Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wildflowers of 2014 - The Flowers I Didn't Find

I went into my Wildflower Big Year with a reasonable expectation of finding 200 species.  In the end, my list ended at 238 species.  When doing a project such as this it helps to have expectations of when and where to find certain things. I know that there are some species of flowers that I will only find in certain places.  Other species can be found everywhere I look.  While I did find some new species this year, it was often the flowers that I did not find that were the bigger surprises.

Thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana): I found the fruits of Thimbleweed, but missed the bloom somehow. 

Thimbleweed - photo from 2008

Common Arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia):  I found quite a few Common Arrowhead plants, but never saw a single one in bloom this Summer.  This species seemed to be less numerous than in previous years.

Common Arrowhead - photo from 2008

Three-lobed Coneflower (Rudbeckia triloba):  I did not find any Three-lobed Coneflower plants this year.  Normally I find it blooming along the trails in Mill Pond Park.  The mowed area along the trails was widened this year and this species appears to have been a victim of the mower.

Three-lobed Coneflower - photo from 2008

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta):  Black-eyed Susan has never been common in Mt. Pleasant's parks.  The areas where I had previously found it have grown up with much thicker vegetation and the species appears to have been blocked out by its competitors.

Black-eyed Susan - photo from 2007

Butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris):  Butter-and-eggs is a common weed that likes disturbed area.  Like Black-eyed Susan it gets pushed out by thicker vegetation.  The absence of this species was a real surprise.

Butter-and-eggs - scan of a photo from 2005

Cardinalflower (Lobelia cardinalis):  Over the past few years I have been able to reliably find a single Cardinalflower growing in a certain spot in Mill Pond Park.  This year it was not there. 

Cardinalflower - photo from 2009

Large-flowered Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora):  Large-flowered Bellwort is one of those species that I have found intermittently over they years.  Some years it appears, but more often I do not find it.  In the years that it does show up, it is normally only one or two plants.  This year I didn't find it.  Not really a surprise, but I was hoping to find it.

Large-flowered Bellwort - scan of a photo from 2006

Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris):  Failing to find Bladder Campion in the parks was also not a huge surprise.  I have only found this species a few times over the past decade.

Bladder Campion - photo from 2008

Indian-hemp or Flowering Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum):  The lack of Flowering Dogbane can be directly attributed to construction.  I normally find a healthy clump of it growing at the canoe landing at Chipp-A-Waters Park.  This was torn up and covered up during construction this spring.  I hope the plant reappears in 2015.  I have also found the plant growing in a few other places along the riverbank, but trimming right to the river's edge (not really a good practice) kept those populations knocked back this year.

Flowering Dogbane - photo from 2008

White Lettuce (Prenanthes alba):  I think I probably just missed the bloom of this one this year, but I really don't remember seeing many White Lettuce plants earlier in the year.  This plant may just be in a down cycle.

White Lettuce - photo from 2008

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