This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Late flowers and weeds

I was surprised last week to see new growth in the graded strip that covers the new water main along Matheson. The city must have seeded it, but it has been very dry, and I do not think they have watered it.
The corn along Matheson is maturing. Soon there will be combines out in the fields. Perhaps they are already out in some fields.
I keep taking pictures of flowers I see and then try to identify them. I saw a spiderwort a few days ago. This one is a late bloomer--they are supposed to have their flowers earlier. I am not sure what spiderwort it is. Two that are in the books as growing in our area are the Virginia spiderwort and the Ohio spiderwort.
The mullein is an introduced species that grows in disturbed soil. Its tall flower spike makes it an easy plant to recognize and there are lots of them around.
Below is a close-up of the flowers.There are quite a few ground cherries, sometimes called husk tomatoes, growing along Airport Road. I also used to find them in my garden. They are edible, but they are are relatives of tomatoes, not cherries. Euell Gibbons praised them. I never found them that tasty, but they certainly have interesting fruit. You might expect this to be another alien species, but it is a native species.
Another flower that grows along Airport Road is white campion or evening lychnis. As are so many of the flowers along the roadsides, it is an alien.
I have a small white aster growing in my backyard and I have seen the same plant growing in a variety of places around Rensselaer. It may be this aster vimineus. However, the Peterson Field Guide for Wildflowers for Northeast/Northcentral North America says, "The small white asters are numerous, extremely variable, and may intergrade. Many can be recognized with certainty only by technical characteristics not given here." The flowers are tiny.
I thought I might have better luck identifying this purple aster that I found growing along Matheson, but there are a number of blue and violet asters that all look pretty much the same. After a lot of comparing various pictures, I think it might be a New England Aster, based mostly on the leaves which are not shown well in this picture.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Ah, mullein. Nature's best toilet paper.