Saturday, April 4, 2015

Wildflowers Neuf

Wildflowers in meadow near Mystic Falls, YNP

As I prepare for hiking season, I am drawn to the many varieties of wildflowers I have encountered in my travels.  Here are a few more.  There are thousands of different wildflowers and variations.  As a designer I am drawn to color.  I love the natural wildflowers far more than domesticated flowers.  I don't think man has improved much on nature.

Pearly Everlasting
Anaphalis margaritacea

Pearly Everlasting

Getting ready to open

We saw these specimens on the trail to Mystic Falls in Yellowstone National Park in  August of 2013.  Pearly Everlasting is a plant with a strong fragrance and was used as an herb by the native peoples.  This particular variety is native to North America, although it has relatives in Asia as well.  This variety is so named because of the pearl white petals around the yellow center.

Fringed Grass of Parnassus 
Parnassia fimbriata

Fringed Grass of Parnassus

This is a pretty wildflower that we saw on the same trip.  I had never seen it before, or at least noticed it.  It is an alpine to subalpine flower that ranges from Alaska to the southern Rockies.  It was used by native peoples as a poultice and a tea.

Indian Pipes
Monotropa uniflora

Indian Pipes


Up until now, I've only been posting wildflowers I have encountered in the West.  This specimen was so cool, though I am breaking with tradition to post about it.  This is called an Indian Pipe and I photographed it last July on the Tusten Mountain Trail along the Delaware River in the Catskill region of New York.  At first I thought it was a mushroom.  I was wrong.

This is a parasitic plant and has no chlorophyll.  So it doesn't photosynthesize, rather it's roots feed on the roots of plants that do photosynthesize, particularly beech trees.  It happens that I photographed this specimen at the roots of a beech tree.

The beech tree

Spotted Jewelweed
Impatiens capensis

Spotted Jewelweed

This was also photographed in New York, in the Catskill mountains on the Bouchoux Mountain Trail.  These flowers grow in moist areas in woodlands.  As you can see from the photo, it was plenty moist.  This was kind of an exotic flower for me.  It's unlike the stuff we have in the West.  Pretty though.  It is also used as a traditional herbal cure for rashes and such.  The seed pods explode and spread millions of seeds at the slightest touch.

I'm getting excited for hiking season!

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