Minnehaha phenology June 2 2019 (Part 1)

By the second of June the early spring plants were mostly done and gone.  A  large number of invasive plants that do not belong in the Minneahaha Glen were showing their pushy selves.  The discoveries were so numerous that I’ve divided the day’s finds into two posts.

The Narrow-leaved Bittercress (Cardamine impatiens) seems to like disturbed ground.  Many plants we call weeds are the ones that grow on margins of fields and pathways.  This weed is incredibly invasive and will take over the understory if allowed.

I think I should just pull it up.  I wonder what the Park Board thinks of that?

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has a list of noxious weeds and Narrow-leaved bittercress is on it, classified as “Prohibited: Control.”  But who enforces that?

Creepy Jenny or Moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia) is another garden plant that has escaped into the wild, and likes a streamside damp location.

A surprise to find on Ard Godfrey’s dam: Creeping Jenny can out-compete the ephemeral forest plants.  I found only this one example of this plant.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) can spread aggressively but this particular example is just minding its own business.  It’s not native to North America.

You don’t want catnip in the garden.  It tends to rampage.

The native Canada Mayflower at bloom in June.

The small inflorescence of the Canada Mayflower, which I did not expect to see this year.

False Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum racemosum) is a common North American native.  It is distinguished from the true Solomon’s Seal by this upright flower cluster.  The true Solomon’s Seal has pendant flowers below its single arching stem.

False Solomon’s Seal has leaves slightly like the true Solomon’s Seal, though this plant is much more a chartreuse green than the other.

Clustered Black Snakeroot (Sanicula odorata) has no fan club, no press agent, no spotlight.

Had I known that the Clustered Black Snakeroot was called Sanicula odorata, I would have tried to see what it smells like.

Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) was used to create the hybrid strawberry we see as market berries.  The wild fruits are very small.

The wild strawberry does indeed fruit, though the berries are very well-hidden under the leaves.

Canada Moonseed (Menispermum canadense) can get mistaken for wild cucumber, or grapes.  This is a native, a woody climber with poisonous fruits containing crescent-shaped seeds.

Moonseed can have several slightly different leaf shapes, so don’t be confused with vines like the river grape.  Both fruit at about the the same time.

Hound’s Tongue is also called Gypsy Flower (Cynoglossum officinale).  It was introduced into North America from Europe.  It grows in weedy places, like the trailside where I found it in Minnehaha Park.

Hound’s Tongue has flowers that can be blue or red or purple, all on the same plant at the same time.

Silverweed Cinquefoil (Potentilla anserinawill bloom with some bright yellow simple flowers.    There may be at least two kinds of agrimony in the park, and this one is likely Roadside Agrimony (Agrimonia striata).

Common Silverweed is another name for the Silverweed Cinquefoil.  Despite its name, this is not common in Hennepin County.    While this looks like Silverweed it turns out to be one of the agrimonies.

Tree nuts have never been a commercial crop in Minnesota, with the black walnut being our most reliable nut producer.  It’s Oregon that grows a huge hazelnut crop.  But here is the Beaked Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta), a shrub that can get to 20 feet tall and certainly produces edible nuts.

I admit that I intend to collect and eat some Beaked Hazelnuts..

The lovely thing about the Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) is the smooth glossy leaves.  It looks almost tropical in the Minnesota woodland.

Nannyberry also has edible berries, which most viburnums do not.

Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis) seen here growing next to a vandalized  park bench.  The vandalism in the park is sickening.  It’s also true that the Park Board does not spend enough money on park maintenance.  (Possibly because they don’t have the money to spend.  The Park Board has always been short of funds.)

Sensitive fern likes a wet environment.  Springs occur on both sides of the creek.

If you wish to identify trees by their leaves, it helps to have seedlings close to the ground.  This is probably the Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra).  It’s native in North America and a terrible invasive problem across parts of Europe.

Northern Red Oak can hybridize with the Pin Oak, but I lean towards this being the Red Oak.

The Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) is increasingly common in the Minneapolis urban forest.  The Park Board, which has charge of all the street trees in Minneapolis, includes it in their plantings.  Hackberry doesn’t have a “category killer” disease like the emerald ash borer or Dutch elm disease.  Birds like the hackberries and spread them around.

Common Hackberry is common in Minnehaha Park, where it’s easy to find mature trees and small saplings.

The American Basswood (Tilia americana) is an important tree in the Minnehaha forest.  It is among the tallest and longest-lived.  And the flowers smell lovely.

Basswood leaves can be 6 or 10 inches long.

A modest, compact plant: The Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum americanum).  This was not growing in a dense thicket as can often be found, despite how this photo was cropped.  I wanted to make the thorns on the stem visible.

Prickly Ash twigs are useful to chew if you have toothache.  It is even called the toothache tree because of it.