Crow’s Nest wildflower walk recap
By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.
We had a lovely Hepatica Hike on Saturday. The rain held off and we saw all the flowers on our checklist except one: the Virginia pennywort (Oblaria virginica), above, didn’t show up until today, Monday. We call the event a “Hepatica Hike,” and we did see some hepatica, along with bloodroot, spicebush, and trout lily, but these plants were nearing the end of their blooming period as others were just starting.
We were able to see abundant wood anemone (Anemone quinquifolia), above, and distinguish it from rue-anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides), below. Both are delicate, lovely flowers with similar common names.
Hidden under foliage and lying along the ground, the beautiful flowers of wild ginger (Asarum canadense), below, are pollinated by ants.
We found the delicate flowers of sessile bellflower (Uvularia sessilifolia), below, blooming in several places.
It wasn’t all about flowers. We also saw the distinctive leaves of downy rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera pubescens)…
…and last year’s leaves of putty root (Aplectrum hymale). Both of these are orchids with subtle flowers that I usually miss in mid-summer.
We also heard a few American toads trilling—though not many I guess because it has been so dry lately. We also heard a gray tree frog calling. And a participant with sharp eyes found this box turtle on the forest floor.
We also saw the round clusters of flowers on dwarf ginseng (Panic trifolius), below.
We also stopped to see one of the very few plants of trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens) on the preserve.
Of course, later in the day I had to stop to admire the clusters of flowers on a branch of a redbud (Cercis canadensis).
And I also admired this miniature forest of field horsetail (Equisetum arvense) with droplets of fog on it at the side of the road.