Friday, October 11, 2013

Orchids, Gentians, and more from September in Michigan

We made a few trips to to Barry County Michigan in September to see wildflowers.  It started stormy which isn't good because many flowers including Fringed Gentians won't  open on a cloudy day.  This was the day we could go and we didn't really get rained on (except on the way in the car, then it was pouring) so it turned out okay.

The poor little fen was ravaged with the rainwater. 

Most of the wildflowers survived but were a bit waterlogged.
 Nodding Ladies' Tresses orchid

Along this trail are Spotted Touch-me-nots, also called Jewelweed. 

These are the plants with fun pods that burst open when you touch them.  If you do  pop one open, take the seed and peel off a bit of its skin.  The seed should be Robin egg blue. 
 Touch-Me-Not pod and seeds
Now for one of the very special plants that we came to see, the Fringed Gentian. 
 The Fringed Gentian was tightly furled.

 We found some slightly open...

Later in the day, at a nearby lake, we found Fringed Gentian just open after the sky brighten a bit.
 And finally found one fully open.

A peek inside a Fringed Gentian.
We also saw several types of asters...

And a huge Bull Frog!

An alien, actually a Chinese Praying Mantis

 We still saw dragonflies too.  This will all be changing next month as the weather gets cooler.

Grass of Parnassus was still blooming ...

Kalm's Lobelia still in bloom.
 Some sort of tiny bladderwort blooming.

Coming home the clouds started to build again.


Anonymous said...

A magnificent post! Oh man, so many amazing photos. You captured the storm, its effects, and the wildflowers - oh my.
The Nodding Ladies' Tresses, especially the one with just buds. The Spotted Touch-me-not seeds, intact and sprung, I can even see the Robin's Egg Blue in your photo!
Then the showpiece - Fringed Gentian. When closed, it looks like it was put in a pencil sharpener. I never noticed the purple edge on the calyx - wow. What a beautifully designed flower.
The Grass of Parnassus, Kalm's Lobelia, and the tiny Bladderwort. The insects are just as interesting. But the smiling Bull Frog takes the cake! Thanks for all these memories. M :)

New Hampshire Gardener said...

It was nice of the weather to cooperate. The shots of the fringed gentians are beautiful. That flower is so rare here that I've only seen one plant in my life and that was a long time ago.

Plants Amaze Me said...

Thanks, Marie. You taught me all I know about the Spotted Touch Me Not, I wonder if the pale Touch Me Not has a blue seed?
The Fringed Gentian is definitely cool, I'm glad we got to see them again this year. I wonder what we will see next time?

Plants Amaze Me said...

Thanks, Allen. We don't see the Fringed Gentian where we find Bottle Gentian, and we don't find Bottle Gentian where we find Fringed Gentian. I wonder why, seems like they grow in the same kind of area.
One plant in a life time, that is rare!

Dave said...

Great pics as usual Chris , i love Touch me nots , they are fun. i still have not seen a Gentian of any type. Perhaps i need to investigate that fen i stumbled across.

Plants Amaze Me said...

Thanks, Dave. My sister Marie taught me about the blue seed in the Touch-me-not, sometimes they aren't blue. Some kind of Gentian should be in your fen area, might be a bit late for this year though.
:- )