Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A bit of botanical eye candy

I've been wanting to post some more photos from our Adams County expedition of a few weekends ago, but time has been tight. So, here are some of those photos, with sparse narration. A group of botanical enthusiasts goes gaga over the spectacle of rare goldenstar lilies, Erythronium rostratum, along a heavily wooded Scioto County lane.

A giant red oak, Quercus rubra, dwarfs tree-hugging Tricia West at Whipple State Nature Preserve, Adams County.


The young rosette leaves of American Columbo, Frasera caroliniensis, bead with the droplets left by a spring shower. This odd gentian can tower to over six feet in height when it blooms.


Toadshade, Trillium sessile, in bud.


Densely white-villous (fuzzy) buds of a wood poppy, Stylophorum diphyllum, which is one of our most striking spring wildflowers.


The coppery-tinged expanding leaves of a young yellow buckeye, Aesculus flava.


Tiny lemony-yellow flower clusters festoon early-blooming spicebush, Lindera benzoin.


The purplish-blue flowers of hepatica, Hepatica nobilis, struggle to fully open on a cloudy day.


Gleaming and radiant, the starburst blossom of a bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, explodes to life. Ephemeral in the extreme, the flower lasts but a day, if that.


Yet more ephemeral are the petals of twinleaf, Jeffersonia diphylla. The slightest of jostles causes them to tumble to the ground.


Always a special treat is the discovery of tiny and bizarre pennywort gentians, Obolaria virginica. These little plants sometimes remain concealed by leaf litter, and they are frequently overlooked.

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