Newfoundland: A Few More Wildflowers

And, back to Newfoundland, with a few more wildflowers I found in various locations,

Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea; Asteraceae) is found in Canada, New England, the northern Mid-Atlantic, the upper Mid-West, and the mountainous West; in Maryland it’s only in a few scattered locations.

 

 

Oyster plant (Mertensia maritima; Boraginaceae) is found on beaches in northern North America and parts of Europe. I found it in Iceland last summer and specifically went looking for it when driving past Birchy Cove. It’s closely related to our showy native Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica).

Roundleaf sundew (Drosera rotundifolia; Droseraceae) is a carnivorous plant with circumboreal distribution; in the US it’s found in New England, the Appalachians, the upper Mid-West, scattered locations in the West, Canada and Greenland. In Maryland it’s found in Garret County and parts of the Coastal Plain. Look for it in sunny wetlands (bogs, fens, and so on).

Gall-of-the-earth (Prenanthes trifoliata, formerly Nabalus trifoliatus or N. trifoliolatus; Asteraceae) is found in a variety of dry habitats in eastern Canada, New England, and south through the Appalachians. It’s endangered in Ohio, and though not on the RTE list in Maryland, is only known in Talbot County. Apparently it (and/or other Prenanthes species) was used in folk medicine, and has an exceedingly bitter taste, hence the common name.

Scots lovage (Ligusticum scoticum; Apiaceae) grows in rocky areas along the coasts of northern North America and Europe. It’s endangered in Connecticut and New York and special concern in Rhode Island. Supposdely it’s edible, tasting like lovage, which is to say like really strong celery.

Striped or creeping toadflax (Linaria repens; Plantaginaceae) is an alien found in only a few spots in North America. It’s native to Europe, and closely related to the more commonly occurring alien weed known as butter-and-eggs (L. vulgaris).

 


I spotted this Myosotis species (Boraginaceae) and photographed it from a great distance; there was no way to get close enough for a better picture or identification. The forget-me-nots are notoriously difficult to identify, as are their close relatives the phacelias, about which I’ve complained many times in this blog. But that borage blue is a beacon.

Yellow pond lily (Nuphar variegata, sometimes N. lutea ssp. variegata; Nymphaeaceae) is widespread in ponds across the northern US and Canada; it’s endangered in Ohio. The USDA PLANTS Database shows it present in Maryland but the Maryland Biodiversity Project has no records for it. The closely related spatterdock (N. advena) is found all over Maryland, though, including water pockets in cliffs in the Potomac Gorge.

In the same family is fragrant water lily, Nymphaea odorata. As you can see from the picture, I found both species growing together in one of the inunmerable ponds in the center of the Bonavista peninsula. Frgrant water lily can be found in almost every state and province of the US and Canada.

American burnet (Sanguisorba canadensis; Rosaceae) is native to the eastern US and Canada as well as the Pacific Northwest; sadly, it’s threatened or endangered in nine states, including Maryland. It’s an eye-catching plant with its tall, fluffy spikes of flowers. Look for it growing in bogs and other wet areas (including roadsides).


Roseroot (Rhodioloa rosea, formerly Sedum rosea; Crassulaceae) is a subarctic plant found in a few parts of northern North America as well as in Iceland and Europe. I saw this one specimen flowering near Spillar’s Cove and am really kicking myself for not taking the time to get better pictures.

Thick

Plants in the Crassulaceae, or stonecrop family, are characterized in part by succulent leaves (crassus means “thick” in Latin).  About 1,400 species can be found throughout the northern hemisphere and in southern Africa. In Iceland there are five species (possibly a few more). I found three.

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Rhodiola rosea
roseroot stonecrop
Icelandic: burnirót
seen at Dynjandi

 

This is a real showstopper of a plant, growing up to a foot tall, with thick, pale leaves contrasting a tight cluster of bright yellow flowers. Although widespread in Iceland, it cannot withstand grazing by sheep, so it’s found only in areas sheep can’t reach. I only saw one specimen, growing at the base of a waterfall.

Roseroot stonecrop is native to North America, from Hudson Bay east into Greenland, as well as Fennoscandia and Russia. In the US it can be found in a few New England counties and in the mountains of North Carolina. There are about 50 species of Rhodiola worldwide; three can be found n the US, but none in Maryland.

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Sedum villosum
hairy stonecrop, purple stonecrop
Icelandic: flagahnoðri
seen at Mt. Esja and Sólheimajökull

 

This species is native to Iceland, where it’s widely distributed, as well as Greenland, Canada, and Fennoscandia. It’s easily distinguished from the other Icelandic Sedum species by the pink flowers (the other species have yellow flowers). This picture doesn’t give a good sense of scale, but this is a belly flower. Those rocks next to the plant are thumbnail-size.

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Sedum annuum
annual stonecrop
Icelandic: skriðuhnoðri
seen at Ísafjorður and Sólheimajökull

This species is not seen in the US or Canada, but is found in Greenland, Jan Mayen, and Fennoscandia. In Iceland it grows in the warmer areas in the south and east of the country, as well as some parts of the Westfjords, the Snæfellsnes peninsula, and the general area around Akureyri. Seen here, on black volcanic rubble at the snout end of a glacier, it’s quite striking.

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Neither of these Sedum species is found in Maryland; for similar plants you can look to Allegheny stonecrop and wild stonecrop. The latter is one of my all time favorites, so I’ll re-post a picture:

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I don’t find them crass at all.

Once Again Sans Camera

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On a hazy September morning I took the kayak out onto the river at Old Angler’s Inn; the point was to enjoy the paddling and not hunt for wildflowers, for a change.  But when finished and heading back to the truck, I decided to do something I’ve been wanting to do for, oh, about 35 years, and put the kayak into the canal, and from there paddled upstream to Widewater.  (There are several places on the C&O called that, but this is the one opposite the Billy Goat A trail, just downstream from Great Falls.)

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Once there, I had a lovely time exploring the rock formations on the far side, and the little islets in the middle of the lake.  And wouldn’t you know it, something caught my eye. From a distance it looked a lot like the masses of white Eupatoriums that were flowering, except shorter and pinker.  So I rowed over and thought “huh, a sedum.”  I gingerly unwrapped the iPhone and took a few quick snapshots.

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It’s possibly a garden escapee – a cultivar of Hylotelephium telephium, perhaps.  But from what I could see in the pictures, I believe it to be our native Allegheny stonecrop, Hylotelephium telephioides.

The Allegheny stonecrop is found scattered across the east coast from Georgia to New York and across the upper Midwest (and also Louisiana).  As you can see, it’s a sun-loving and rock-loving plant, with light green, succulent foliage and masses of pink to white flowers.  It’s threatened in Indiana and Kentucky, endangered in New York, and rare in Pennsylvania.

The several species in the genus Hylotelephium were once placed in the genus Sedum, by the way.

I spent way too many minutes trying to translate Hylotelephium.  The root hylo means “of the woods”.  I could find nothing about telephium other than it’s an ancient Greek name for a plant.  The root oides means “resembling”.  So I suppose this species name could be translated as “Telephium of the woods that looks like Telephium”.  I really wish I’d studied Latin in school.

Flower of the Day: Wild Stonecrop

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aka woodland stonecrop
Sedum ternatum
Crassulaceae

 

 

 

I’ve written about this plant before, but it’s a favorite and blooming now.  Wild stonecrop is native to Eastern US woodlands.  It likes to sprawl across rocks where there is a little bit of soil or leaf mould, and stands no more than eight inches tall.

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The inflorescence typically has about a dozen flowers on three branches.

This flower is about 1/4 inch across, and consists of four green sepals, four white petals, eight stamens with purplish anthers, and four pistils.

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You can get a sense of scale from this picture (note the fallen leaf at the lower right).

 

 

 

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This particular stand is under a tree alongside a very small stream near the base of a large rock formation.  The sun was just starting to peek over the rocks as I was taking these pictures.

 

I spent an hour there, in that one location.  Felt like 15 minutes.
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What’s Green Now? Wild Stonecrop

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Sedum ternatum; Crassulaceae

This very low-growing plant is actually a succulent (meaning it has fleshy leaves), a trait that’s found in plants (like cacti) growing in arid conditions. Succulent plants are not too common in the humid environment of the mid-Atlantic states.  And because the plant engages in Crassula Acid Metabolism (CAM), it’s quite drought resistant.

I’ve found two patches of wild stonecrop in the Great Falls – Carderock area; one of those patches is at the base of a tree, in deep shade, on a rocky slope that’s cleft by a seasonal streamlet.  I guess that while there’s water nearby, the area the stonecrop is growing in probably has very shallow and somewhat dry soil.  Talk about micro-habitats!

Wild stonecrop should start blooming around here in early May; here’s what it will look like:20140505-DSC_0060: