Minnehaha phenology May 28 2019

(The complete list of plants is available.)

Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum) is supposed to be called “waterleaf” because the white-ish spots that sometimes appear on some of its leaves look like watermarks on paper.  Yet the lungworts are also covered with white-ish spots and they are named after disease.  It makes no sense.

Virginia waterleaf ought to be taking over the place. It’s a vigorous, spready plant.  But the plant is not so thick on the ground as I expected, and this year’s blooms were paltry and not the nice light lavender one expects.  I know the blossoms fade, but these never had that brighter moment.

This is Bristly Greenbrier (Smilax tamnoides) before it morphs into a really dangerous plant.  Here, it stands tall, but make no mistake, it is going to climb all over whatever it can find.  The stem is not yet covered with menacing thorns so dense you cannot touch it.

The magnificent evil of smilax. Those globular flower clusters look inviting, but be not fooled. This is the most thorny, viny, malevolent thing that grows in Minnehaha Park. To call it merely “prickly” is to deny its hostile nature.

Fragrant Bedstraw  (Galium triflorum) stays a little shorter when it has a lot of light, as when I grew it as a garden plant.  This was growing in the woods by Ard Godfrey’s dam.

I’m not sure if this was not in flower because it was too early, too late, or too shady.

Morrow’s Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii), I think.  Could be Showy Honeysuckle (Lonicera ×bella).  Either way, it is invasive and should be removed.

With honeysuckles, you have to look at the bottoms of the leaves.  Now you know.  Had I known that, I would have been able to identify it.

This is definitely the Showy Honeysuckle (Lonicera ×bella).  It performed that most unwanted of plantsy exploits:  It escaped cultivation.  Now it’s an invasive intruder, and should be eradicated.

Pink flowers, but fading to yellowish as they die back.  Only the Showy Honeysuckle has those characteristics.

I saw a third color of honeysuckle in bloom on May 28th.  This was quite dark pink.

This honeysuckle will have to be revisited to identify it properly.  Most likely it is Showy Honeysuckle (Lonicera ×bella).

I am one of those people with a very strong opinion of buttercups.  They should have bright, warm, yellow petals. Five.  They should have airy and wiry stems that float the flowers over the surrounding plants, and they should provide bright color intermittently over fields of other wild flowers.  You know, buttercup.  The Hooked Buttercup (Ranunculus recurvatus) is nearly none of that.

The hooked buttercup is also called the blisterwort or the hooked crowfoot.  The leaves look a bit like celery leaves to me.

Barberry, which is some flavor of Berberis.  It could be Berberis vulgaris, or Common Barberry.  It could be the Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii).    It doesn’t matter much, because this is either on the “prohibited” list or the “restricted” list of noxious plants.  This needs to be dug up and gotten rid of.

Invasive and unwelcome.  Also: has prickers.

Question section:

Yeah…. no idea what this is.  The roundish leaves with the scalloped edges are new garlic mustard plants. But what plant has those frond-like leaves?

A mystery.  Perhaps it will bloom and then be easier to identify.

Is this Wild Comfrey (Cynoglossum virginianum)?

2 thoughts on “Minnehaha phenology May 28 2019”

    1. Yeah, I do. Thanks for bringing it up. I don’t like to link off-site because of link rot, which is why I am debating linking to them. I already have several pages to hand-edit for bad links. On the other hand, they do seem committed to being a permanent resource.


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