Tag Archive | Long Island

Helping an Endangered Orchid

Helping an Endangered Orchid

When I worked for state parks in New York on Long Island, one of my responsibilities was to monitor the populations of rare plants. I do not recall what year it was, but it was in the 1990’s when we had a very dry summer. In July of that year, I happened across the crested […]

Wild Orchids Part 1

Wild Orchids Part 1

When you think of orchids, large showy blossoms of various colors seen in plant centers is what comes to mind to many people. But the wild orchids of the northeastern U.S. are smaller and tend to be a single color. Summer in the north is the time of year to find various species of wild […]

The Fragrant Berry

The Fragrant Berry

When I grew up on Long Island and visited the sea shore, I always enjoyed the fragrance of the native northern bayberry. Breaking off a leaf and crushing it in your fingers releases the bayberry scent often used in candles today. Later in the summer, the flowers turn into fruit that are green at first, […]

Plums by the Beach

My favorite shrub of beach environments is the beach plum. I always look forward to its prolific blooms of five-petaled white flowers in the spring. Once pollinated by bees and other pollinators, it produces lots of fruit that are green at first, but by the end of the summer the fruit ripen into a deep-purple […]

The Vine That Grabs You

The Vine That Grabs You

My first encounter with this thorny vine was as a 10-year old boy traipsing through the woodlands on Long Island in New York. It formed impenetrable thickets in the wetlands near the house I grew up in. Its sharp thorns caught my clothing and it did not easily let go. I eventually broke free, full […]

Wild “Apples” of the Forest

Wild “Apples” of the Forest

If you see a small tree with with white blossoms that looks similar to a wild rose flowers, you may have found a species of chokeberry. Its five petaled bloom with pink stamens attract bees responsible for pollination. These small trees are four to eight feet tall and are members of the rose family. These […]

Looks Like a Blueberry, But It is Not a Blueberry

Looks Like a Blueberry, But It is Not a Blueberry

A shrub often mistaken for high-bush blueberry because it grows in the same habitat and also has white bell shaped-blossoms that bloom in the spring is swamp sweet bells. Sometimes called fetterbush, its blooms are clustered at the tip of its branches in one sided four-inch long racemes. Bees, butterflies and other pollinators visit the […]