Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Late Spring and Early Summer Wildflowers, Pt. I

So I've really been getting into wildflowers recently. I've been taking tons of photos of every single flower I come across and I've bought a guide to help with IDing them all. I have that "problem." I will get interested in another section of nature and suddenly I'm trying to find and ID as many as I can. It started with birds, went to insects in general, then moths, then spiders, salamanders, snakes and turtles, and now wildflowers. So as a result, I have a lot of flowers. I am going to try and cover as many as I can over the next few years.

Guyandotte beauty, Synandra hispidula
First up we have Guyandotte beauty, Synandra hispidula. This species has been recorded in 17 counties here, mostly in the southern half of the state. I found this individual at Shoemaker Nature Preserve in Adams County. It can be found in shaded, moist forests, many times along streams (like this one was). This species is named after the Guyandotte River in West Virginia and is found throughout the East-Central US. This species is very sensitive and fragile to changes in the habitat it grows in, and as a result has declined in many areas throughout its range. It's listed as extirpated in North Carolina, endangered in Illinois, and critically imperiled in Alabama. It is currently not listed as threatened or endangered here, but with the way things look I would expect it to be added at some point in the future. 

Fire Pink, Silene virginica
This is Fire Pink, Silene virginica. This is a relatively common species here in Ohio and has been recorded in all but 20 counties. The petals are really, really red. Let me stress how red they are. Notice the notch at the end of each petal, but also notice the smaller notch halfway down the petal. This species grows in open woods and also the rocky forested slopes that can be found in unglaciated Ohio. This individual was also found at Shoemaker NP in Adams County; it was actually quite numerous there. It blooms April to June, so it's an early spring to early summer flower.

Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja coccinea
Next up is (Scarlet) Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja coccinea. Most of the people around here seem to simply call it Indian Paintbrush though (although that is the general name of about 200 species). This species has been recorded in 22 counties in Ohio. Those counties aren't spread in a pattern and are sort of randomly scattered across the map. This species grows in meadows, prairies, and barrens, so if that county has the appropriate habitat it could show up there. This one was found in Adams County, which has plenty of pocket prairies for it to take root in. This species flowers from May to July.

Lyre-Leaf Sage, Salvia lyrata
This flower is Lyre-Leaf Sage, Salvia lyrata. Ohio is at the northern reach of its range and has been recorded in 15 of the most southern counties extending up to Hocking County, and also randomly in Portage County near Lake Erie for whatever reason. The name comes from the leaves, which are shaped a bit like a lyre. Growing in full sun to partial shade, this species can be found growing along roadsides, in open forests, and in fields. It flowers mainly from April to June.

Large-Flowered Valerian, Valeriana pauciflora
Next we come to the Large-Flowered Valerian, Valeriana pauciflora. This species has been recorded in about half the counties here, mainly in the southern half of the state, but also extending up to Lake Erie from Ottawa to Lorain County. This species can be found in moist floodplain forests along streams, creeks, in gorges, etc. I came across many at Davis Memorial SNP in Adams County along the creek that flows through the park. This species blooms from late Spring to early Summer.

Long-Leaved Bluet, Houstonia longifolia
This is Long-Leaved Bluet, Houstonia longifolia. This species is an eastern US species, and is mainly found in Ohio in the eastern and southern regions. Long-Leaved Bluets can be found blooming from June to August in upland woods and rocky prairies. Notice the hairs along the petals and the thin leaves.

Foxglove Beardtongue, Penstemon digitalis
And last we have Foxglove Beardtongue, Penstemon digitalis. This species is native to the eastern half of North America and can be found in all sections of Ohio except for the northwest corner of the state. This is a taller plant, reaching heights from 1.5 to 3.5 feet or more. Foxglove Beardtongue can be found in open woods and prairies. This one was found in Adams County at Lynx Prairie in one of the rare pocket prairies. This species is an early summer bloomer.

This wraps it up for the first post covering late Spring and early Summer wildflowers. At least one more, maybe two, posts will follow in the next two weeks or so, so keep an eye out! Thanks for reading!

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