31 May 2022
Yesterday I went birding with friends on Laurel Mountain near Spruce Flats Bog. The top of the mountain is always colder than Pittsburgh so the wildflowers bloom later or are specialists for the mountain’s climate zone. Here’s what was blooming on Memorial Day.
A patch of buttercups glowed in the sun while dwarf ginseng (Panax trifolius) bloomed in the shade, viewed from above and side.
Canada may-lily (Maianthemum canadense) is a native plant just 2-6″ tall that resembles lily-of-the-valley. A tiny spider draped this one in sticky filaments.
Lycopodium or tree groundpine is another “living fossil” that does not bloom as a flower. Instead it reproduces asexually via spores from the strobilis (cone) or sexually via underground gametes. The strobilis on this one is past its prime.
(photos by Kate St. John)