Posts Tagged 'plants'


Beechdrops or Epifagus virginiana is a parasitic herbaceous plant. It doesn’t have chlorophyll. The plant taps into the roots of a beech to siphon off sustenance.
Epifagus means “upon beech.” This is a winter view: these stalks will persist through the season. The small summer flowers are white and purple; they are evidently pollinated by ants. Although termed parasitic, the plants are not harmful to their beech tree hosts.

Five Points

A late-blooming, ligulate-headed Asteraceae to grace your groaning board.

Catching Up

One post a day, occasionally two, is hardly enough to keep track. Here then is a miscellany of things I’ve seen in recent months which haven’t made it to these pages yet. Smeared Dagger Moth caterpillar in the Bronx.American Bittern in Prospect Park, seen on the same day as that Purple Gallinule that made all the news.Others saw this one capture and devour a songbird. It pays to be still, at least if you’re a bittern.This wasp was cleaning out the inside of the exoskeleton of something.

A finale to milkweed…

This is fascinating: where does the Anthropocene start? 1610? 1964?

Street Plants

In the July-September number of The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society (145.3) there’s a survey of the vascular plant species of sidewalk plots in Brooklyn and Queens by R. Statler and J. Rachlin. Since most of you probably can’t get to the whole article yet, I’ll make a few notes about it.

Over a five year study of what I think most of us call tree pits, they identified 121 species in 94 genera in 37 families. Asteraceae (22 species) and Poaceae (grasses, 15 species) were the largest families. 69% of the flora were non-native species, versus 34.82% non-native species for the city as a whole. A single “healthy” marijuana plant was observed in Brooklyn (only one?).

This sentence jumped out: “No vascular plant species at either site were collected as voucher material since both sites are actively utilized by dog walkers.” A fact of life here, and well-stated: it’s the dog-walkers, not the dogs, who are to blame since they haven’t trained their animals to curb. The libertarianism of many a pet-owner is nicely summarized by their pissing on the commons.An example of a free-range urban tree pit. This one is particularly verdant, others may be hard-packed deserts with only the tree itself.


Same patch, same day.Crab spider lurking…

Another generation of something arthropod…


The protected grasslands at Floyd Bennett Field are looking fine in autumn.You can fill your screen with these by clicking on them.

Much less of a pretty picture: on the rise of illiberal democracy there and here.

Autumnal Flowers And Their Familiars

There’s only so much in bloom now.But there are still hungry insects.And insects that eat insects.The goldenrod smorgasbord.


Bookmark and Share

Join 569 other followers

Nature Blog Network