A very different wildflower

Indian pipe is different from any of the plants previously shown in this blog. It also has the most interesting survival strategy. Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) Unlike most plants, Indian Pipe has no chlorophyll and does not depend on the sun. This clump of it was thriving in a deeply shaded forest setting. However it …

September Wildflowers

Asters (genus Symphyotrichum and Eurybia) Asters are very prevalent along the roadsides here in mid-September. Minnesota has many species of Aster, within the genus Symphyotrichum the Minnesota Wildflower website lists 19! The first two asters shown in the slideshow below have white petals. I believe the first of these shows the Panicle Aster and the …

Late Summer Wildflowers

Rough Blazing Star (Liatris aspera) There are 5 species of Blazing Star in Minnesota. The Northern Plains Blazing Star is similar to the Rough Blazing Star, but commonly has its flowers on stalks. All Blazing Star flowers are very attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds and bees; and are offered by nurseries specializing in native plants. Sky …

Lakeshore Plants

Blue Lobela (Lobelia siphilitica) This native plant, also known as Blue Cardinal Flower, can be adapted to moist areas of gardens. Its species name, siphilitica, refers to its use by the Iroquois in treating venereal disease — a use that European studies failed to verify. Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata) It looks innocuous, but Water Hemlock …

Milkweeds and Butterflies #2

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) The long narrow leaves of Swamp Milkweed distinguishes it from other milkweeds. Its beautiful flowers make it a desirable plant in the garden and attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. As expected from its name, Swamp Milkweed is typically found near water in the wild. However it can thrive in an average …

Understory; Shrubbery #2, Gray Alder and Hazelnut

The perimeter of our lake has a nearly continuous natural hedge. The picture below shows this continuous wall of bushes rimming one of the lake’s islands. This bushy barrier at the water’s edge is predominantly Gray Alder. Gray Alder (Alnus incana) According to the Minnesota DNR, many smaller lakes and ponds in northern Minnesota are …

Lily Pads

Watershield (Brasenia schreberi) The pads of watershield are slightly smaller than other common lily pads, and they are more elliptical. It blooms throughout the summer, but we did not notice any of the smaller pink-purple flowers. Its most interesting and noticeable feature was a thick coating of very slippery mucilage (slime!) coating the underside of …

Understory; Shrubberies #1

Wild Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) Red Raspberry is a native plant common throughout Minnesota and easily recognized. It is likely the wild berry most often eaten by people. In our area the raspberries are especially noticeable now, because of their eye-catching ripe fruit. They are most commonly found in the dappled shade at the edges …

July Brings New Wildflowers #2, Purple

Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa) Bee balm is my favorite of the plants so far investigated. It is a common wildflower, and also is often used in landscaping. In the pictures above, the purple flowers are native Bee Balm along the roadside and the magenta flowers are from domestic plants in our yard. Bees and butterflies …