Monday, May 27, 2013

Geum rivale

I had the opportunity on Saturday to botanize several southwest Michigan sites with Brad Slaughter and Dave Cuthrell.  As we were leaving a fen and heading back to our vehicles, Brad spotted the unique Geum rivale (Purple Avens) along the gravel road.

Geum rivale is a circumboreal species, being known from much of Canada south into the Upper Great Lakes and the Rocky Mountains, as well as northern parts of Europe and Asia. Because it reaches the southern edge of its range in a few northeastern Indiana counties, it is listed as endagered in the Hoosier State. 

We saw some pretty interesting plants on Saturday, including orchid hybrids, state-listed species, and good mesic forest sedges, but this member of the Rosaceae was one of my highlights.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Late May in an Indiana Circumneutral Seep

Just a few shots from a rich circumneutral seep in Cass County, Indiana on 22 May 2013...
Circumneutral seep
Phlox maculata
Phlox maculata
Ranunculus hispidus var. nitidus
Saxifraga pensylvanica
Saxifraga pensylvanica

Friday, May 10, 2013

 Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (bearberry)

A member of the heath family. This low, woody, creeping evergreen plant resides in the Indiana Dunes as a glacial relic. It can be found in many different habitats in the dunes, but has a close association with jack pine which typically is found in the foredunes.

Botanist Michael Huft informs me that the word arctostaphylos means bear-berry in Greek, and that uva-ursi means bear-berry in Latin. It was known as kinnikinnik by Native Americans of the Algonquian Nation, probably Delaware, referring to a mixture of leaves, bark, and other plant materials to form a smoking product.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Betula nigra

Today in Marshall County, Indiana, Betula nigra was blooming rather profusely.  I don't believe that I'd ever noticed it in flower before.

Above are the erect pistillate catkins.  The white stigmas can be seen protruding from the scales.  The photo below shows several long dangling staminate catkins.

Betula nigra is a tree of swamps and floodplains of the eastern United States.  It is primarily a southern species, but its geographical range stretches north along major river systems.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Trillium grandiflorum at Bendix Woods

The floor of Bendix Woods is carpeted with large-flowered trillium just now, and the other spring ephemerals are still fresh because of their late flowering.