Flowers of the Day: the Chickweeds

To gardeners, a weed is a plant growing where it isn’t wanted.  Chickweed is certainly a weed to anyone who tends lawn or garden, but what is it to the wildflower enthusiast?  Depends on which chickweed you mean. There are two alien invasive chickweeds, common chickweed (Stellaria media) and mouse-ear chickweed (Cerastium fontanun).

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But there are two native chickweeds that are a joy to see on the trail.  Here’s field chickweed (Cerastium arvense)

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and here’s star chickweed (Stellaria pubera20140417-DSC_0043 20140417-DSC_0041 Chickweeds are in the Caryophyllaceae (pinks family).

Flowers of the Day: Trees and Shrubs

Not all wildflowers are herbaceous; sometimes you need to look up and out.

redbud Cercis canadensis; Fabaceae (pea family)

redbud 2

 

sassafras Sassafras albidum; Lauraceae (laurel family)

sassafras

 

flowering dogwood Cornus florida; Cornaceae (dogwood family)

flowering dogwood

Today, in search of American bladdernut, a tree that I didn’t even know existed until I ran into it (almost literally) last spring.