Thursday, June 18, 2020

Just a Few Powerline Plants

I made a quick stop this week at the powerline clearcut that runs near Mud Pond, just to check on the progress of some of the native wildflowers that thrive in this hot, dry, low-nutrient habitat.  Aside from teeming numbers of Dewberry flowers spreading across the sand, the only other native flower I found in bloom was Green-flowered Pyrola (Pyrola chlorantha). And there were LOTS of them, sprouting up from cushiony moss and edging under the shade of the pine woods that lines this particular powerline. And yes, their flowers are green, indeed!

Two other native flowers that grow here were still in tight bud. Here is Blunt-leaved Milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis), which will bear large clusters of bright-pink, extremely fragrant florets. The New York Flora Association Plant Atlas ranks this plant as "Apparently Secure" (S4) in the state, while the atlas's distribution map shows it as reported from only a few New York counties.  I sure don't find it very often in other places, so I'm grateful I can count on finding it here. So far.

The Wood Lilies (Lilium philadelphicum) that make their home under these powerlines are definitely getting ready to bloom, bearing big plump buds.  Before the power company started using herbicides to quash all plant growth beneath the wires, we used to find nearly a hundred of these gorgeous wild lilies at this site.  I'm happy to report that the lilies have returned over the past few years, but not in the abundant numbers that used to thrive here.  So I feel very protective of the ones that remain.

A couple other plants I found here are not native to North America, but they sure are impressive!  And the Yellow Goatsbeard plants (Tragopogon pratensis) are at their most impressive when they go to seed.  Their dandelion-like flowers yield dandelion-like seed puffs, only enormously larger.  These puffs are easily as big as softballs.  Maybe bigger!

I also think they are quite lovely, the way their silken fibers shine in the sunlight.

Another introduced wildflower that thrives here is Maiden Pink (Dianthus deltoides), and it's definitely a stunner!  Yes, these flowers actually ARE this brilliantly colored, if not more so. I swear I did not boost the color saturation of this photo. 

And boy, when Maiden Pinks find a hot, dry, low-nutrient site they like, they sure don't hold back!


The Furry Gnome said...

Beautiful plants in a unique habitat!

threecollie said...

Wow, those pinks are stunning!

Woody Meristem said...

I haven't seen a wood lily in years, the white-tailed deer have eaten them all -- glad to see that you still have them.