Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More wildflower confusion

It's a good thing the spring wildflower peak is just about done here because I have many more photos of mystery flowers than I have the time or patience to sort out. I found these blooming over the weekend in my brookside haunt; the jack-in-the-pulpit that I found there has since grown very tall and there's still some spring beauties blooming. There could be other things hidden away there, but the understory is so full of garlic mustard that it would seem impossible to find anything else. My best guess for this flower is that it's some type of cress - maybe spring cress? At first I thought bluets, then some type of flax, then maybe a speedwell of some sort - but have settled on cress because of the alternate leaves. Whatever it is there's lots of it, but this is the only one that I found in bloom so far. It's been quite fun to return each week and see what's new and spend a little more time exploring the far ends of the greenway. The last two visits have been especially nice because of the spring migrants that are there in the woods and along the old horse pastures. This weekend I saw the first Indigo Bunting that I've seen in a long while and listened to it sing while I rested in the sunshine.

10 comments:

mon@rch said...

I so should know these! I have them out in my yard!

Lynne said...

It is fun to watch the progression of spring. I can't find your flower in my field guide to flowers of the northland.

Mary said...

Can't help you with the flower ID but, like you, I've seen the indigo buntings fly overhead. I'm just enjoying glimpses of new sounds and feathers.

Enjoy the sunshine, Laura. It sounds at though you live in a wonderful place.

Gotta comment on that gorgeous pond again! I love it.

GreenmanTim said...

I fear this will turn out to be Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis L.), an introduced invasive species. It has alternate, sharply toothed lance-ovate leaves and is in the mustard family. Each flower has 6 stamens and 4 purple, pink or white petals. It can grow in habitats ranging from full sun to full shade and can form dense stands, particularly in floodplains, riparian habitats and wetland areas, though it is not restricted to these places. It can be confused with Garden Phlox but that plant has flowers with 5 petals.

Sound like a match? I'm sorry if it is. Massachusetts has banned the sale or intentional introduction of this plant.

Jayne said...

I'm just getting decent at birds... can't imagine learning all there is to learn about wildflowers, so I am impressed you know so much! Beautiful, sweet flower.

dguzman said...

I'm with Jayne!

But in reference to Greenmantim's comment, eek. The more I learn about introduced species (both birds and plants/flowers), the more I feel like it's a hopeless battle against them.

threecollie said...

Phlox maybe?

threecollie said...

Phlox maybe?

LauraHinNJ said...

After looking at some other photos, I think Tim is probably right. It does look very similar to garden phlox.

;-(

At every visit my local wildflower haunt seems to turn into more of a weed patch.

Dave said...

Yeah, Tim's right - it's Dame's Rocket. And you were right too, it's in the cruciferae. It's not as bad an invasive as garlic mustard, because at least it stays the hell out of the woods.