Posts Tagged ‘bloom’

Spiderwort Still Blooms

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Spiderwort (a tradescantia species) is a native wildflower.

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A dense clump of it grows in my spring wildflower garden between a hackberry and a pine tree.

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They were given to me by my girl scout leader years and years ago. She had health problems and wanted me to have most of the flowers in her garden.

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This picture shows just how dense the flowers grow.

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I became intrigued by the shape, the color of the flowers, and with the number of those past bloom.

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Obviously, the plants insist on having a long blooming time,

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and I plan on enjoying it.

(I wrote this blog the middle of July, and the plants are still blooming.)

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Ironweed and Two Skippers

The checklist of skippers in Illinois includes 54 species — 17 of the spread-wing  and 37 of the fold-wing ones. Similarities make many of them difficult to identify.

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Ironweeed (Vernonia baldwini) grows to 4 feet tall and will bloom into September. It’s always been a favorite of mine, especially because it’s a butterfly magnet. I realized earlier that the 3 plants in my butterfly garden were slowly dying. Why?  I didn’t know. So, I planned to be on the lookout for seeded plants later.

And then … and then I found two plants blooming in an unexpected area of the backyard!

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And a skipper was nectaring on the flowerheads. I’m 98 percent sure it’s an eastern dun skipper (foldwing). The faint pattern is on the male and not the female.

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Then there were two. I assumed one was the male and the other a female.

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They don’t stay in any one place very long. They can even  dart away without being seen leaving.

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The dun skippers’ wingspread measures 1 1/3 inches wide.

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Our butterfly numbers have been so low this summer and are only now increasing.

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I used to have a children’s garden here and had families and groups visit. The kids got excited when I’d net a skipper and put in it a jar. Then one of the kids would slowly stick his/her finger in the jar. The skipper would usually walk slowly up the finger and start “sipping” the sweat through its proboscis.

Surprise, Surprise

March 8, another cloudy day… after a rainy day yesterday. So, I took advantage of the little sunshine in the afternoon.

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The Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) were just starting to bloom.

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 I had quite a surprise when I went through my pictures and found a young praying mantis hiding among the flowers.

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Only six or seven purple trilliums (Trillium recurvatum) bloomed.

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One of them also had a young praying mantis hiding down in the leaf. I just didn’t expect to see them early in April.

(A visitor to my blog pointed out that this as a Zeus assassin bug nymph. I was looking at the body, especially the abdomen and not the head. Oops.)

Bloodroot

I photographed these bloodroot flowers on April 1, with plans of taking more pictures later. It rained for three days.  I’d completely forgotten about them until it was too late, and all that were going to bloom had already done it.

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Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) blooms March into April here in southern Illinois. Each flower is 1 1/2 inches wide and lasts for only one day.

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Not every plant blooms. The leaves can grow to eight inches across and will remain until the middle of the summer.

Puttyroot Orchid

Three days of dreary inclement weather called for a loop drive through the country. I parked on the road to the trail head at Stoneface, a popular spot on the Shawnee National Forest.

A light rain fell as the temperature gradually dropped.

I decided to walk a short distance, just to be out.

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These puttyroot orchid seed capsules actually stood out among the colors of fall.

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They were in the process of drying.

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Puttyroot orchids (Aplectrum Hymale) send up a single leaf in the fall. This one has c0nsiderable growth yet to go. (Today is October 11).

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A smaller leaf, on the opposite side of the seedstalk, was of another plant.

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This is how the leaves look through the winter. There is a single leaf for each plant.

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Dried seed stalks are easy to find in the winter,

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and the flowers bloom later in May.

Second Bloom

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A surprise greeted me when I walked by the butterfly garden — the flower-of-the-hours had decided to have a second bloom.

The bug’s pink didn’t quite match.

The flowers all closed by noon.

Gone too Soon

Some flowers don’t bloom as long as I’d like them to.

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This iris is a family heirloom.

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