The List for October

20140728-DSC_0256eastern tiger swallowtail (male) and bumblebee on buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) in late July, banks of the Potomac River in view of the American Legion Bridge

Plants first seen blooming in the month of Octboer:

  • panicled aster
  • black-eyed Susan
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • small wood sunflower
  • wild marjoram (alien)

And since I don’t expect to find anything new in November (unless I find witch hazel; I know it’s out there), the 2014 totals are:

  • 276 native species in 77 families
  • 75 alien species in 30 families

for a grand total of 351 species in 81 families, along the Potomac River and C&O Canal from Violette’s Lock south to the American Legion Bridge, and the last mile of Cabin John Creek.  Oh, and that’s not including the 5 asters, 5 violets, 7 grasses, and a few others that I was never able to narrow down to the species level.

Not too shabby.

ps – found witch hazel (fotd yesterday), but not in the Potomac gorge area.


bumblebee crashing honeybee’s party on silver-rod

Flower of the Day: Buttonbush

Cephalanthus occidentalis; Rubiaceae (madder family)


The flower show is really slowing now.  I’m lucky to see one new thing every three days.  Was quite happy to have stumbled upon this shrub in an area I don’t like exploring (mostly weedy, lots of invasives, lots of poison ivy).

Buttonbush grows in wetalnds across eastern North America and some parts of the West. It can reach 12 feet in height, has long-lasting blossoms, and seeds that are a valuable food source for wildlife.

Once again I’m left to wonder why we don’t see more interesting native plants in cultivation.