Posts Tagged 'plants'

Even More Evidence

Pictures from the last week here in Brooklyn and northwestern Philadelphia. As spring continues, so does the most corrupt administration in American history, doing deep and lasting damage to the country, our democracy, and the rule of law.

More Spring Beauty

Timing is everything. Last Thursday, a cool spring day, in northwestern Philadelphia, things were just on the cusp. These Sanguinaria canadensis, bloodroot, were waiting for the sun.These Trilliums, too.Ah, but look carefully! Thalictrum thalictroides, rue anemone.Cardamine concatenata, the cutleaved toothwort, crow’s toes, pepper root or purple-flowered toothwort.The sun did come out in the afternoon… Stylophorum diphyllum, celandine-poppy.

(Somewhat tentative ID on the the Thalictrum and Cardamine.)

Spring Beauty

For many people this is, I realize, appealing. But let’s look beyond the lurid gaudiness to the more subtle spring ephemerals down on the forest floor. Like bloodroot.And spring beauties.And trout lilies. (Plus some mayapple.)

All on the grounds of the Morris Arboretum or nearby Wissahickon Valley Park.

Stink Cabbage

Some skunk cabbage, so called because of the smell, which attracts flies. Flies being some of the earliest pollinators in spring. The mottled curvilinear part is the spathe, a sheath-like bract that encloses the spadix. Unfortunately off the path, so couldn’t get closer.

Through the magic of the internet, however, you can take a closer look at a previous post of mine with details of the spadix.


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.


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