Wildflowers of Sylvan Solace (#26 – #35)

By May 14, 2021 No Comments

This is part three of a photo series documenting my attempt to identify and catalogue all of the wildflowers to be found at Sylvan Solace Preserve during 2021. This survey is part of our year long celebration of Sylvan Solace Preserve’s 25th Anniversary. Of the thirty-five species documented so far in this series, only six (17%) are not native to Central Michigan, including four species listed in this installment.

If you’re new to this series, catch up by clicking on the links below:

Part I

Part II

Without further ado, on to the flowers.

#26 Fringed Polygala (Polygala paucifolia) photographed 04 May 2021

#27 Swamp Buttercup (Ranunculus hispidus) – photographed 04 May 2021

The second buttercup (Ranunculus sp.) on the list but it won’t be the last. The name alone tells you where to seek this one out.

#28 Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata) – photographed 04 May 2021

Definitely in my top five for favorite wildflower names.

#29 Yellow Rocket (Barbarea vulgaris) – photographed 04 May 2021

Commonly referred to as yellow mustard or wild mustard, this non-native species has the four-petaled flowers characteristic of all members for the Mustard Family (Brassicaceae).

#30 Wood Betony (Pedicularis canadensis) – photographed 04 May 2021

#31 Corn Speedwell (Veronica arvensis) – photographed 10 May 2021

One of the smallest flowers I expect to find this year, the blooms of this introduced species measure only 1/8 inch across!

#32 Mouse-ear Cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) – photographed 10 May 2021

Another non-native species, another tiny flower. Like the Corn Speedwell, Mouse-ear Cress flowers measure about 1/8 inch across and grow in dry weedy spaces.

#33 Mouse-ear Chickweed (Cerastium fontanum) – photographed 10 May 2021

Compared to the previous two species, the blooms of Mouse-ear Chickweed are veritable giants at 1/4″ across. Although the flowers appear to have ten petals, they actually have only five deeply cleft petals. This is another non-native species.

#34 Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) – photographed 10 May 2021

Not as familiar to most people as the Common Elderberry (S. canadensis), Red Elderberry can be differentiated by its elongated cluster (raceme) of flowers versus the flat-topped cluster (umbel) of Common Elderberry. This species is also much more likely to be found in upland habitats rather than in wetlands.

#35 Small Pussytoes (Antennaria howellii) – photographed 10 May 2021

After hemming and hawing on identification between several Antennaria species, I finally settled on A. howellii based on characteristics of the leaves – there are several similar species. Look for this species in dry open habitats such as fields and open woodlands.

Wildflower sightings are really starting to ramp up! Some of the early spring ephemerals are still hanging around and the late spring flowers are starting to make their presence known. A single trip this week yielded sixteen new species for the annual list (of which only the first five were shared in this installment). I may have increase my personal goal for the number species found. Expect the next update in a few days as every trip to Sylvan Solace brings something new.