Plant Profile

Juncus brachycarpus –
Whiteroot Rush
18 June 2019

18 June 2019 Botany Bill JournalPlant Profile

This is a rarely reported species. I found it in a wet meadow on the North Tract of the Refuge When I first tried to determine the plant’s name, I thought it was Rhynchospora capitellata, a fairly common beaksedge. I posted it to a Facebook page for sedges to verify my initial determinination. I was […]

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Ophioglossum pycnostichum –
13 June 2019

13 June 2019 Botany Bill JournalPlant Profile

Ophioglossum pycnostichum (Southern Adders Tongue) is native to Southeastern North America. Some authors subsume this species under Ophioglossum vulgatum s.l. which is found in Europe and Asia. Even though it does not look like it, it is a type of a primitive fern.     The sporophore (the spore bearing spike) is said to resemble […]

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Viola primulifolia –
Primrose-leaved Violet

1 June 2019 Botany Bill JournalPlant Profile

  Viola primulifolia or Primrose-leaved Violet is an acaulescent viola meaning that the flowering stem grows from the crown of the plant along with the leaves. Its natural range is Eastern USA from Maine in the north, Iowa and Texas in the west, and Florida in the South. It prefers wet areas like seepages. It […]

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Liparis liliifolia –
Purple Twayblade – Part 2
31 May 2019

31 May 2019 Botany Bill JournalPlant Profile

Today, we visited a second site where Liparis liliifolia (Purple Twayblade) was growing on the Refuge. We looked around and found several patches of these lovely orchids thriving. In all, it is possible we spotted over 100 individual plants. I am sure that if we spent more time in the area, we could have found […]

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Botrychium matricariifolium

11 May 2019 Botany Bill JournalPlant Profile

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4 April 2017 – Yellow Fumewort

4 April 2017 Botany Bill JournalPlant Profile

Yellow Fumewort – Corydalis flavula (Raf.) DC. – is another spring bloomer that is a denizen of bottomland woods and adjacent areas and is commonly found in parts of Eastern North America. As typical of a member of the Papaveraceae family (poppy) it contains a large number of alkaloids. It ranges from Ontario in the […]

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Bald Cypress – Taxodium distichum – 24 June 2016

24 June 2016 Botany Bill JournalPlant ProfileSites around refuge

Today, I forayed on the South Tract and spotted a bunch of Bald Cypress trees thriving in a swampy area next to Reddington Lake.  Bald Cypress is not native this far north, but can do all right when planted in the right place.  In this case, they were planted by Fran Uhler back in the […]

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Wild Yam – Dioscorea villosa – 18 June 2016

18 June 2016 Botany Bill JournalPlant Profile

Several vines of wild yam (Discorea villosa) L. were spotted in full bloom along the Knowles 1 Pond on the Central Tract. Wild Yam is common in North America ranging from Ontario on the North, along the Eastern Seaboard to Florida and West to Texas and Nebraska. It purportedly has medicinal properties, including as an […]

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Bottlebrush Buckeye – Aesculus parviflora – 24 May 2016

24 May 2016 Botany Bill JournalNon-RefugePlant Profile

On the way home from work today, I took a bunch of pictures of two established colonies of Aesculus parviflora (Bottlebrush Buckeye) near our home. One of them was in the middle of someone’s lawn and the other one was in the woods.  I first spotted them six years ago, and they have spread since then. […]

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21 May 2016 – Temple Grass – Zoysia matrella

21 May 2016 Botany Bill JournalPlant Profile

Today, I found an interesting exotic on the Central Tract. It is called Temple Grass and the scientific name is Zoysia matrella. This native to East Asia and northern Australia is sometimes planted in North America as a lawn grass. Its matting nature makes it a natural for planting on golf course greens. It is […]

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8 October 2015 – Rare plant – Pluchea camphorata (camphor pluchea or marsh fleabane)

8 October 2015 Botany Bill Plant Profile

It’s been a while since I blogged here. This time we will look at an obscure plant called Camphor Pluchea or Marsh Fleabane. Its scientific name is Pluchea camphorata. This member of Asteraceae is listed by the Maryland State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as a endangered species (S1 E). This species grows in clumps […]

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27 July 2015 – Milkweeds of Patuxent – Part 1 – Common Milkweed

27 July 2015 Botany Bill JournalPlant Profile

Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) are important to the Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) because its larva feeds exclusively on it. The recent decline of the Monarch butterfly population has sparked an interest saving it by planting milkweed. The Friends of Patuxent is sponsoring an effort to plant milkweed on the Patuxent Research Refuge. The Patuxent Research Refuge […]

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25 July 2015 – Japanese Stilt Grass

27 July 2015 Botany Bill Plant Profile

Photo above: Close-up of inflorescence – 18 September 2010. Japanese stilt grass (Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A. Camus) is a common invasive plant from Asia that has spread to 26 states. Infestations of it can alter native plant communities, change and suppress native insects, and slow plant succession. The good news is that the removal of […]

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2 July 2015 – Mushroom Cornucopia!!!

2 July 2015 Botany Bill JournalPlant Profile

(Photo above – the twelve different types of mushrooms collected today) Click on the thumbnails below for full views.) After all the rain we have received this past several days, the mushrooms on the Refuge were popping up all over, a real cornucopia. So, today I decided to look for as many different kinds as […]

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26 June 2015 – Indian Cucumber – Medeola virginiana

26 June 2015 Botany Bill JournalPlant Profile

Today, I spotted some Indian cucumber (Medeola virginiana L.) at Chestnut Oak Bog growing on a sphagnum moss hummock. One of the plants (pictured here) was blooming and was setting seed. This interesting looking member of the family Liliaceae is found in Eastern North America from Ontario and Quebec in the North, and Minnesota to […]

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20 June 2015 – Milkweed Meadow

20 June 2015 Botany Bill JournalPlant ProfileSites around refuge

  This meadow on the Central Tract is located along Beech Forest Drive near where the powerlines cross MD 197 and as far as I can determine is the largest field of Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca L.) on the refuge.   I am not sure of the meadow’s maintenance history, but it is has developed […]

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20 June 2015 – Gerronema strombodes

20 June 2015 Botany Bill JournalPlant Profile

Spotted this interesting mushroom along Mill Race Road just past the swamp. They were growing all over the woods from the humus soil. I can’t seem to find a common name for it, but its scientific name is Gerronema strombodes. In some references, it has been called Chrysomphalina strombodes, Omphalia strombodes and Clitocybe strombodes.   […]

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18 June 2015 – Spotted Wintergreen – Chimaphila maculata

18 June 2015 Botany Bill JournalPlant Profile

Spent 1.5 hours on the refuge today. Drove out to Lake Allen and spotted some white-colored flowers off in the pine woods on the east side of the lake. I got out of the Jeep to investigate and discovered it was a fairly good-sized patch of Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata (L.) Pursh).   It likes […]

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13 June 2015 – Memorial Rose – Rosa wichuraiana

13 June 2015 Botany Bill JournalNon-RefugePlant Profile

About 15 years ago, I spotted two colonies of white roses across the street from our house. They were not the Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora) which had already mostly finished because blooming, and this rose was in its prime.       It keys it out to Memorial Rose (Rosa wichuraiana) Crép. It is native […]

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13 June 2015 – Common Winterberry – Ilex verticillata

13 June 2015 Botany Bill JournalPlant Profile

(Photo above: flower cluster) I found some Common Winterberry that was in full bloom today along the Little Patuxent Trail. The scientific name for this member of the holly family (Aquifoliaceae) is Ilex verticillata (L.) A. Gray. Its native range covers Eastern North America from Newfoundland to Alabama on the East, Ontario on the North, […]

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