Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Here's all the anthers.

Midsummer is an interesting time for our gardens.  Lots of lilies of all sorts for color, but then several white flowered species.  But the queen of the shade gardens is this black snake root (lots of common names, but it is not a well-known plant here in the upper Midwest) (formerly Cimicifuga racemosa, now Actea racemosa just as good old Linnaeus proposed).  The tall (5'+) branched racemes of white flowers show up very nicely in the light shade it prefers.  The flowers have no sepals or petals, just a cluster of a hundred or so stamens surrounding a single pistil.  The odor is described as a sweet and fetid, to which TPP adds musky, and it attracts an array of pollen foraging insects: flies, gnats, beetles.  Although a bit hard to get established, the plants are tough and long-lived. This is a member of the buttercup family which has a number of species whose flowers only have anthers.  


The weather of late has been close to hot; and humid.  Not everything likes that kind of weather.  The lily pond has stayed pretty full because of all the rain (3.6" in the last event).  And for some reason the waterlilies (Nymphaea) are doing very well.  These flowers are totally gorgeous what with all the flower parts, and while not favorites with everyone these white waterlilies are very white and with the contrasting leaves and water, they are wonderful.  Actually this image is very similar to a water color painting of waterlilies that we bought on line quite a few years ago,  TPP actually found the painting while searching for images of waterlilies.  Enjoy!

Friday Fabulous Flower - pond flora

Wow the long weekend sent by very fast, so Friday comes early this week or late last week.  Who cares?  So you may never have looked closely at this particular native plant because you likely would get wet and muddy getting close.  This is not such a problem for a lily pond if the damned four-legged mammals would stay away and quit stomping plants and tipping over pots.  Even the neighbor's young lab got in on the fun.
At any rate the pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) is still doing OK (the part that didn't get mashed and is looking good).  It is a handsome plant and worth having for some pond edge vegetation and flowers.