Category Archives: floral

Fire Pink

firepink 1 2018

Fire Pink is another great wildflower that grows here in the Madison Indiana area. The red petals of the Fire Pink are one of the most striking and vivid colors in nature.

According to Wikipedia…
Silene virginica, the fire pink, is a wildflower in the pink family, Caryophyllaceae. It is known for its distinct brilliant red flowers. Each flower is approximately five centimeters in diameter and composed of five notched, brilliant red petals which extend into a long tube. It is a small (20–80 cm tall), short-lived perennial (2–3 years), with lance shaped leaves. Its stems, and the bases of the flowers, are covered in short sticky hairs. Fire pink begins blooming in late spring and continuing throughout the summer. It is sometimes grown in wildflower, shade, and rock gardens

Fire pink grows in open woods and rocky deciduous slopes in eastern North America, ranging as far north as extreme southern Ontario. It is protected as a state endangered species in Wisconsin and Florida, and as a state threatened species in Michigan.

Fire pink’s principal pollinator is the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris), which is attracted by the flowers bright red petals and sugary nectar

If you are looking to view this great flower try driving county roads on the eastern side of Jefferson County. Look for dry rocky slopes. Splinter Ridge FWA is one the better areas to see this beautiful wildflower.

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Virginia Bluebells

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One of my favorite native wildflowers that grow here in the Madison Indiana area. The blue of a fresh blooming bluebell is one of the most beautifully striking colors in nature and one that must be seen close up. Adding in the lovely contrasting purple colors make this an extremely lovely sight to behold.

So if you get a chance try hiking thru some of the amazing gorges and hillsdies that line the Ohio River here in Southern Indiana and take a closer look at this little gem !!

Smoky Mountain Iris

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I thought I might share another image from my recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This time we will meet the Dwarf Crested Iris another one my favorite wildflowers that grace the mountains of Tennessee.

Because of how lazy I can be I will just give you the info that I pulled off of Wikipedia it’s so much easier lol !!!

Iris cristata (also known as dwarf crested iris and crested iris) is a species in the genus Iris, it is also in the subgenus of Limniris. It is a rhizomatous perennial plant, endemic to the eastern United States. It has pale lavender flowers with a white patch and orange or yellow crest. It is a close relative to Iris lacustris (Dwarf lake iris), the only other crested iris native to North America. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in temperate regions.

It has slender, greenish, or whitish yellow rhizomes. They are shallow rooted. They spread by sending out long stolons from multiple branches. They can have up to 2-8 cord-like branches.[12] The branches can be 20–30 cm (8–12 in) long and 1-2mm wide. Under the rhizomes are fleshy-like roots. The branches are brown. The creeping habit can create large masses of plants over time.

It has 6-8 basal leaves, which are divided onto 2-3 proximal (close to centre) leaves and 4-5 distal (away from centre) leaves. The proximal leaves are falcate (sickle-shaped), light brown with a darker brown central mid-rib, and the distal leaves are ensiform (sword-like), green or yellowish green, with a few visible veins. They can grow up to between 7.5–15 cm (3–6 in) long and 1-2.5 cm wide. They elongate after flowering, growing up to 15–40 cm (6–16 in) long. The elongated leaves hide any seed pods produced later.

It has short stems, (almost stemless), growing up to between 2.5–4.5 cm (1–2 in) tall. The pedicel or stem, is the same length to the ovary.

It has an overall height with stem and flower reaching 7–10 cm (3–4 in) tall.

It has 2-3 cauline (on the stem), spathes (leaves of the flower bud), which are green, falcate (sickle-shaped) slightly inflated, unequal (outer leaves are shorter than the inner leaves) and 2–6 cm (1–2 in) long.

The spathes bear 1 or 2 flowers, in Spring, or early Summer, between April to May. They only flower for a short time.

The fragrant, flowers are 3–5 cm (1–2 in) in diameter, and come in shades of blue, from lavender, to lilac,to pale blue, and purple. There are occasionally white forms, and very rarely pink forms.

It has 2 pairs of petals, 3 large sepals (outer petals), known as the ‘falls’ and 3 inner, smaller petals (or tepals, known as the ‘standards’. The spreading falls are 3–6 cm (1–2 in) long and 1.5-2.5 cm wide. They have a central white signal patch, which is surrounded by a purple (or dark blue,[35]) ring, with 3 parallel orange or yellow crests (or ridges). The fall tapers towards the claw (close to the stem). The standards are erect,[26] oblanceolate and 3–4 cm (1–2 in) long and 1–2 cm wide (narrower and shorter than the falls).

It has a filiform (thread-like), perianth tube that is 4–8 cm (2–3 in) long. This large flower tube lifts the flower above ground level.

It has a triangular, 0.6–1 cm long ovary, an oblong stigma (half the size of the falls, and 1.5 cm long, triangular crested, style branch.

After the iris has flowered, it produces an ovoid seed capsule. The capsule is 1–2 cm long, with ridged angles and triangular in cross-section. Inside the capsule, are ellipsoid, yellowish-brown seeds that are 3.2–3.5 mm across and have a white appendage that spirally wraps around the seed.

It is pronounced as (Iris) EYE-ris (cristata) kris-TAH-tah.

It has common names of dwarf crested iris,[34][40][41] or crested iris, and lady’s calamus.

It is known as krypiris in Swedish.

The Latin specific epithet cristata is derived from ‘crista’ meaning crested or with tassel-like tips. This refers to the golden yellow crest on the sepal of the iris.

In the 1750s, the American Quaker botanist, John Bartram (1699-1777) introduced Iris crisatata to England via his correspondence friend, Mr Peter Collinson. He had sent several specimen plants across the Atlantic to him. It has been in European culture in since 1766.

It was first published and described by William Aiton in Hortus Kewensis (Hort. Kew.) Volume 1, page70 in 1789.

It was later published in Botanical Magazine (t412) in 1798, then in ‘Addisonia’ Volume 9, Issue 4 on page 63 in December 1924 with a coloured illustration,[36] as well as in the ‘Journal of the RHS’ Volume 88 in 1963.

It was verified by United States Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Service on 11 April 2000, then updated on 1 December 2004.

Iris cristata is an accepted name by the RHS.

It is found in North eastern U.S.A., within the states of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

In North-Central U.S.A., within the states of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

In South eastern U.S.A., within the states of Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia,

The range is south of where the Wisconsinan glaciation spread about 11,000 years ago.

Habitat
It grows in calcareous soils, in oak woodlands (or forests), on rocky hillsides, in ravines, on mountain ledges (and bluffs), and along streams.

Wow was that a mouthful !!!! Ok I will stop here enjoy the pic and I hope you didn’t read all of that info !!

First Wildflowers of the Year

Here are few wildflower shots from Clifty Falls State Park this spring, if you want to call it spring. This year has seen one of the worst blooms that I can remember rain, cold and snow have made it miserable and as of now I see no let up in sight.

Hopefully within the next couple weeks things will turn around and maybe I can get some quality photos of the beautiful wildflowers that our area has to offer.

The Madison Indiana area has a multitude or great spots to view wildflowers. Clifty Falls State Park, Splinter Ridge and Big Oaks NWR are just but a few of the great places to find the many diverse specimens of wildflowers that the Midwest has to offer.

Common Buckeye

common buckeye 2 2017

Thought I would share another great butterfly from southern Indiana, the Common Buckeye, photographed at Big Oaks NWR near Madison Indiana. Maybe the most beautiful butterfly that inhabits our area and certainly one of my favorite.

According to Wikipedia….

Junonia coenia, the common buckeye or buckeye, is a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. It is found in southern Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia and all parts of the United States except the northwest, and is especially common in the south, the California coast, and throughout Central America ,Colombia & India .The subspecies Junonia coenia bergi is endemic to the island of Bermuda.

Its habitat is open areas with low vegetation and some bare ground. This species and its relatives were placed formerly in the genus Precis.

The bold pattern of eyespots and white bars on the upper wing surface is distinctive in much of its range, though compare related species in the same genus. These are mangrove buckeye (Junonia evarete) and tropical buckeye (Junonia genoveva), formerly considered one species, and the smoky buckeye (Junonia evarete). The eyespots likely serve to startle or distract predators, especially young birds. The species has many flights throughout the year, with mostly northward migrations for the summer. Much of the northern United States is only colonized in the fall from southern populations. Some of the later broods move southwards in the fall. Common buckeyes exhibit seasonal polyphenism, the summer version of the butterfly has light yellowish ventral wings and is called “linea”. The fall morph has pink ventral wings, and is called the “rosa” morph.

Adults feed on nectar and also take fluids from mud and damp sand. Males perch on bare ground or low plants, occasionally patrolling in search of females, but they are not territorial. The female lays eggs singly on buds or the upper side of leaves. The caterpillars are solitary and feed on the foliage, flowers, and fruits of the host plant. A variety of (typically) herbaceous plants are used, including especially plants in the snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae). These include snapdragon (Antirrhinum), toadflax (Linaria), and Gerardia. Caterpillars also feed on plants of the plantain family, such as Plantago; and the Acanthus family including ruellia (Ruellia nodiflora). Larvae feed singly. Adults and some larvae overwinter in southern areas. The pupa may not have a resting phase (diapause), as in many other butterflies.

Well that’s the description of this great butterfly hope you enjoyed the info and image, thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

Wildflowers

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This slideshow is an example of just a few of the many wildflowers that I captured this year here in Jefferson County Indiana. They were all photographed in Clifty Falls State Park earlier this spring.

Some of the best wildflower displays I have ever witnessed came from our own backyard and if giving a chance you should get out and experience the wonderful natural diversity that this area has to offer.

Clifty Falls State Park, Splinter Ridge FWA and Big Oaks NWR are just a few places to go and view the beautiful display of wildflowers that inhabit our home.

Squirrel Corn | Clifty Falls Wildflowers

Here is another example of a really cool little wildflower that grows at Clifty Falls State Park, and it is Squirrel Corn, very unique structure in this little gem and it makes for some really great photography.

According to the Kentucky Native Plant Association..

The foliage of this early spring wildflower is easily mistaken with the foliage of its close cousin, Dutchman’s Breeches (D. cucullaria). The easiest way to tell the plants apart is via the flowers, but the leaves of squirrel corn are typically shorter and there is one compound leaf per flowering stem compared to Dutchman’s breeches which has longer leaves and there are typically two leaves per flowering stem.  In addition, squirrel corn leaves have a tendency to have a more “open” appearance.  Like many members of the fumitory family, these plants are highly toxic and make for good garden plants because mammals, even deer, do not like to graze on them.  The leaves appear early in the growing season and completely disappear by mid-May but they can form dense colonies when established in the garden.  The plants are typically about 6″ tall and squirrel corn gets its common name from the underground food storage structures that look like corn kernels.  The flowers are quite distinctive and look like small hearts and the plant is named Dicentra which refers to the two spurs on the flowers and canadensis means from Canada.

This plant is easy to grow in the garden and it is one of those species that must be inter-planted with ferns or later blooming species because it is so ephemeral in nature.  Squirrel corn had great significance as a Love Charm to the Mennominee Indians and a young man would throw the flowers to his intended love or chew the roots which gave a perfumed smell in the face of the woman causing her to follow him from that time forward. The Onondaga called this plant the “Ghost corn” believing it was “food for the spirits.” Like trilliums, the seed of this group is dispersed by ants because the seeds contain a fatty substance called elaisome, which is highly relished by ants.  At the nest the elaisomes are eaten and the seeds are left to germinate.  The plants are primarily pollinated by bumblebees.  Historically the plant was used as a tonic and for use in treating syphilis.

So there is really good description of the wildflower and now for a couple of images. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!

 

 

squirrel corn clifty falls state park madison indiana 1 2014

 

 

squirrel corn 2 2014 clifty falls state park madison indiana