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)



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.


No Flower of the Day today.  Out of town and trying not to spend too much time on the computer.  I woke up last night thinking that I mis-identified a plant; the picture I posted last Wednesday might be swamp buttercup, not spring avens.

Obsessed much?

Theme and Variations: Cresses

So far this year I’ve identified 48 species of flowering plants in 21 families.  Currently, the family with the most species is the Brassicaceae (mustard).  It will soon be overtaken by the rose and pea families, and eventually the aster family  (last year, one out of five species I identified was in the aster family).  But for now the brassicas rule.

Here are some of the cresses.  Apologies that most of the pictures are not so clean.  Sometimes I’m in too much of a hurry and just take snapshots of plants to prove that I saw them.

lyre-leaved rock cress (Arabis lyrata):

lyre-leaved rock-cress lyre-leaved rock-cress closeup

smooth rock cress (Arabis laevigata):

smooth rock-cress

Pennsylvania bittercress (Cardamine pensylvanica):

mystery cress

hoary bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta), an alien and common lawn weed:


field pennycress, aka peppergrass (Thlaspi arvensi), another alien (the characteristic upper stems leaves not yet open when I took this photo):

field pennycress


Flower of the Day: Short-Spurred Corydalis

Corydalis flavula; Papaveraceae (poppy family)

This itty-bitty thing is responsible for getting me into photography, and macro-photography in particular.  Last year, try as I might, I could not get a good clean picture of the flower with the iphone camera.  I started carrying a 10x hand lens because of this plant.  I went slightly nuts trying to confirm that it was C. flavula and not one of the other similar species.

Now I have a real camera, an awesome macro lens, a vague idea how to use them, and another two to three weeks to get better pictures.

This shot was taken with the stock Nikon D3200 lens:

short-spurred corydalis

The rest were taken with the Sigma 105mm lens.  The next picture shows the short spur (to the left of where the flower attaches to the stem) and crest that are characteristic of this species.

short-spurred corydalis 3  (f/29; 1/160s; ISO 1600)

And here are a few more pictures just because I love this plant.

20140414-DSC_0201 (f/29; 1/200s; ISO 1600)

20140414-DSC_0208 (f/29; 1/160s; ISO 1600)

20140414-DSC_0215 (f/16; 1/200s; ISO 1600)