Flower Eye Candy

We are going to continue with our list and pictures theme this week. Here is the list:

Highbush Cranberry (cultivated)
Star of Bethlehem
Indian Cucumber Root
Canada Mayflower
Common Cinquefoil
Solomon’s Plume
Wild Comfrey
Yellow Iris
Maple-leaved Viburnum

First up in our picture line-up is Pink Lady’s Slipper, in case you haven’t been able to see one in person yet.

Showy Orchis is still in bloom, along with Puttyroot. Pictured below is the former. Both are small, but really pretty.

 Next up is a lovely little flower that reminds me of a pale blue winter sky. Borne atop a tall stalk which emerges from large, fleshy, and seriously hairy leaves is Wild Comfrey. 

Growing in the wet meadow at the beginning of the boardwalk is a cool plant called Sweetflag. The leaves are long and might remind you of cattail or iris leaves. In the first picture, the yellow colored spiky thing is where the flowers are. In the second picture, you can see the individual flowers.

Moving back into the woods, here is Common Cinquefoil. Often confused with indian strawberry, cinquefoil has 5 leaves, indian strawberry has 3.

Our first Rubus to bloom is Dewberry. Rubus is the genus to which things like raspberry and blackberry belong to. Dewberry doesn’t have the long, arching canes like raspberry or blackberry.  Instead, this guy trails along the ground making weak attempts at growing up onto other plants.

This next guy is so very small. Canada Mayflower or Wild Lily-of-the-Valley grows in patches of mostly non-flowering plants. Those few that do bloom, send up a second tier of one leaf and then the flowers. Otherwise, this plant is just a single, glossy green leaf growing out of the forest floor.

Here is a close-up of Aniseroot. It’s close cousin, Sweet Cicely looks pretty much the same.  A couple of subtle differences can help you tell them apart. The easiest way is to look at the stem. Aniseroot has a smooth stem while Sweet Cicely has a hairy stem. 

This little forest of star shaped plants is Indian Cucumber Root. Can you guess what the root might be like? This one is often like the Canada Mayflower in that there can be many plants in the area but very few with flowers. It also sends up a second tier of leaves when there is going to be a blossom. The second picture shows a close up of the very unusual looking bloom.

Coming into bloom a little later that its cousin Solomon’s Seal, is Solomon’s Plume. Often referred to in field guides as False Solomon’s Seal, we like the “Plume” name better. It certainly is more descriptive of how the plant looks when in flower. Once again the second photo shows the flowers up close.

Lastly, here is a possible remnant from Carmen. Japanese Primrose pops out at you along the shelter trail. Not invasive, but definitely looks out of place back in the woods!

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