It's a Tuesday morning, which means a group is here to walk the trails and get some natural history learning. I wanted to release the stinkpot (see update in previous post), so joined the group this morning. The group's goal this morning was to find more monarch butterfly eggs on the milkweeds out in the prairie, so I knew we'd be looking at flowers. Here are a few quick snapshots of what we saw:
First up, green-headed (or tall) coneflower.
I've been wondering how to tell the green-headed from the grey-headed, because to me, they both have sort of greenish centers. It turns out that the green-headed has shorter, fatter centers, and the petals don't "blow back" anywhere near as far as they do on the grey-headed. Mystery solved!
Tick trefoils are out and blooming quite well right now. A couple of us had out our Newcomb's and were trying to figure out which one this was. We think it is panicled, another native!
This lovely purple flower had us all scratching our heads for a while. It's not in Newcomb's. However, I took out my Michigan Wildflowers book when I got back to the office and there it was.
This is field milkwort. What a lovely, lovely flower. And it doesn't look at all like racemed milkwort, the first milkwort I met, which looks a lot like gaywings. The only similarity between this milkwort and that is the color! Still, they are in the same family, so there must be some other traits they share, like the narrow leaves.
Tall sunflower - not necessarily as tall as you might think from the name. These small-flowered sunflowers are quite beautiful and blend in with all the other coreopsises (coreposii?) and yellow-flowered prairie plants. One needs a keen eye, a good field guide, and a sense of curiosity to get out and find the differences.
We didn't ID this little sunflower.
And, it turns out the ironweed is indeed New York ironweed, not common ironweed. Huzzah!