Monday, May 21, 2012

New Flowers Everywhere!

Late May, and the wildflowers are blooming just everywhere, coming on so fast I can hardly keep up with them.  Here's just a sampling of some of the more interesting ones I found and photographed this week.

In Congress Park:

Common Fleabane may be "just" a common weed, but it sure is pretty in pink, especially when backed by bright blue Ground Ivy.

 Several Horse Chestnut trees in the park are laden with large floral clusters.  I've heard that Ohio Buckeye grows there too, but I wouldn't know how to distinguish that tree from this one.

In the Skidmore Woods:

Orange-fruited Horse Gentian stalks are ringed with little red flowers that will later yield bright orange fruits the size of cherry tomatoes.

Some of the oak trees are ringed with Squaw Root, which is parasitic on the tree's roots.

Perfoliate Bellwort, named for the way the stem appears to pierce the leaves, is the last of our three native bellworts to bloom, after Sessile-leaved and Large-flowered.

Bog Meadow Nature Trail:

Water Avens may look like it's still in bud, but this is as open as its flowers will get. Look for this interesting flower in shady damp spots.

I found only two Nodding Trillium in bloom in an area where they used to abound.  I have heard that this trillium is disappearing from parts of its established range, but I hope that this is just an anomalous year for the patch at Bog Meadow.

Roadsides everywhere:

 Both Red-osier Dogwood and Sweet Viburnum (Nannyberry) are blooming with snowy clusters along the roads  this week, but the Nannyberry clusters can be told from a distance by their more rounded tops.  Up close, you can see that each floret has five petals, while dogwoods' florets have only four.

Golden Ragwort is usually found where the ground is damp and can often be seen in roadside ditches.

The same can be said for Ragged Robin.  Sometimes whole fields will be filled with their vivid pink.


catharus said...

Does is seem early for Ragged Robin?? (well, everything is early this year, isn't it); 'gotta come see that Nodding Trillium sometime! Thanks as always!!

"Auntie" sezzzzzz... said...

All so beautiful!

Happy to learn the name of the precious pink "weed," which I think every one has... {or so it seems. :-)))} Common Fleabane.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Woodswalker said...

Hi catharus, yes, it does seem a little early for Ragged Robin. All my file photos of this flower were taken the last week of May or first week of June in other years. But many flowers are blooming early this spring. Nodding Trillium usually blooms around the third week of May, so it's right on schedule. Any time you want to come see it, please know I'd be delighted to take you to see it. Hoping it doesn't disappear, of course.

Glad you liked the flowers, Auntie, and I'm happy to have put a name on this one for you. There's another fleabane called Daisy Fleabane that blooms just a bit later in the summer that has flowers that look very similar, but its leaves are a little different. Both are pretty and both are widespread and grow just about everywhere.

Adirondackcountrygal said...

I have always wondered what those pink ones were. there is a small patch along Daniels rd in greenfield I think.