Water Lily Pollination

Many Fragrant Water Lilies (Nymphaea odorata) bloom in our lake in July and August. The flowers are showy yet I had not noticed insects attracted to them, which caused me to wonder about its strategy for pollination. Investigation revealed that these plants have a very interesting reproduction process. Each flower of the Fragrant Water Lily …

Bee Balm with Insects

During these last days of July our blooming bee balm plants (Monarda fistulosa) have been a hive of activity for insects and an occasional hummingbird. The hummingbirds were too skittish to capture in a photo, but the insects were too busy to notice my presence. Two-spotted Bumblebees When the sun is out two-spotted bumble bees …

Wildflower Roundup

White Rattlesnake-root (Prenanthes alba) White rattlesnake-root, also known as White Lettuce, is a shade-loving member of the aster family that flowers in the late summer. The plant pictured was in a wooded section of the Paul Bunyan Trail north of Hackensack Minnesota. Native Americans used Rattlesnake-root for many medicinal purposes. In particular, the Iroquois used …

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 …