Friday, July 29, 2011

Pics of Summer Flowers ... The Fields

There are about five hundered and fifty species of common wildflowers in Ontario. The images collected in this post, in fact, this entire blog, represent but a very small sample of what's out there in our fields, wetlands, forests and byways ...

Fringed Loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata) is so named because of the fringe of hairs along its leafstalks. This common member of the Primrose family (Primulaceae) has a preference for wet places but may be found in drier areas along roads and trails.

Common Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) adds a splash of color to the greenery along the Eastern Ontario Trail. This flower belongs to the Evening Primrose family (Onagraceae).

This Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) was photographed near the Point.

An immigrant from Europe, Elecampane or Horse-heal (Inula helenium) has made itself right at home on this side of the pond.

Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) is another introduced species, in some areas this small member of the geranium family is considered a weed. These photos were taken at the Frink Center.

It seems that every year I encounter a couple or three flowers whose identity remains a mystery. Eight or ten of these small white flowers were found growing along the shore of the Moira River near the Point. They appear to be members of the family Asteraceae. The closest things I can find on the 'net are White Hawkweed and Desert Pincushion, but it hardly seems credible that these two species would be growing so far from their normal range and in what is virtually a wetland habitat. Unless they've escaped from someone's flower bed, or were planted here on purpose?

A denizen of damp domains, the Swamp Vervain (Verbena hastata) is more properly classified as a wetland plant.

On the other hand this small group of Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta) was found growing in dry, packed soil in full sun along the Eastern Ontario Trail. The two species can be distinguished by the shape of their leaves and the terminus of the flower spikes.

Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) is considered an invasive species (funny how introduced plants and animals which have little competition in a new environment have a way of quickly making a bad name for themselves ...). These specimens were growing along "the Trail" near Drag Lake.

Note the black tips on the bracts ... hence "Spotted" Knapweed.