White

Following up on the recent post featuring yellow wildflowers, today’s entry will focus on another of the common wildflower colors, white. The pictures were all taken within the last two weeks in the MN north lake country.

First, a sunset….

Canada Bunchberry

(Cornus canadensis)

Canada Bunchberry is interesting because it is in the dogwood family, but is a creeping plant only 8 inches tall. It grows slowly across forest floors by spreading slender rhizomes. Edible red berries follow the flowering, they are a favorite of bears and jelly-makers.

In 2017 it received about 80% of the votes in an unofficial online poll to suggest a national flower for Canada. However the Canadian government declined — they have done well for 150 years without a national flower, and decided not to dilute the impact of their main emblem, the maple leaf.

Downy Arrrow-wood

(Viburnum rafinesquianum)

This is a native, medium-sized shrub with attractive clusters of white flowers followed by dark blue berries. Birds like the berries, although they are not edible for humans. The leaves turn eye-catching red colors in fall.

Its name reflects that the narrow straight stems of these bushes were used to make arrows by Native Americans.

Common New Jersey Tea

(Ceanothus americanus)

Another interesting name; supposedly during the American Revolution it was used as substitute for green tea, prior to the Revolution it was called Red Root. One website describes the tea as excellent, even though it contains no caffeine — I’m skeptical.

The plant is a short shrub that prefers sandy soil.

Ox-eye Daisy

(Leucanthemum vulgare)

The ox-eye daisy is native to Europe and Turkey, and it is one of the hundreds of species first formally described by the French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamark. In North America, it is an invasive species and spreads aggressively. The ability of this daisy to spread is evident in our lake region, where some open fields are currently covered in its white blossoms. It actually appears on some lists of noxious weeds in Minnesota.

Despite all this, the flower is attractive.

White Campian

(Silene latifolia)

This is another import from Europe/Asia, possibly arriving to North America in ship’s ballast. Another source says it may have arrived here in contaminated crop seed. In England it is sometimes known as the Grave Flower, because it is common in cemeteries.

The plant has a weedy appearance; but on the positive side — its roots and leaves are extremely toxic to mosquito larvae.

Published by jimr77

Recently retired, loving life in northern Minnesota

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