Milkweeds and Butterflies #2

Caterpillars In elementary school I remember bringing in these caterpillars with a few milkweed leaves for show-and-tell, hoping they’d turn into monarchs. Here is a similar show-and-tell. Today I’m showing the caterpillars on their Swamp Milkweeds; hoping to return later to capture the metamorphosis. Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) Described previously, but I got some better […]

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 […]

July Brings New Wildflowers #3 Yellow

Many different yellow wildflowers have appeared recently. So this is a longer post than usual. The first grouping includes four plants that have a “weedy” appearance. Despite this, their flowers are surprisingly attractive. Meadow Hawkweed (Hieracium caespitosum); upper left of image This is an invasive non-native species relatively new to Minnesota. Like the related Orange […]

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

The next two plants are examples of extremely noxious weeds that have deceivingly attractive flowers. Spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) The Minnesota Wildflower website does not mince words about the non-native spotted knapweed, “I hate this plant”! And, with justification; it contains chemicals that poison the soil for native plants. It is on Minnesota’s prohibited/control weed […]

Milkweeds and Butterflies

Monarch & Great Spangled Fritillary Most would likely recognize the butterfly to the far right as a Monarch, but the Great Spangled Fritillary? I had never heard of that. Luckily, along with nearly everything else, there is a site devoted to helping non-experts identify butterflies. Also, this milkweed appears to be the Common Milkweed (Asclepias […]

July Brings New Wildflowers #1, White

Recording changes in wildflower and plant populations as the seasons progress… Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium) Spreading dogbane is small bushy plant with fairly inconspicuous white flowers, it becomes more noticeable in the fall when its leaves turn bright yellow. Plants in the dogbane and milkweed family are related. Like milkweed, this plant bleeds a sticky […]

Purple

Previous posts have covered the white, yellow and pink wildflowers we have seen in June along the roadside in Northern Minnesota. Purple is another common color for the local wildflowers, and today we’ll focus on those. Prairie Phlox (Phlox pilosa) Along our roadside Prairie Phlox is concentrated in a sandier area that gets lots of […]

State Flower and More

Yesterday while biking around the area, I managed to get a few interesting photos The best find was this clump of Showy Lady Slippers (Cypripedium reginae), the state flower of Minnesota. Previously I had only seen blooming Lady Slippers in late June, so I was surprised and pleased by this fine display on July 8. […]