Posts Tagged 'flowers'

Look No Further For Groundcover

Where have all the flowers of spring gone? Long time passing….

Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park has a rather spectacular understory layer in its seventh year. From the top left: Celandine-poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum), mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), and wild ginger (Asarum canadense). And hiding their lights under their bushel of leaves: Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum).
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I like these so much I’m repeating it: Articles of Impeachment for Trump.

Trilliums and Trilliums

These were some of the native trilliums in the New York Botanic Garden earlier this month.

The seeds of these plants are distributed by ants, who are attracted to the lipid- and protein-packed elaiosomes (“oily body”) on the seeds.

Like all wildflowers, these beauties are best left alone. Picking the flower can kill the whole plant. In some states, taking trilliums (in general, or particularly rare and endangered species, depending on the state) is illegal. It’s a pity that such laws have to be made. It’s freaking 2017, already!

Sigh, so it is. Here’s how the loose cannon in the White House is smashing the ship of democracy to smithereens. And here he is compromising intel sources by boasting of it to… the Russians.

How many deaths will Trump’s willful ignorance and arrogant incompetence lead to?

Kingsland Wildflower Roof

When last we visited this Greenpoint wildflower garden, it was right after its opening.Now the first generation of wildflowers sprouting here have emerged, with more blooms to come.Currently, the garden is only open for events. Eric W. Sanderson was talking about Newtown Creek’s history, in the context of the Welikia Project. This is an elaboration of the Mannahatta Project, the envisioning of what was here before New York City (and New Amsterdam), a catalog of the landscapes, habitats, species, and interrelationships of all these things before the coming of the Europeans. It’s an absolutely fascinating study, ever expanding. Knowing what we’ve lost to vital to knowing what we can regain.

Newtown Creek was a tidal creek surrounded with saltwater marshes, with fresh water streaming in from the northeast. It was canalized and industrialized — at some point in the 19th century it was the country’s seconds busiest waterway after the Mississippi! — and now sits astride one of the largest underground oil leaks in the country. Civilization, we hardly knew ya! Actually, speaking of civilization, those are sewage digesters in the background of the first photo.

Look for Sanderson’s presentations. (And read his book Terra Nova, an entire course in our age of petroleum.)

An offshoot of the Creek is called Whale Creek. Why? Did a whale wash ashore there once? Were whales harvested there at some point? Before petroleum, light, fuel, and lubricants came from whales.

Little Brown Jug

Arrowleaf or heartleaf ginger, also known as little brown jug (Hexastylis arifolia). You can see the arrow and heart inspiration, but what’s with the jugs?As in wild ginger (Asarum canadense), a related plant, the action is at ground-level. The little brown jugs (LBJs?) are flowers that start out green and age brown. While these particular specimens were found in the native plant section of the NYBG, they are more specifically native to the SE, getting as north as Virginia and as west as Kentucky. Ants evidently disperse the seeds.

(Remember, these aren’t related to the ginger root you eat.)

Don’t Know Jack?

Someone hath browsed off the overhanging spathes and tips of the spadicies of these Jack-in-the-pulpits (Arisaema triphyllum). This gives us a good view of the pin-striped goodness within these curious flowers.Otherwise you have to get personal.This is a flower that hides itself.Who is this Jack, you might well ask, and what is he doing in the pulpit? To say the spadix “looks like a man,” as does Better Homes & Gardens, seems quite the euphemism. The part is not the whole. According to this site, the plant is pollinated by fungus gnats and thrips. Also of note on that page: the ill-tasting plant scares off herbivores, so who did the work seen up top? Two legged? Deer not yet in the know?

Trillium erectum

We only saw these purple trilliums on the return leg of our walk. The invasive Japanese Barberry (Berbers thunbergii), which is all over the trailside, is about to shade over these maroon beauties. Did it also protect them from the deer?
This is one of the most common Trillium species found here in the east. It also goes by: red trillium, purple/red wake-robin/wakerobin, stinking Benjamin, and wet dog wakerobin/trilliumThe flower attracts pollinators by stinking like carrion (that old trick) and/or, presumably, wet dog. A spectacular flower regardless of how it pulls in the flies.

Naturalist Notes

Viola canadensis, a native violet.It was cool, so this Robin (Turdus migratorius) was hunkered down on those blue blue eggs.A Red Velvet Mite of the family Trombidiidae. Predators of the leaf-litter zone, as large as a blood-gorged tick and, being mite-y, rather looking like one.So many vocal White-Throated Sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis) in the Ramble!And a recent sunset.


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