Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pretend This Is A Video Clip

One of the secretive botanical delights of this area is Lemmon's Wild Ginger, Asarum lemmonii.  It's a member of the birthwort family, Aristolochiaceae.  If I had a video camera, I could show you how I stumbled across this plant.  So, let's pretend.  The top photo shows a patch of the typical heart-shaped leaves (botanists use the term cordiform or cordate), and you'd be forgiven for not knowing there might be flowers hiding beneath.  In the second photo, as my eyes wandered over the scene, I spotted one little red blossom.  Click on that photo for a close-up and you'll see it.  The remaining photos show close-ups as I came to within 8 inches of that first flower then started seeing others nearby as I tipped leaves up one by one.  Sometimes this leaf tipping reveals other surprises like interesting bugs, salamanders, frogs, and snakes.  This little swamp-like area is due west of the FRC gymnasium in a grove of White Alder trees.  It's to the right of the paved walkway leading up to campus from the main parking area.  There are lots of young Corn Lilies there, too, so walk around carefully to find the ginger.  This little grove faces more or less South.  In Boyle Ravine, on the south side of Quincy, the creeks and forest face north, so the patches of wild ginger there, which are extensive, won't bloom for another month or so.

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