Breezy Monday Morning

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) is just starting to bloom along the river

It’s ten o’clock Monday morning, and although the temperature is only about 82 °F on the Billy Goat B trail, I’m pouring sweat from the high humidity.

Verbena urticifolia (white vervain) deigned to hold still for a split second

 

 

 

 

Fortunately, there’s a nice breeze blowing to keep me cool.

Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (narrow-leaved mountain mint) starting to open

 

 

 

 

 

Hiker Elizabeth with her sixteen pound daypack loves it.

Ruellia caroliniensis (hairy wild petunia) peeking through some Chasmanthium latifolium (woodoats)

 

 

 

 

 

Photographer Elizabeth, trying to get nice flower pics, is deeply annoyed.

Circaea lutetiana (enchanter’s nightshade)

 

 

 

 

 

Seemed like I couldn’t get good pictures of anything. I had gone to shoot enchanter’s nightshade, a medium-sized, shade-loving forb with a wispy stem and tiny flowers, easily moved by the breeze.

 

 

 

The flower has an unusual structure, with only two petals, so deeply cleft that they appear to be four, two sepals, two stamens, one style, and an inferior ovary.

an unusually colorful fleabane (probably Erigeron annuus)

 

Other plants currently blooming include:

  • fringed loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata)
  • white avens (Geum canadense)
  • trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans)
  • honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis)
  • bottlebrush grass (Elymus hystrix)
  • water willow (Justicia americana)
  • lizard’s tail (Saururus cernuus)
  • blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium)
  • common cattail (Typha latifolia)
  • and even a few goldenrod! (Solidago species)

Monotropa uniflora (ghost pipes) turn fully upward towards the end of blooming

5 thoughts on “Breezy Monday Morning

  1. Can you point me in the direction of the enchanter’s nightshade? I went out looking for it today along Billy Goat B — hiked the full length plus various side trails and also the woods around Carderock — no luck. I did find the swamp full of lizard’s tail, though, which made me happy! That’s a great sight to see.

    • Hi, LW – it’s on the east side of the little stream that has to be forded. There were a few plants almost on the stream bank, at the start of the old trail that’s been closed. A few more are on the left side (if you’re walking downstream) going up the little slope.
      The plants are about two feet tall, but the flowers are minute and easy to miss.

      Glad you found the lizard’s tail! They are impressive en masse.

      • Thanks! Did you see the spotted St. John’s wort and the starry campion? (Also white campion, but that doesn’t count. So many introduced species blooming right now!). Warning to you and other wildflower hunters: watch out for chiggers! Woe is me.

    • I saw one starry campion plant on BG B, not far from the phacelia patch we discussed. If you start at the phacelia and walk down the trail toward the river, it’s directly on the left edge of the trail a little before you make the turn to go east. If it’s still blooming, it will be easy to see because you basically brush it on the way by.

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