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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Three New Flowers

starry false solomon's seal, Smilacina stellata, var crassa For me, one of the things that makes a hike extra special is if I find and identify a plant, especially if it's flowering, that I had not previously known.

In my Walter Mitty dreams, I would like to be able to stand anywhere in the NE United States, in any season, and identify every plant around me. Yeah, well, I'm not there yet, and probably won't live long enough for it to happen. But I can dream.

The picture above is of a plant that is a real surprise, because I thought I knew it. I looked at it, in fact someone asked me what it was, and said "False Starry Solomon's Seal, Smilacina stellata." Well, it is, sort of. It's a particular variety of it, crassa, noted because of the way the leaves clasp the stem and overlap. Way cool!

pale laurel, Kalmia polifolia

Here's the next one: it was growing in a bog with a whole lot of cotton grass. I'm not happy with the focus. I'm having a lot of trouble getting the new camera to focus on one plant in a whole background of plants. This is Pale Laurel, Kalmia polifolia, a relative of all the other laurels.

canada violet, viola canadensis

And finally, there were entire blankets of these white violets covering the forest floor. They are another large violet, over a foot high! The large white blossoms are held above the leaves. As the flowers die they fade to a deep magenta color. It is Canada Violet, Viola canadensis.

I also saw a new Juncus (rush), and several new Carex (sedges), but those aren't things you take time to identify in the middle of a hike. Those need serious books and keys and time. Given the mosquito level, I wouldn't have been able to ID them even if I'd had all of those things! Maybe another time...

See Two More Special Violets


Glynis Peters said...

I have not seen these before, thanks for sharing.

Rebecca said...

I have found some great wildflowers in the woods and fields around our place. Many of the plants I have in my yard are ones I have brought home.

Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Glynis- Not sure how many of them would grow in Cypress. I think they are all rather northern species.

Rebecca- Nothing like gardening with the plants you know will grow there! I'll watch for your pix.

Rick (Ratty) said...

I've given up trying to identify all of the different flowers for now. I've decided to let the information sink in over time. I like them when I see them, but I've been driving myself nuts trying to figure them all out. Most people don't realize, but they're much more difficult than animals. Even saying all that, I am slowly learning a few things.

Cady said...

Flowers are my favorite... Lovely pictures of those new flowers!!