Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What's in the swamp? - 13 May 2013

Mission Creek Park in Mt. Pleasant is currently one of the best places around to see wildflowers.  Many of the flowers can be seen along the trail that borders Mission Creek itself.  To access this trail, head north from the parking lot and follow the trail to a long staircase.  These stairs take you down to Mission Creek, where a bridge spans the creek.  The lower trail follows along the course of the creek until another bridge will lead you back to a second set of stairs.  These stairs will lead to a trail that heads back to the parking lot.  To see even more flowers, wear a pair of rubber boots and explore the swampy areas.  Some of the species that can be seen blooming right now include Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus), Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris), Nodding Trillium (Trillium cernuum), Broad-leafed Toothwort (Cardamine diphylla), Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense), Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica), and Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia).  Other wildflowers to look for include Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum) and Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata).  Several species of ferns, including Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis), can also be seen.

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) and Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)

Broad-leafed Toothwort (Cardamine diphylla)

Nodding Trillium (Trillium cernuum)

Horsetail (Equisetum sp.)

American Black Currant (Ribes americanum)

Tall Meadow Rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum), liverworts, and sphagnum moss on a downed log

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)

An opening in the swamp full of Common Cattail (Typha latifolia) - background
Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris), Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus),
and Black Ash (Fraxinus nigra) - foreground

Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)

Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

Red Maple/Black Ash Swamp

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