Jun. 23, 2021

Here are pistillate flowers of soapberry. This last weekend a group from the Botany Club trolled the Yoopers. Yoopers live north of the Mackinac Bridge. Trolls live south (under) of the bridge, but don't always stay there. If Yoopers don't want us they shouldn't make all that fudge!. And the soapberries were ripe. I had tried some previously, so I left them alone this time. Indigenous people also had a variety of medical uses for soapberry. The Dakelh people noted that the berries appear at the same time as mosquito season. They believed this a divine sign that the berries could relieve bite irritation. They did seem to coincide in the Upper Peninsula this weekend, but we didn't try this remedy. On the other hand I thought it worked for ticks. . .

Jun. 22, 2021

Trillium kamtchaticum is from east Asia; Siberia, Korea, China and Japan. Likely it was first documented from the Kamtschatka Peninsula. One site calls it a Nipponese pixie, which might be less of a mouthful. This little delight can be seen at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. There are seven or so species of Trillium in east Asia. All the rest are in the US or Canada.

Jun. 21, 2021

Yes, bladderworts are in the butterwort family. So here's a butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris). These also trap food. They have sticky glands on the leaves that catch small bits of food. The bits/bites struggle, which helps release enzymes from other glands, and it's scarf city in slow motion. The Botany Club got to see quite a few butterworts, but it is a dry season, and there were very few flowers. In the next few blog posts you can hear about our outing, and see images of the club, the UP, and plants that we've posted about before, but saw again. New finds will appear on the Wildflower page.

Jun. 18, 2021

Spotted this showy milkweed at the local nursery the other day. What a nice show! Might like to have that in my garden. I really like milkweeds. And besides, monarchs! Oops, $30? For a plant that's common just west of here, that someone else saw as an opportunity? Didn't spring for the ticket to that show!

Jun. 17, 2021

Yesterday's fantasies of a rare butterfly became today's image of a hackberry emperor. If I feel cheated that puts me in good company. These butterflies are literally called cheaters. They mostly eat decaying organic material. When they do visit flowers, they hover and are very careful not to touch them with any part except their tongue. They don't collect and spread the pollen, and in that way cheat the flowers. in any case, it was fun to see them swarming.