I want to encourage you to leave comments. We are amateurs and I'm sure we make mistakes in the identity of some of the flowers. We are photographers first and botanist second. I do hope you enjoy the photography. Click on any picture to make it larger.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Carolina Bugbane (Trautvetteria caroliniensis)

Photographic Location: Beaman Park in Middle Tennessee
This wildflower is a member of the  Buttercup Family (Ranunculaceae).

The flowers of Trautvetteria caroliniensis have no petals, but have up to 100 white stamens radially surrounding up to 15 pistils.

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Honeyvine (Cynanchum laeve)

Photographic Location: Sycamore Ridge Ranch in Middle Tennessee
This wildflower is a member of the  (Asclepiadaceae) Milkweed Family

Being from the Asclepiadaceae , this plant will "bleed" a white, latex-like secretion when pinched or bruised. Don't get this in your eyes nose or mouth as it can be irritating or harmful.


This plant is seen as a weed by some but it always dies back in the fall leaving the large fruits hanging until they split open dorsally. The seeds can be carried a great distance by the wind. 


For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Groundnut (Apios americana)

Photographic Location: Burgess Falls State Park
This wildflower is a member of the  Pea Family (Fabaceae).

 Climbing vine with maroon or reddish-brown pea-like flowers in compact racemes arising from leaf axils.

This legume has a cord-like rootstalk with edible tubers the Indians gathered for food. The Pilgrims relied on them as a food source during their initial years in Massachusetts. The tubers can be used in soups and stews or fried like potatoes; the cooked seeds can also be eaten. The flowers are sufficiently beautiful to warrant cultivation, but the plant tends to take over. The generic name, from Greek for pear, alludes to the shape of the tubers. Prices Groundnut (A. priceana), a endangered species with greenish-white flowers and purple tips, occurs in Kentucky, Tennessee, and southern Illinois.


Photographic Location: Burgess Falls State Park

 For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Friday, July 10, 2015

White Prairie Clover (Dalea candida Michx.)

Photographic Location: Cedars of Lebanon State Park in Middle Tennessee.
This wildflower is a member of the Pea Family (Fabaceae).

Often occurring in patches, these perennials bear at least 8-10 slender, 1-2 ft. stems and groups of short, narrow leaflets. Tiny, individual flowers cluster around a cylinder-like cone. Several branched stems with smooth, bright green leaves, and dense spikes of white, bilaterally symmetrical flowers. The bright, white flowers start as a ring around the base of the cone and work upward as the season advances.

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Slender Heliotrope (Heliotropium tenellum)

Photographic Location: Couchville Cedar Glades in Middle Tennessee.
This wildflower is a member of the  Borage Family (Boraginaceae).

A hairy, many-branched annual, 4-16" tall. Leaves are alternate, linear, entire, averaging 1" long. Flowers are white about 0.4" wide, 5-lobed and solitary at the ends of leafy branches.

 Bloom time: June-August. But is infrequent.

Found in calcareous soils, dry woods, and barrens. In cedar glades of the Central Basin of Middle, TN in Davidson, Wilson, Williamson, Maury, Marshall, Rutherford and Giles counties.

The genus name Heliotropium comes from the Greek word "helios" meaning sun and "trope", meaning to turn, referring to the idea that these flowers turn to follow the sun. The leaves and flowers of many plants turn toward or away from light and are known as heliotropic. The species name tenellum means tender, delicate, referring to the tiny white flowers and the overall fragile nature of the plants. The Slender Heliotrope is the only native Heliotropium in Tennessee, and is distinctive because its flowers are solitary and do not appear in a coiled cyme like the Scorpion's Tail plant.

Photographic Location: Couchville Cedar Glades in Middle Tennessee.

  For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Curtiss' Milkwort (Polygala curtissii)

Photographic Location: AEDC in Manchester TN.
This wildflower is a member of the  Milkwort family (Polygalaceae).

 The open flower heads with mature flowers appearing loose, and the alternate leaves are distinctive features of Curtiss' Milkwort.

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Scarlet Beebalm (Monarda didyma L.)

Photographic Location: Sycamore Ridge Ranch in Middle Tennessee
Scarlet Beebalm is aromatic herb a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is also known by the common names Bergamont, Oswego Tea, and Crimson Beebalm.

The common name Beebalm refers to the use of a resin derived from the plant that may be used for healing and soothing in particularly of bee stings. The common name Oswego Tea refers to the Oswego native Americans living near the present day city of Oswego in upstate New York who taught early white settlers how to make a herbal tea from the plants leaves. The common name Bergamont is derived from its fragrance that is similar to the fragrance of the Bergamont orange. The genus name Monarda is in recognition of Nicolas Monardes, a Spanish physician, who authored an early herbal that introduced Europe to many of the plants from North America. The species name didyma translates from the Latin meaning "in pairs" or "twins" referring to the stamens occurring in pairs.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Narrowleaf White-Topped Aster (Sericocarpus linifolius)

Photographic Location: AEDC in Manchester TN.
The genius name sericocarpus is from the Greek serikos, "silk," and karpos, "fruit,"referring to the dry fruits that are covered with silky hairs. The species name linifolius means "flax-like leaves," referring to the narrow, linear leaves.

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Horned Bladderwort (Utricularia cornuta)

Photographic Location: AEDC in Manchester TN.
Horned bladderwort is a carnivorous plant that may be difficult to see when not in flower, because the stems and threadlike leaves are very inconspicuous. The leaves have small bladders on them that trap very small invertebrates. The bladder opens suddenly when trigger hairs are disturbed, sucking in the prey. This is very rare, only appearing in Coffee county TN. It is endangered in TN.



For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park in Manchester Tennessee

As you know by now, a lot of the wildflower pictures come from our visits to Tennessee State Parks and Natural Areas. This post highlights Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park. Judy and I spent 4 days camping and hiking the trails around this park. The upper trail, which takes you around the fort, was a leisurely 2.3 mile hike. The lower trail is quit a bit more strenuous but gives you great views of the waterfalls.

This is the gathering place which is surrounded by a stone wall.

The Old Stone Fort was built during the Middle Woodland Period, 1,500-2,000 years ago. Native Americans used this area continuously for about 500 years, eventually leaving it abandoned. By the time European settlers arrived, it was unclear of what the area had been used for which resulted in it being misnamed as a fort. In 1966, the state of Tennessee purchased 400 acres of the Chumley estate as the core of what is now Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park.

The Duck River at Manchester which borders Old Stone Fort.

The walls of the Old Stone Fort consist of stone and earthwork, and are on average approximately 4–6 feet high. The walls originally consisted of an inner and outer layer of crudely stacked rocks and slabs with gravel and earthen fill in between. Over the centuries, the earthen fill has spilled over the rock layers, giving the walls their current mound-like appearance.

What looks like a small hill is actually a stone wall that surrounds the "fort"
The park is home to an abundance of activities for guests to enjoy. The main hiking trail follows the wall of Old Stone Fort which was used by the Native Americans as a ceremonial gathering place. The trail threads through dramatic scenery where you can see the original entrance of the fort which was designed to face the exact spot on the horizon where the sun rises during the summer solstice. Visitors can learn about the Old Stone Fort on this hike with twelve interpretive panels as well as enjoying the areas graceful waterfalls.

One of the large falls on the Duck River
The powerful Duck River made the Old Stone Fort's peninsula an attractive site for mills as early as 1823, when Samuel Murray built a rope factory on the Little Duck River. Although the factory burned in 1847, it was followed by W.S. Whitman's paper mill further downstream in 1852. In 1862, Whitman built a powder factory adjacent to his paper mill to supply the Confederacy during the Civil War; it was destroyed by Union troops the following year. In 1879, the Stone Fort Paper Company built a large mill near Big Falls on the Duck River. The mill supplied paper to newspapers throughout the Southeast— including the Nashville Banner and the Atlanta Constitution— until the early 20th century. The mill's foundations are on the bluffs overlooking Big Falls, and can be accessed via the Old Stone Fort Loop Trail.

Judy, Angel and I sitting in the ruins of the Stone Fort Paper Mill near Big Falls at the Old Stone Fort's northwestern section.


Another falls on the Duck River.
The Old Stone Fort attracts history enthusiasts from all over. The park’s museum consists of displays of prehistoric Native American replicas as well as dioramas and photos. The exhibits provide information on the theories regarding the enclosure’s builders, archaeological excavations at the site and the culture of its builders. There is also a small theater for viewing an orientation film and other videos as well as group presentations. The museum also houses the welcome center, park office and gift shop.

For more information, please contact Old Stone Fort State Park directly at 931-723-5073.
 

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis L.)

Photographic Location: Old Stone Fort State Park in Manchester TN.
When I took this picture, I was holding on to a tree branch with one hand, camera in the other leaning out over the duck river! Lucky to get the picture at all.

Buttonbush is an easy-to-recognize bush that grows in water or moist soil. It is easy to identify because of its flowers and fruits. They are usually seen in marshes, and bordering streams, ponds, and lakes. They also grow in wet woods, thickets, and ditches.

Buttonbush flowers are clustered in white "balls," about 1 1/2 inches wide (ping-pong ball size). When the flowers disappear, they leave brown, button-like fruits filled with seeds. Buttonbush blooms from June to August; fruits stay on the plant from September to October.

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

White Avens (Geum canadense Jacq.)

Photographic Location: Old Stone Fort State Park in Manchester Tennessee

This Flower is in the Rose Family (Rosaceae).

White Avens complements any woodland garden as a groundcover or in a mass planting. The leaves resemble those of strawberries. Its evergreen winter foliage also makes it attractive as a potted plant. The seeds attach to dog fur or clothing.

Photographic Location: Old Stone Fort State Park in Manchester Tennessee
For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Photographic Location: Sycamore Ridge Ranch in Middle Tennessee
This wildflower is a member or the Aster Family (Asteraceae).

You can always tell its summer when this wildflower blooms. This cheerful, widespread wildflower is considered an annual to a short-lived perennial across its range. Bright-yellow, 2-3 in. wide, daisy-like flowers with dark centers are its claim-to-fame. They occur singly atop 1-2 ft. stems. The stems and scattered, oval leaves are covered with bristly hairs. Coarse, rough-stemmed plant with daisy-like flower heads made up of showy golden-yellow ray flowers, with disk flowers forming a brown central cone.

This native prairie biennial forms a rosette of leaves the first year, followed by flowers the second year. Black-Eyed Susan can be distinguished from other Rudbeckia spp. by its lanceolate hairy leaves and the long hairs on the stems; most of the leaves occur toward the base of each stem, and never have lobes.


Photographic Location: Old Stone Fort State Park in Middle Tennessee

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Lizard's Tail (Saururus cernuus)


Photographic Location: Old Stone Fort State Park in Tennessee
This wildflower is a member of the Acanthus Family (Acanthaceae).

An upright, hairy perennial, growing to 4 ft. in height. Slender, nodding, solitary spikes of tiny, white flowers occur opposite a leaf. Leaves are lance-shaped to nearly triangular with a cordate base. Many tiny, fragrant, white flowers are on a slender, tapering, stalked spike with a drooping tip.

This is a mostly southern species of shaded marshes and stream margins. The common name and the genus name, from the Greek sauros (lizard) and oura (tail), depict the shape of the drooping flower cluster.


For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hairy Angelica (Angelica venenosa)

Photographic Location: AEDC in Manchester, TN

This wildflower belongs in the Carrot or Parsley Family (Apiaceae).

This plant grows in open oak woods and borders, but especially on dry slopes.  The upper part of the stem and the umbels are densely covered with short, whitish, and velvety hairs.  The lower leaves can be twice or thrice pinnate, and the leaflets are elliptic and thick.  The petioles are sheathing, which is one its major characteristics.  The flowers are snow-white and in umbels without bracts.  Although many years ago Angelica venenosa had been reported to be poisonous, it was probably confused with Cicuta maculata (Water Hemlock).


Photographic Location: AEDC in Manchester, TN
 For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Maryland Meadow Beauty (Rhexia mariana)

Photographic Location: AEDC in Manchester TN.
Maryland Meadow Beauty is a member of the Meadow Beauty family (Melastomaceae), which includes herbs, trees and shrubs, with flowers generally in clusters.

There are about 175 genera and 3,000 species, mostly in tropical regions, particularly South America, but Rhexia is native to the United States and Cuba. 

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Tall Bellflower (Campanulastrum americana)

Photographic Location: Sycamore Ridge Ranch in Middle Tennessee
This wildflower is in the Bellflower Family (Campanulaceae). It has bloomed on my property for 20 years now. This plant is almost 6' tall.
 
In spite of the common name and the genus name, derived from the Latin campana (bell), the flowers of this species are usually flat, not bell-shaped as are many others in this family. Due to this feature, they have renamed this species from Campanula to Campanulastrum. Makes it hard to keep up.
 
Native Americans used the leaves of this plant to make a tea for treating coughs and tuberculosis.
 
For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pencil Flower (Stylosanthes biflora)

Photographic Location: AEDC in Manchester TN.
This flower is in the Bean or Pea family (Fabaceae).

Because it produces relatively few flowers at the same time and it is relatively small in size, Pencil Flower is fairly easy to overlook. It can be distinguished from similar species in the Bean family by the shiny veins on its leaves, stipules with beak-like ciliate tips, and asymmetrical seedpods (a narrow infertile segment followed by a broader fertile segment). There is some variability of this species across its range in regards to the hairiness of its stems, the erectness of its stems, whether flowers are produced individually or in small groups, etc. At the present time, these are regarded as variations of a single polymorphic species.

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Butterfly Pea (Clitoria mariana)

Photographic Location: AEDC in Manchester, TN.
This is a member of the Bean or Pea family (Fabaceae). It is also known as Atlantic Pigeonwings. 

Twining vine, occasionally erect, with large, showy, lavender-pink, pea-like flowers, usually solitary but occasionally up to 3, in the axils of compound leaves.

This plant is often confused with Spurred Butterfly Pea (Centrosema virginianum), which has upside-down flowers, the banner pointing downward, while that of Clitoria stands erect. 


For more information about this wildflower, Click Here

As a footnote, this genus was named after the human female genitals in 1678 by Rumpf, a German-born botanist employed by the Dutch East India Company. There were controversies in the past among botanists regarding the good taste of the naming of the genus, but they didn't prosper and the name Clitoria has survived to this day. You have to watch those frisky botanists!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida)

Photographic Location: AEDC in Manchester Tennessee
This wildflower is a member of the Aster Family (Asteraceae).

Stout stems, 2-4 ft. tall, bear flowerheads having lavender, or rarely white, rays drooping from a large, spiny, cone-shaped center. The ray flowers vary in length and width. Coarse-haired, narrowly lance-shaped leaves are attached to the plant near its base.

I can be hard to distinguish this flower from Prairie Purple Coneflower (E. simulata). One way to tell is the pollen from E. simulata is yellow and the pollen from E. pallida is white.

Photographic Location: AEDC in Manchester, TN


This flower is rare in Tennessee and is endangered in TN.

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Broadleaf Barbara's Buttons (Marshallia trinervia)

Photographic Location: AEDC in Manchester Tennessee
This plant is a member of the Asteraceae (Aster Family). It is yet another flower from my recent trip to AEDC in Manchester, Tennessee.

The origin of the common name "Barbara's Buttons" is unknown. The flower heads do resemble buttons, but botanical references giving this name do not quote the Barbara which the name honors. The reference is possibly to Saint Barbara, though the association is obscure.

This plant is on the threatened species list in Tennessee.

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ragged Fringed Orchid (Platanthera lacera)

Photographic Location: AEDC in Manchester Tennessee
Here is yet another beautiful orchid from my trip to AEDC.

Whitish-green or creamy-yellow flowers with highly-lacerated, 3-parted lip petals are in spike-like clusters.

This orchid is one of the more common and widespread members of the genus. In the Nova Scotia area this species crosses freely with the Greater Purple Fringed Orchid (Platanthera grandiflora). At least 10 other greenish-flowered species occur in the East, but none with the lip so fringed. Lacera means torn referring to the fringed lip.
 

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Grass Pink Orchid (Calopogon tuberosus)

Photographic Location: AEDC in Manchester Tennessee
I normally don't post more than once a day. But, since I found so many wildflowers at AEDC that are new to me, I thought a second posting was called for.

Grass Pink is a member of the Orchid Family (Orchidaceae). Calopogon comes from the Greek words meaning beautiful beard. The prominent hairs, the beard, on the lip identify it. This species is a plant of moist areas and is most abundant in pineland bogs. It is known as grass pink because of the long, narrow, grass-like leaves. It grows 2 1/2–4 feet tall, with 2 or more flowers arranged along the stem. The blossoms are rose-pink to pale orchid and are about 2 inches across.

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.


Rose Pogonia Orchid (Pogonia ophioglossoides)

Photographic Location: AEDC in Manchester Tennessee
On the advice of my friend, Dennis Horn, I took a trip to Arnold Engineering and Development Center (AEDC). Dennis is one of the authors and photographers for the publication Wildflowers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians. I have a very tattered copy that I use almost every day and is on my suggested publications list.

I was indeed lucky to meet Dennis and Max Medley (Co-author of The Atlas of Vascular Plants in Kentucky) for a full day of wildflower hunting. Two really great guys with more knowledge about wildflowers than I will ever know. Thanks guys for letting me tag along. I really learned a lot.

This is but one of the many flowers we saw. I especially like orchids and we saw and photographed several.

The Rose Pogonia Orchid is a member of the Orchid Family (Orchidaceae). It usually has only 1 flower on an erect, slender stem. It is rose or pink-colored and, unlike most orchids, has a nice fragrance. The lower lip is densely bearded near the throat with white to yellow bristles. There is 1 leaf near the middle of the stem, 4 inches long or less and 1 1/4 inches wide.

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

 

Friday, June 12, 2015

American Water Willow (Justicia americana)

Photographic Location: Longhunter State Park Volunteer Trail

American water willow is in the Acanthaceae (Acanthus) family. This family contains about 2,500 species worldwide that range from herbs to shrubs and small trees.

American water-willow blooms throughout the summer and colonizes by underground stems. It will grow in moist soil or submerged in a few feet of water. Larval food plant for the Texan Crescentspot butterfly. Good for wetland gardens and habitat. 

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Narrowleaf Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium)

Photographic Location: Couchville Cedar Glades State Natural Area

Medicinally, the leaves of many mountain mints are used in poultices to treat headaches, and as a tea to treat fevers, colds, and coughs. Many hikers and backpackers know that a quick way to make a refreshing and calming tea is to place the leaves in hot water and let them steep for a few minutes before drinking.

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)

Photographic Location: Wilson County in Middle Tennessee

Here in Tennessee the wildflowers don't just grow on the ground. We have lots of trees that also provide us with beautiful wildflowers. 

The Catalpa tree is also known as the Catawba tree. Northern Catalpa is the northernmost New World example of its tropical family and is hardier than Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides), which blooms later and has slightly smaller flowers and narrower, thinner-walled capsules. Both are called Cigartree and Indian-bean because of the distinctive fruit.

The Catalpa Sphinx is a common hawk or sphinx moth, but it is the caterpillar stage, that is most often encountered and best known.   The caterpillars, commonly called catalpa worms or "catawba" worms, feed on leaves of catalpa and often completely strip trees of foliage.  While the catalpa worm is well known as a tree pest, it may be as well or better known to some for its attractiveness to fish.   The caterpillars have long been valued for fish bait, and references to their collection by fishermen date back at least to the 1870's when the species was first described.  I had a Catalpa tree in my yard at my first house. I can attest to the effectiveness of the catalpa worm on catching fish!

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Tennessee Coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis)


Photographic Location: Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area

 Now is a great time of the year in the Cedar Glades. A lot of wildflowers that are endemic to this area are blooming now. One of them is the Tennessee Coneflower. Coming back from the brink of extinction, this very rare flower is now in full bloom in the cedar glades.

A member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae), Echinacea tennesseensis is a perennial herb with a long, fusiform (i.e., thickened toward the middle and tapered towards either end), blackened root. In late summer, the species bears showy purple flower heads on one to many hairy branches. Linear to lance shaped leaves up to 8 inches long and 0.6 inches wide arise from the base of E. tennesseensis and are beset with coarse hairs, especially along the margins. The ray flowers (i.e., petals surrounding the darker purple flowers of the central disc) are pink to purple and spread horizontally or arch slightly forward from the disc to a length of  0.8–1.8 in.

Photographic Location: Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area
 For more information about this wildflower and its return from almost extinction, Click Here.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Maroon Carolina Milkvine (Matelea carolinensis)

Photographic Location: Cedars of Lebanon State Park

This is a member of the Milkweed Family (Asclepiadaceae Family). It is also known as Spinypod. It is very abundant in Cedars of Lebanon State Park right now. I just love the rich, beautiful maroon color.

As with most milkweeds, if you cut the stem, it will "bleed" a white milky sap. You can barely see this in the very bottom of the top picture.
 
Photographic Location: Cedars of Lebanon State Park
For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Glade Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis)

Photographic Location: Sycamore Ridge Ranch in Middle Tennessee
This wildflower is also referred to as Fringeleaf Wild Petunia. It is abundant here in middle Tennessee. For a similar species, Smooth Ruellia (Ruellia strepens), Click Here.

For more information about this plant, Click Here.

Smooth Ruellia (Ruellia strepens)

Photographic Location: Sycamore Ridge Ranch in Middle Tennessee
This is another one of the Wild Petunia Family (Ruellia Family). It differs from the Glade Wild Petunia in that the flower does not appear at the end of the stalk, but rather in the middle of the stalk. This is a very frequent flower here in middle Tennessee.

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Largeleaf Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum macrophyllum)

Photographic Location: Short Springs State Natural Area
    



Here is another wildflower from Short Springs State Natural Area. This area is known for its spring wildflowers but it also has many more varieties that bloom through out the summer and fall months.

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.

As an added bonus, Short Springs has a couple of beautiful waterfalls for you enjoyment.

Machine Falls at Short Springs State Natural Area

Monday, June 1, 2015

Moth Mullian (Verbascum blattaria)

Photographic Location: Wilson County Tennessee
It has been several years since I have revisited this beautiful wildflower. For some reason, the growing conditions must have been perfect for this flower this year. I have it on my farm for the first time in several years! It seems to be every where in Wilson County Tennessee, especially up and down I-40.
 

Photographic Location: Wilson County Tennessee

 Slender biennial, 2-4' tall; stem and leaves basically smooth, but with glandular hairs in the inflorescence. Leaves: Flat basal rosette; alternate stem leaves are lanceolate, 3-4" long, coarsely toothed. 

Flowers: Yellow or white (but not on the same plant), about 1.2" wide, nearly regular, 5-lobed; 5 fertile stamens with purple, woolly filaments; calyx with 5 narrow lobes; loosely distributed on pedicels, 0.3-0.6" long; borne in a terminal, generally unbranched raceme.

Bloom time: May - June.

Where Found: introduced from Eurasia. Disturbed sites. Naturalized and widespread across the U.S. and TN. Frequent.

Notes: The flower is said to resemble a moth, the stamens and stye mimicking the insect's antennae and tongue. Mulleins are not as generous with their pollen as other plants. The long hairs and knobs on the stamens give insects the impression of masses of pollen, when in reality, there is only a small amount. The strategy attracts pollinators without the flower having to produce large amounts of pollen. Mulleins have a large rosette of leaves at the end of the first year, followed the second year by a prominent flowering stalk with alternate leaves and a terminal raceme of flowers.


For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.


Friday, May 29, 2015

Fairy Wand (Chamaelirium luteum)

Photographic Location: Short Springs State Natural Area

Another wildflower from our day trip to Short Springs State Natural Area

This flower is in the Lily Family (Liliaceae). It is also known as Devil's Bit, which relates that the Devil bit off the end of the root for spite, and if it were not for the Devil, the plant would be of some use to humans.

For more information about this wildflower, Click Here.