Friday, May 10, 2013

Flowers Flowers Everywhere

As part of my current job in the Midwest, I have gotten to hike the same 6 or so miles everyday since mid-March. This has been a great way to see how a whole forest landscape changes with the seasons. Because of the varied topography, geology, and forest types present, I have gotten to see a quite a variety of wildflowers as they come into bloom. Below are some of my favorites, enjoy! 

Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata divaricata)
A nectar source for butterflies and hummingbirds.

Fire Pink (Silene virginica)
Pollinated primarily by the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)
Seeds spread via myrmecochory--ants are specifically attracted by seeds and seeds are taken to the nest--providing both a food source for the ants and a rich soil for germination.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Contains oxalic acid which is poisonous. Used medicinally for sore eyes, rheumatism, and snakebites.

Showy Orchis (Galearis spectabilis)
Often called a hooded orchis due to the fact that the petals and flower are found
inside the purple and white sepals.

Bellwort/Merry Bells (Uvularia perfoliata)
Perfiolate, which means the leaves grow around the stem, a unique growth pattern.

Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia verna)
One of the few wildflowers that exhibit a true blue color.

Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum)
This orchid is threatened or endangered in many states.

White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
A contester of Reid's Paradox, which states that plants could not have survived past glaciation if their seed dispersal is less than several hundred meters per year. Once again a flower that uses myrmecochory.

Have you found any favorite flowers in bloom yet? Depending on your latitude, there are still many flowers that have yet to bloom, so get outside and check it out. 

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