14 April 2017 – Forget-me-not or not – Part 1

14 April 2017 Botany Bill Non-Refuge

Let’s have some fun here.  This time, we will focus on the difficulty in identifying the species of plants. I found a large patch of plants next to a parking area in “Oldtown” Elkridge. It was obvious to me that they were forget-me-nots (Myosotis sp.) But I was not sure of which species it was. So, […]

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11 April 2017 – Cerastium

11 April 2017 Botany Bill Journal

PLANT 1 PLANT 2

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9 April 2017 – A Harbinger of Spring – Draba verna

9 April 2017 Botany Bill Journal

This tiny plant called Draba verna L. is a true harbinger of spring. It is always one of the first flowers to makes its presence known each year.  In Maryland, it can usually be seen blooming as early as February, and even in January, if temperatures are warm enough like this year (2017).   This […]

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8 April 2017 – Spring Wildflower Walk

8 April 2017 Botany Bill Journal

Today, the Little Patuxent River Trail located on the North Tract of the Patuxent Research Refuge was the scene for a spring wildflower walk sponsored by the Refuge. We identified a total of 32 species of plants and one species of lichen. (See list below). The bluebells put on an especially nice display. We did […]

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8 April 2017 – American Field Pansy – Viola bicolor

8 April 2017 Botany Bill Journal

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 disturbed areas like the old firing ranges and powerline right-of-ways. This species, with its dainty […]

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7 April 2017 – Azure Bluets – Houstonia caerulea

7 April 2017 Botany Bill Journal

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 are more branched and the leaves are less basally disposed. There are also some subtle […]

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5 April 2017 – How to Identify Erythronium americanum

5 April 2017 Botany Bill Journal

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 “ears” (or auricles) at the base of the petals (inner three tepals) and the ovary […]

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4 April 2017 – Tiny Pants on Tiny Plants

4 April 2017 Botany Bill Journal

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 wonder the forest is the setting for many a fairy tale.     Dutchman’s Breeches […]

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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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3 April 2017 – Chickasaw Plum – How to Identify

3 April 2017 Botany Bill Journal

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1 April 2017 – Chickasaw Plum

2 April 2017 Botany Bill Journal

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. Little in 1979, this species was originally native to central Texas and Oklahoma, and was […]

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30 December 2016 – Hairy Bracken Fern

31 December 2016 Botany Bill Journal

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 the Patuxent Research Refuge with shorted terminal segments on the well-developed pinnules, The Hairy Bracken […]

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30 December 2016 – Western Sword Fern

30 December 2016 Botany Bill Journal

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/31153362664/ 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 in the Black Hills in South Dakota and on Guadalupe Island off Baja California. […]

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30 December 2016 – Nature Hike with Granddaughters in Bellevue

30 December 2016 Botany Bill Journal

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 blackberry patches, which are common in the urban areas in Western Washington.

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5 September 2016 – Hyssop-leaf Thoroughwort and Torrey’s Thoroughwort

5 September 2016 Botany Bill Journal

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 Torrey’s Thoroughwort. The difference between the two species is subtle, but distinct and is mainly […]

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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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Pecan! – 21 May 2016

21 May 2016 Botany Bill Journal

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 if it will produce pecan nuts in the fall.

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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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