Monday, June 14, 2010

Nature Walks: June 14

I took a walk under the powerlines next to the school today and was thrilled to see two native milkweeds to help out our monarch projects. There were probably 12-20 individuals of each of the two species. We have several cultivated milkweeds in our classroom gardens, but it's nice to have some natural colonies of them about. First is, I think, Curly Milkweed.

Curly Milkweed
Asclepias amplexicaulis

The flowers had faded - this was the best example left.

It seemed to grow as individual stalks topped by a flower.

This one had gone to seed -- well, one seed pod.
See how the leaves curl. Their bases clasp the stem so tightly that they seem to join with the opposite leaf.

When I removed a leaf the milky sap fairly gushed from the wound.

The other milkweed under the powerlines is Butterfly Weed. It is one of the milkweeds that doesn't bleed milk when you pull a leaf. If is also one of my favorite wildflowers. We have several of these plants in our gardens that we have purchased. W could have as easily dug them from under the lines.

Butterfly Weed
Asclepias tuberosa

There were several other things in bloom or fruit as well. Which composite is this?

The ripe blackberries disappeared soon after the photo was taken. They were delicious.
Southern Blackberry
Rubus argutus

There were several of these showy little flowers.
Sensitive Briar
Mimosa microphylla

I don't know if this is fully opened. Could it be a pea?

Another common composite.

I don't know this guy.

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