I'm surrounded by so many botanical treasures here in northeastern New York, I can hardly keep up with them as they make their appearance! Just in the first three days of June I searched and found Wild Calla, Bog Laurel, Labrador Tea, Three-leaved False Solomon's Seal, and Virginia Chain Fern in a Warren County sphagnum bog; Glaucous Honeysuckle and Bunchberry blooming along a dusty Adirondack road in Essex County; and Green Dragon, Canada Onion and Deerberry blooms in a floodplain along the Hoosic River in Rensselaer County. I found many more plants, too, but these were the most photogenic!
A Warren County Sphagnum Bog
Wild Calla (Calla palustris) was blooming by the hundreds in this bog, with tiny flowers covering the chubby central green spadix. The snowy-white spathes and broad, green, heart-shaped leaves helped us locate them among all the other abundant greenery.
Virginia Chain Fern (Anchistea virginica), with unfurling fronds. Although most ferns are notoriously difficult to identify at this stage, the fact that these fronds are strung out in a line and not emerging from a central cluster helped to suggest that identity immediately. The distinctive veining of the individual pinnae as well as the acidic habitat offered additional evidence. (Also, a friend who knows about these, told us that we would find them here!)
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A Wilderness-Area Road in Essex County
Glaucous Honeysuckle (Lonicera dioica), a vining plant, is one of our few native honeysuckles. It is immediately recognizable by its showy terminal clusters of multi-colored flowers, which eventually produce equally showy clusters of red berries, centered within the terminal leaf-pair that is fused into one. I actually made the effort to visit this distant site so that I could lay my eyes on the beautiful Wild Purple Clematis that usually sprawls across the same marble boulders this honeysuckle vine does, and always this very week in June. But a late frost must have nipped off all the clematis flower buds this year, since not a single bloom or bud could I find among its trailing vine. Ah well, there's always next year! And the beauty of abundant Glaucous Honeysuckle flowers offered a kind of compensation.
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Banks of the Hoosic River, Rensselaer County
Green Dragon (Arisaema dracontium) is related to our more familiar Jack-in-the-Pulpit and bears its odd flowers in a similar way, except that the Green Dragon's yellowish spadix is so long and narrow it can't be contained within its hooding spathe and "reaches for the sky!" And it is definitely not as widely common as J-Pulpits, at least in my experience, for this alluvial riverbank along the Hoosic River is the only place I have ever found them. And here they grow in abundant numbers as well as to prodigious size, attesting to the nutrient richness of the site.