Images of the day

Sep. 16, 2020

Gerber Hill County Park includes a planted prairie. At this time of year it shows us a bunch of flowers from the aster family. This wholeleaf rosinweed is mostly a plant of actual prairies. It's finishing up now, and getting a little unorganized. In the case does that add to the interest? It probably shows up there because of its rep of being easy to grow. It's wild in AL, AR, CO, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI(T), MN< MO, MS, NE, NM, OK, SD, TN, TX, WI, WY, and ON. Lenawee Co MI, 9/13/20. Aster Family, Asteraceae.

Sep. 15, 2020

Pineland St. John's-wort is one of a group of plants in Hypericum that have four instead of five petals. They were formerly separated in genus Ascyron. This one is distinctive with two large sepals and two much smaller ones. You can see the tips of two small ones projecting from the bud on the upper left. Pineland grows in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, and TX. Polk Co FL, 10/20/15. St. John's-wort family, Hypericaceae.

Sep. 14, 2020

Periwinkle! All you need to know to enjoy this one is the name! Of course, it's so much more. Spreading, spreading, spreading until it takes over your whole shade area. How could there be a better cover for those areas? Then it gives us some of the very first flowers we see each spring. It's hard to resent it spreading to the wild, particularly since it mostly stays in its chosen patch. Periwinkle has been reported wild from AL, AR, AZ, CA, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, BC, NB, NS, ON, and QC. Lenawee Co MI, 5/8/14. Dogbane family, Apocynaceae.

Sep. 13, 2020

Bluntleaf is one of many bedstraws or madders. I'm guessing they don't get much attention these days. When was the last time you went looking for a bedstraw? Or even noticed one as you passed it? Those tiny flowers weren't built to capture human eyes. But there was a time, before our current level of plant blindness, when bedstraws drew a lot of attention. The stems were bedding, tinder, or used for scrubbing. The medicinal uses read like a compendium of human maladies. So here we have one, filling in an available niche, and doing what plants do for us when we aren't paying attention. Bluntleaf bedstraw grows in woods and moist open areas in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME(X), MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH(E), NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, NB, NS, ON, and QC. Lenawee Co MI, 6/15/11. Madder family, Rubiaceae.

Sep. 12, 2020

What to do when waiting for your oil to be changed? Walk around and see what weeds they might have, what else? In this case it was sandhill amaranth, a species adventive here in Michigan. It had been previously collected in Michigan in 1918, 1920, and 1941. Kind of fun to find even if it's not native, coming to us from farther southwest. What we see blooming here are staminate flowers. The pistillate ones are separate. Sandhill grows in AR, CA, CO, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MO, MT, NE, NJ, NM, OK, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, WI, and WY. Lenawee Co MI, 9/11/20. Amaranth family, Amaranthaceae.