The weather here has been glorious the last couple days-just perfect for hiking! I've discovered a few new (to me!) plants and identified a few that have had me mystified for a while. So now I'll take you for another hike!
Wool Grass (Scirpus cyperinus) grows in a wet area near another section of the woods. I've gathered some bundles of this to dry for winter arrangements!
A magical moment...
Fall is coming and I can't say I'm very happy about it. But this leaf was stunning!
I think this is Whorled Wood Aster (Oclemena acuminata)...
A mushroom popping up through the leaves. We have all kinds of them right now...I'm just glad my dogs haven't taken a fancy to tasting them!
Red Trillium fruit...there are lots of these plants in our woods, but this is the first time I've found any with a fruit!
I know that Red Trillium is also called 'Stinking Benjamin', but never noticed any bad smell from the flowers myself. I wondered if it could be so called because the fruit smells bad, but it actually has a delicious fruity fragrance, almost like strawberry! I wonder if it is edible?
This was a new plant for me...Tall Rattlesnake Root (Nabalus altissimus). I read that the Iroquois used the root as a remedy for rattlesnake bites.
And the flowers have a sweet fragrance, for those that get really close!
I was doing some research on it this morning and found a very interesting report in an old medical book from 1888, where the plant was used to treat a gunshot wound in the leg that had turned gangrenous... "The leg was black, the patient sleepless and wild with pain. The green leaves [of Nabalus altissimus] —whitish beneath—well washed, were applied all over the limb, and the leg was encased for twelve hours. They were then removed and old tobacco leaves, dampened, took their place for two hours. This course was pursued every day for about two weeks, till the leg was healing and comfortable. Almost instant relief followed their first application, much of the swelling was reduced, and the patient slept nearly all night."
I went for another walk in the field this evening. It turned out to be the best time to go to get pictures!
Looking into the woods carpeted with Jewelweed...
Another name for Jewelweed (as well as other members of the Impatiens family) is Touch-me-not, because of the way the seedpods burst open when touched. I'm familiar with this from my Garden Balsam (I. balsamina) plants, but they only burst open when the seeds are ripe. This one on the other hand, has been popping green seeds all over the place if I so much as brush against the plants, hitting me in the head half the time! Its really quite entertaining! So this might be a funny question but now I'm curious...does anyone know if the seeds continue to ripen after being thrown, or does the plant need to be left undisturbed so they can fully mature?
The big patch of Fireweed has gone to seed. It's pretty at all times, but absolutely breathtaking when back-lit by the sun!
I am nuts about Asters right now, and trying to identify all the different species growing on our property...a subject for another post. :)
Hope you enjoyed this ramble...thank you for coming along with me!
I am a passionate gardener and seed-saver, who also enjoys playing the violin and accordion, running, spending time with my 4 golden retrievers, keeping chickens, photography, and reading.