Category Archives: Journal

8 April 2017 – American Field Pansy – Viola bicolor

The American Field Pansy (Viola bicolor Pursh) is found throughout the eastern part of North America with a small number of outlying populations reported from the west. It is commonly found on the Refuge on all three tracts in open … Continue reading

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7 April 2017 – Azure Bluets – Houstonia caerulea

Found a sizable patch of  Azure Bluets (Houstonia caerulea L.) in full bloom on the Central Tract today, 7 April. It is differentiated from the similar looking Tiny Bluets (Houstonia pusilia) by its basally disposed leaves. Tiny bluets’s flowering stems … Continue reading

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5 April 2017 – How to Identify Erythronium americanum

Today, I went to the refuge’s North Tract to look for some Yellow Dogtooth Violets or Trout Lilies (Erythronium) to take some pictures of the inner floral parts for identification purposes. According to the available literature, Erythronium americanum has two … Continue reading

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4 April 2017 – Tiny Pants on Tiny Plants

Dutchman’s Breeches – Dicentra cucullaria (L.) Bernh. is favorite of those who are familiar with spring ephemeral wildflowers because if one uses their imagination, little man in pants hanging upside down can be envisioned when looking at the flowers. No … Continue reading

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4 April 2017 – Yellow Fumewort

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 … Continue reading

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3 April 2017 – Chickasaw Plum – How to Identify

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1 April 2017 – Chickasaw Plum

Today at the Patuxent Research Refuge, we stopped by the Chickasaw Plum “Grove” (Prunus angustifolia Marshall). There are two clumps of the trees at this location, and they put on a nice display. According to Sargent in 1965 and E.L. … Continue reading

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30 December 2016 – Hairy Bracken Fern

This bracken fern is another species of fern that we found on our nature walk. This variety is called the Hairy Bracken Fern or Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn var. pubescens Underw. It differs from the Bracken Fern commonly found on … Continue reading

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30 December 2016 – Western Sword Fern

Western Swordfern growing in Bellevue, Washington 30 December 2016. The Western Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum (Kaulf.) C. Presl) is an evergreen fern found on the west coast of North America from Southeastern Alaska to Southern California. There are isolated populations … Continue reading

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30 December 2016 – Nature Hike with Granddaughters in Bellevue

Today,my granddaughters in Seattle and I took a hike on the Boeing Trails in Bellevue Washington. We saw several types of native trees as well as the non-native American Holly. We also saw the Western Sword Fern and the ubiquitous … Continue reading

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This time we will examine two similar species of Thoroughwort (sometimes called boneset) – Hyssop-leaf Thoroughwort (Eupatorium hyssopifolium L.) and Torrey’s Thoroughwort (Eupatorium torreyanum Short & Peter). The synonym Eupatorium hyssopifolium L. var. laciniatum A. Gray is sometimes applied to … Continue reading

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Bald Cypress – Taxodium distichum – 24 June 2016

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 … Continue reading

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Wild Yam – Dioscorea villosa – 18 June 2016

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 … Continue reading

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Bottlebrush Buckeye – Aesculus parviflora – 24 May 2016

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 … Continue reading

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Pecan! – 21 May 2016

Today in front of the old house in which the Refuge superintendent used to live, I spotted a pecan tree (Carya illinoinensis). The pecan is native to Mexico and southeastern USA, but not Maryland.  This specimen is handsome. I wonder … Continue reading

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21 May 2016 – Temple Grass – Zoysia matrella

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. … Continue reading

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1 August 2015 – Apparent Weevil Damage to Mile-a-Minute

Today I spotted several patches of Mile-a-Minute (Persicaria perfoliata) which has sustained some apparent severe insect damage in the “Savanna” restoration area. I understand that weevils have been released on the refuge. I wonder if this is not damage by … Continue reading

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

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 … Continue reading

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ABOVE PHOTO: A view of Schafer Lake with water lilies (Click on the thumbnails below for full views.) The objective today was to find the Sundew that had been reported as occurring on the Schafer Farm section of the Refuge’s … Continue reading

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