Friday, June 10, 2011

She's Back!

The Mountain Lady Slipper, Cypripedium montanum, might be too successful for its own good. I was thrilled to see it in full bloom today. There were several dozen plants, most with more than one blooom. Last year, when I discovered this beautify, it was hidden in the shady woods some 30 feet off the pavement. This year, there's a small stand just 5 feet off the pavement, very visible from passing cars. This time I'll be a little more secretive about the precise spot.
There were other attractions nearby, including that same Spotted Coral Root I photographed last week when the lady slippers hadn't yet bloomed. It's Corallorhiza maculata. Both are orchids.
Today the Western Dog Violets, Viola adunca, were abundant.
The Western Mugwort, Artemesia ludoviciana, is abundant by the roadsides, but not yet blooming. When it does bloom, the flowers are not that noticeable. What attracted me today were the Spittlebugs, AKA Frog Hoppers, which were populating many different species beside the Mugwort. I have another one here on Slender Cinquefoil, Potentilla gracilis. The nymphs generate the spittle and make many uses of it, the most obvious being prevention of dehydration.
The last photo is of Trail Plant, Adenocaulon bicolor. This interesting member of the Asteraceae, has tiny flowers which are not yet blooming. Note, the undersides of the leaves are a silvery gray compared to the green of the topsides. When you walk through a dense patch of these, the turned leaves will leave a temporary trail. Don't count on it to find your back. The return to their original position, green facing upward. Fun to watch, and see if you can get them tired.

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