Confession; Summer Bounty

Eutrochium species (purple flowers) and Eupatorium species (buds on right), both on the canal’s edge where I can’t get close enough to determine which species

I hate to admit it, but I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately. I can’t seem to take pictures of anything worth posting and writing about. Possibly my head is still stuck in the Faroe Islands. My heart is, too.

Hibiscus laevis standing in the floodwaters

I’ve been out for a few short hikes this past week, though. Flooding on the Potomac has prevented me from checking the bedrock terraces, or from taking close-up pictures of halberd-leaved rose mallow (Hibiscus laevis), a perennial favorite that’s blooming now, but is also standing in water. Which won’t hurt it, by the way – that’s its habitat. Just makes it hard for me to shoot.

Swamp rosemallow (Malvaceae)

Also blooming, and a little harder to find in the Potomac Gorge, is crimson-eyed rosemallow, aka swamp rosemallow (Hibiscus moscheutos). I’ve seen the plants on that terrace and am itching to get back there. This photo was taken at lock 8 on the C&O Canal. The whole embankment where it’s growing has been slashed back, maybe in an attempt to take care of the invasive aliens, but sadly they destroyed some nice natives in the process, including a stand of wingstem that I liked to shoot every year because of easy access. But at least the rosemallow survived.

Wild potato vine (Convolvulaceae); similar flower to the rosemallow at first glance, but entirely different family

Elsewhere on the Potomac’s banks and nearby, I’ve seen:

Heteranthera dubia growing in a rain- and flood-fed pool on a bedrock terrace

Virginia water horehound (Lycopus virginicus)
white vervain (Verbena urticifolia)
goldenrods (Solidago species)
Carolina horsenettle (Solanum carolinense)
hairy wild petunia (Ruellia caroliniensis)
winged sumac (Rhus copallinum)
fogfruit (Phyla lanceolata)
sweet joe-pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum var. purpureum)
thin leaved-sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus)
various St. Johnsworts (Hypericum species)
wild potato vine (Ipomoea pandurata)
water willow (Justicia americana)

Lindernia dubia, a mudflat ephemeral

grassleaf mudplantain (Heteranthera dubia)
winged monkeyflower (Mimulus alatus)
Allegheny monkeyflower (Mimulus ringens)
false pimpernel (Lindernia dubia)
large-flowered leafcup (Smallanthus [really] uvedalia)
trumpetcreeper (Campsis radicans)
swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Virginia dayflower (Commelina virginica).

Helianthus decapetalus

Not bad for the height of summer! More on that last plant soon.