Tag Archive | Wetlands

The Plant with Many Names

The Plant with Many Names

It is called silverweed because when you dip its leaves into water the leaves show a silvery glow. It is called ladies ear drops because its flowers dangle like earrings from a girl’s ears. It is called jewelweed because the rain and early morning dew resemble jewels on its stems. It is called touch-me-not because […]

Saving Wild Orchids

Saving Wild Orchids

Out in eastern Long Island, New York, one summer’s day a colleague and I visited a bog surrounded by dunes to determine the health of the habitat. As we approached the area we noticed pinkish/purple flowers growing throughout the bog amongst bulrushes, sedges and wild grasses. At the fen, we discovered the flowers were part […]

The Clever Wildflower

This wildflower deceives tiny gnats into thinking it is a fungus to trick the insects to pollinate it. Fungus gnats seek mushrooms to lay eggs so the larvae have a food source. Jack-in-the-pulpit gives off a faint mushroom-like odor that attracts the gnats. These insects land in the spathe shaped male blossom where they become […]

White Bells in the Pine Barrens

White Bells in the Pine Barrens

In pine barren forests on Long Island in New York, May is the time of year for an explosion of growth in the spring woodlands. The leaves of red maples, scarlet oaks, black gums and various heaths have fully extended to absorb the sun’s energizing rays. As I walk down a path through freshwater wetlands, […]

The Tasty Fern

The Tasty Fern

One summer day, when I was walking along a wetland trail in New York, I was about to cross a small spring fed brook, when I happened across a muskrat. I stopped dead in my tracks to observe it without frightening the muskrat away. It walked up to a four-foot tall royal fern and proceeded […]

The Delicate Marsh Fern

The Delicate Marsh Fern

An intermediate sized fern of the eastern U.S., the marsh fern prefers the wet soils of freshwater wetlands. Fern leaves are called fronds. The shape of the frond and how it is divided helps to identify it. Marsh fern has a sterile frond (a leaf without spores) with many leaflets that are also divided. Marsh […]

The Sensitive Fern

Curious? You are not going to hurt the feelings of this fern. It is a fern sensitive to cold weather and the fall frosts. Like many ferns, it grows in freshwater wetlands and moist woodlands in the eastern half of the U.S.