Last Thursday, we had quite the rain. On Friday morning, I decided to get up early and go out to the big field at Audubon to see what droplet-covered beauties I could find. I was not disappointed… though I was wet up to my waist when I emerged from the tall grasses.
Common Evening Primrose is growing tall and conspicuously in dry open places – along roadsides, in meadows. It’s a biennial, forming low-growing rosettes the first year and tall stalks – up to 5 feet – the second year. According to Peterson’s, this is an edible plant, though the cooking technique of boiling the roots of the first year plant for 20 to 30 minutes in 2 or 3 changes of water sounds a little daunting to me. Maybe I’m just spoiled at this time of year by lettuces and zucchinis you can just grab and eat.
The Dewberries in Western New York have had tons of flowers this year, more than I remember in any other year. This plant looks like a shiny-leaved strawberry with its white, five-petaled flower, but the stems are prickly. During my wet romp, I found a fruit. I think it is the first Dewberry I have ever found. I’m actually pretty surprised with myself that I didn’t eat it. Hmm… I wonder how it compares to its cousins, the blackberries and raspberries?
It’s hard for me to resist photographing certain flowers. Black-eyed Susans just seem to beg to have their pictures taken. This one caught my eye from the side and I loved the way the dew was clinging to the bristly greenery beneath.
And, speaking of bristles, it is hard for me to walk past Arrow-leaved Tearthumb and not try for a photo. Small, delicate pink clusters on the ends of very interesting stems; it’s called tear-thumb for a reason! Your finger travels smoothly down the stem. Try the return trip, however, and the downward facing prickles will tear your thumb!
Naturalists seem to love the Native-vs-Alien debate. I find beauty in all the flowers, regardless of their heritage. It seems this time, however, quite by accident… I have brought you four native plants. Will the wonders never cease?