Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Late Spring and Early Summer Wildflowers, Pt. 2

Hey there! Here are some more late Spring and early Summer wildflowers that I've come across recently. The first part can be found here.

Wild Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis
First up is Wild Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis. I've been wanting to see this species for awhile now, and luckily I came across a small population growing at Old Man's Cave in the Hocking Hills State Park. Wild Columbine can be found in the eastern half of the US and has been recorded in about half of the counties here in Ohio. It can be found in rocky, forested slopes. It blooms late in Spring.

Shooting Star, Dodecatheon meadia
Next we have my personal favorite, Shooting Star, Dodecatheon meadia, along with some Spittlebug spittle on the stem. I've previously covered this species here, but I wanted to share it again. This individual was once again part of the Lynx Prairie population in Adams County. This species has been recorded in 24 of the 88 Ohio counties with its population being mainly centered in the South and Southwest parts of the state. The common name refers to its flower, which looks like a stereotypical shooting star.

Veiny Skullcap, Scutellaria nervosa
While at AW Marion State Park in May, I passed a large group of these very tiny flowers. It turns out they were Veiny Skullcap, Scutellaria nervosa. More of a southern species, Veiny Skullcap has been recorded here in the counties along the Ohio River and up the Scioto River, along with various other scattered counties, totaling around half the counties in all. Veiny Skullcap is a colony-forming species that blooms from May to July.

Lyre-Leaf Sage, Salvia lyrata
This interesting flower is Lyre-Leaf Sage, Salvia lyrata. Another southern species, this flower has been recorded in fifteen counties in southern Ohio, and also randomly in Portage County way up near Cleveland (a little out of place). This species grows in full sun or medium shade, and as a result can be found along roadsides, in prairies, and also in open woodlands. This individual was found in Shoemaker Nature Preserve in Adams County, an open woodland type of habitat. Lyre-Leaf Sage is a spring bloomer, flowering from April to June.

Common Cinquefoil, Potentilla simplex
Next is Common Cinquefoil, Potentilla simplex. This widespread species has been recorded in all but five counties here. As you might expect with a widespread species, Common Cinquefoil can be found in a variety of habitats, including upland forests, old fields, prairies, and more. The name "cinquefoil" refers to the five petals the species in the Potentilla genus have. Cinquefoil is a combination of the Old French "cinc," meaning five, the Latin "quinque," also meaning five, along with "feuille" and "foille," meaning leaf.

Squawroot, Conopholis americana
Wait, what's this? It's in a post about wildflowers, but doesn't overly really look like a flower at all. Well, meet the Squawroot, Conopholis americana. This weird flower is a bit of an oddball. It's parasitic and doesn't partake in photosynthesis, just like Indian Pipe. This species is completely dependent on trees for survival, especially oaks and beech. The roots of the Squawroot search through the dirt to find the roots of an oak or beech tree, and upon finding one will latch on to steal nutrients for the rest of its life.

Hoary Puccoon, Lithospermum canescens
This bright yellow flower is Hoary Puccoon, Lithospermum canescens. Blooming from April to early June, Hoary Puccoon can be found in the sunlight in open forests and rich prairies. This individual was found in a pocket prairie in Adams County, not unexpectedly. This species has been recorded in thirty-two counties in Ohio, but its distribution doesn't overly seem to follow a pattern.

Hedge Bindweed, Calystegia sepium
Last we have Hedge Bindweed, Calystegia sepium. A vine-like plant, Hedge Bindweed has a huge distribution throughout the world. It is indeed native here, but more than likely some of the populations you find are probably descended from the Eurasian subspecies rather than the North American one. It is known for its vehement, somewhat aggressive, growth. As a result of this species' aggressive-spreading characteristic, some states have declared it a "noxious weed." Here in Ohio, it's been recorded in all but five counties. This species makes its home in poorer soils, especially in disturbed areas, prairies, and woodland edges.

That's it for this installment. There's always more coming, so keep an eye out! Thanks for reading!

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