Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Late August wildflower adventure in Michigan

We found one of the first Fringed Gentian blooming on this day at the end of August 2013.  The weather has been all over the place this summer here in Michigan, first hot then  cold, wet then dry.  Over all a good summer.

Grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia glauca) Saxifrage family. These are native plants also called Bog Stars.

There different types of Grass-of-Parnassus, P. glauca is the one that grows in the lower half of Michigan.  Also called Fen or American Grass-of-Parnassus.

Swamp Lousewort (Pedicularis lanceolata) Figwort family.

Nodding Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes cernua) Orchid family.
This native perennial plant is usually 4-12" tall and unbranched.  Nodding Ladies' Tresses can be distinguished from these other species by the downward curve of its tubular flowers, providing them with a 'nodding' appearance.

Kalm's Lobelia (Lobelia kalmii)  Lobelia Family.
The Lobelia genus was once in its own Lobeliaceae family, then was moved to the Campanulaceae (Bellflower) family but is now back in Lobeliaceae.

True Forget-me-not  (Myosotis scorpioides) Borage Family.
These grow right in the swallow water, not native, but very pretty.

Swamp Thistle (Cirsium muticum) Composite Family.

Tall Sunflower (Helianthus giganteus) Composite Family.


I think this is a Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria Cybele) but I might just be close (or wrong).  Just as I was admiring this beautiful butterfly I spied the first Fringed Gentian of the year!  I knew the flower wasn't going anywhere so I focused on the butterfly first.

Greater Fringed Gentian  (Gentianopsis crinita) Gentian Family.
Greater fringed gentian flowers open on sunny days, but generally remain closed on cloudy days. Individual plants live for only one or two years.  Native.

"Furled" Fringed Gentian 

Death Camas still blooming.  For two months this type of plant has been blooming.


Purple Gerardia (Agalinis purpurea) Broom-rape Family.  This native annual plant is 1–2½' tall, branching occasionally.
Might also be known by the common name Purple False Foxglove, Figwort Family.
Pitcher Plants were still around on their long stems and odd shaped "flower".   A very interesting plant.

                       Poison Sumac - Do not touch!

                       Dense Blazing Star was still blazing!

Arrowhead, also Duck Potato (Sagittaria latifolia) Water plantain Family.

Common Water Lily (Nymphaea odorata)

Biennial Gaura (Gaura biennis) Evening Primrose family
A native biennial plant that is 4-6' when mature, branching frequently in the upper half to produce long flowering stems.  This native plant is often ignored because it is a rather widespread biennial with an untidy appearance.  Marie spotted this along the road, and she identified it!  First time we have seen it.

Wonderful day!


New Hampshire Gardener said...

You still have a lot blooming! I didn't know you had poison sumac there-that's one I've never seen. I've also never seen the Gaura or grass of parnassus.
I haven't seen any of our arrowheads blooming here yet, which seems odd, and I'm still looking for gentians. You and Marie make a good team!

Plants Amaze Me said...

Things are still blooming, and it was close to 90 degrees here yesterday! Poison sumac is everywhere at that site and the flowers seem to like to grow very near it. It was the first time we have ever seen Gaura, never even heard of it before.

Have you found gentians before? I see some do grow in NH.
Marie and I do make a good team and we have fun.

Mike said...

Beautiful! I have never seen Biennial Gaura

Plants Amaze Me said...

I never even knew there was such a plant as Biennial Gaura. It was a tall, sprawling, kind of plant. Not much to it.
Thanks, Mike.