Images of the day

Jun. 28, 2020

We've neglected bulrush here for too long. They deserve attention. Although we would confuse the Brits by calling this bulrush. Fot them, cat-tails are bulrushes. At least they are when they're not calling cat-tails mace, and whacking each other with them. Anyway, our bulrushes don't entirely mind not being noticed more, and quietly keep serving us. They are a crucial part of wetland ecology. Their dense root systems stabilize things, filter water, and even protect infant fish. And of course there's the role in the Bible, where much of the information was recorded on bulrush (papyrus) scrolls. Smallfruit bulrush can be found in AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, IA, IL, KY(E), MA, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ(E), NM, NV, NY, OR, PA, RI, SD, UT, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY, in all of Canada, on SPM, and in Mexico and east Asia.. Cheboygan Co MI, 7/11/14.

Jun. 27, 2020

L. hybrida earns its name by being intermediate in appearance between fringed and lanceleaf loosestrife. Judging by descriptions, I long thought if I ever saw it, it would be hard to tell the difference between this and lanceleaf. The key depends on stem thickness, leaf shape, and nerves in the sepals, all variable traits. But when I saw this patch of plants in Apalachicola National Forest, I immediately knew it was something new and different. The overall appearance clearly sets it apart. Taller and bushier than lanceleaf, and clearly not fringed on the petioles. Kind of like lanceleaf on steroids, but the leaves are no bigger. Lowland yellow grows in AR, AZ, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, KS, MA, MD(T), ME, MI(X), MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY(E), OR, PA(T), RI, SC, SD, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, AB, MB, ON, QC, and SK. Wakulla Co FL, 7/8/18.

Jun. 26, 2020

This twistedstalk is much like its relatives, the Solomon-seals. The flowers are a little more fanciful, with their swept back petals. The stem isn't twisted so much as it is slightly bent at each node. The young shoots have a cucumber like flavor, and the red berries taste like watermelon. Indians and others have eaten both. But the jury is out on how good they are for you. There's a reason this is sometimes called scootberry. Claspleaf twistedstalk grows in woods in AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, ID, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, NC, NH, NJ(E), NM, NY, OR, PA(E), SD, TN(T), UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WY, all provinces of Canada, on GL and SPM, in Europe and eastern Asia. Summit Co CO, 6/17/13. Lily-of-the-valley family, Convallariaceae.

Jun. 25, 2020

Small indeed. These blossoms are hardly an eighth inch across. But so what? These little things put on their Nikes and "Just do it!". There is hardly a more widespread species in the northern hemisphere. Around the world, and from the Arctic to southern Mexico and the Caribbean. They don't get much attention except from a few grazing waterfowl or mammals and their pollinators. The Ojibwa did use an infusion of this to treat skin problems. Also called three-petal bedstraw, but as you see that's not always right. Here these grow in AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ(E), NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SD, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WY, all of Canada, on GL and SPM. They're also across Eurasia. Lenawee Co MI, 8/25/14. Madder family, Rubiaceae.

Jun. 24, 2020

This is Helianthus debilis, var. vestitus. This variety only or near appears on Florida beaches, where it is well adapted to the sandy conditions. It may have upright stems, or it may spawl along the dunes in spots with unstable ground. Patches of them in the dunes will catch your eye, like this one did at Captiva. Lee CO FL, 1/24/13. Aster family, Asteraceae.