Tag Archive | Wildflowers

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 […]

Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus

Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus

When I lived and worked in New York and visited beaches along the north shore of Long Island in the summer, the sheltered areas of the beachfront were dotted with the yellow blossoms of the prickly pear cactus. You normally associate cacti with deserts, but the sandy dry soils beyond the reach of high tides […]

A Plant That Eats Bugs

A Plant That Eats Bugs

In acidic wetlands in the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada you may find a small strange looking plant full of glistening dew drops. It thrives in bogs, fens and fresh water wetlands where the soil is acidic and poor in nutrients. Because not too many plants can thrive in this environment, there is […]

An Orchid Without Leaves

An Orchid Without Leaves

Most orchids have green leaves where the process of photosynthesis takes place utilizing the sun’s rays, water and minerals from the soil. The spotted coral root is an orchid that has no chlorophyll. It gets its nutrients in a unique way. It depends on mycorrhizal fungi in the soil to get its nutrients. This orchid’s […]

Slender Ladies Tresses

Another orchid that blooms in the late summer in the northeast and is related to the nodding ladies tresses is the slender ladies tresses. This has tiny delicate blossoms that form a distinct spiral on a single stem.  

Nodding Ladies Tresses

Nodding Ladies Tresses

In the late summer and early fall, depending on where you live in the eastern U.S., this orchid blooms in wet meadows, bogs and fens. Nodding ladies tresses sprout through the chaotic growth of wild grasses, rushes and sedges with a spire of white blossoms no more than 12 inches tall. I have observed bumblebees […]

The Unobtrusive Orchid

About thirty years ago, while conducting an environmental program for an elementary class, a strange plant caught my eye as I led the students on a trail through a freshwater wetland area in a state park preserve in New York. The plant was about eight inches tall, purplish brown with a spike of tiny blossoms […]