each side. The tubercle is sort of a traffic lane divider for pollinators. In yesterday's blog I mentioned that grass pinks were non-resupinate. This is a more normal resupinate orchid. The flower pedicels twist as the flowers develop, in effect turning the bloom upside down. If you again look closely at the lines on the pedicels, following them from the plant stem to where the sepals and petals attach, you can see the twist. Palegreen orchids grow in damp areas of non-neutral pH in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, NB, NS, ON, PE, ans QC. Loe Campbell Preserve, Lucas Co OH, 6/28/22. Orchid family, Orchidaceae.