Wildflowers of Sylvan Solace (#36 – #50)

By May 28, 2021 No Comments

This is part four of a photo series documenting my attempt to identify and catalogue all of the wildflowers to be found at Sylvan Solace Preserve during 2021. In addition to the expected herbaceous (non-woody) plants. I am also documenting flowering trees and shrubs.

This survey is part of our year long celebration of Sylvan Solace Preserve’s 25th Anniversary. This is the first extensive yearlong survey of flowering plants that the CWC has ever conducted on one of our preserves. A study like this is valuable because it helps us determine if there are any species that we should be concerned about both in terms if rarity but also it may alert us to invasive species that might be slipping under our radar. Studies such as this are also important because they act as a baseline which we can use to judge how a property changes over time.

Of the fifty species documented so far in this series, only eight species (16%) are not native to Central Michigan, including two species listed in this installment.

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

Part I

Part II

Part III

Without further ado, on to the flowers.

#36 Woodland Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) – photographed 10 May 2021

One of two “wild” strawberry species found in Michigan. I’m not sure, but the leaf in the bottom right looks like it might belong to the other species – Woodland Strawberry (F. vesca).

#37 Prickly Gooseberry (Ribes cynosbati) – photographed 10 May 2021

This particular specimen in not particularly “prickly”. Sometimes they are covered with dozens of spines.

#38 Hooked Crowfoot (Ranunculus recurvatus) – photographed 10 May 2021

The third Ranunculus on the list. This is another water-loving species. Although I have found several plants growing in upland areas, Hooked Crowfoot can be found at Sylvan Solace mostly in the river floodplain

#39 Spring Cress (Cardamine bulbosa) – photographed 10 May 2021

The third Cardamine species on the list – another member of the Mustard family as evidenced by the four petals. Really common right now in the river floodplain at Sylvan Solace.

#40 Round-leaved Serviceberry (Amelanchier sanguinea) – photographed 10 May 2021

As the name implies, the leaves of Roundleaf Serviceberry are “rounder” than those of other Amelanchier species. It also helped that the three Serviceberry species that I identified at Sylvan Solace all bloomed in distinct waves.

#41 Marsh Violet (Viola cucullata) – photographed 10 May 2021

Identified (in part) by its large bloom that stands above a basal rosette of leaves.

#42 Common Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex) – photographed 10 May 2021

Fun with etymology: cinque come from the Latin quinque for “five” and foil from the Latin folium for “leaf”; thus cinquefoil mean a leaf with five parts.

#43 Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) – this specimen photographed 14 May 2021

Geranium species are found all over the Northern Hemisphere. This is one of four Michigan natives and our most locally common species.

#44 Starry False Solomon Seal (Maianthemum stellatum) – photographed 10 May 2021

Real Solomon Seal plants have flowers that dangle from the leaf axils; False Solomon Seals have flowers at the tip of the plant.

#45 Tatarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) – photographed 10 May 2021

The first of several non-native honeysuckles. It spreads easily by seed and crowds out native plants.

#46 Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) – photographed 13 May 2021

Like L. tatarica, Japanese Barberry is an invasive garden escapee.

#47 Cleavers (Galium aparine) – photographed 13 May 2021

Cleavers is one of approximately twenty Galium species found in Michigan, most of which are similar in appearance. Cleavers can be identified by its leaves which grow in whorls of 6 to 8 (more than the other species).

#48 Long-spurred Violet (Viola rostrata) – photographed 13 May 2021

The fifth violet of the year for Sylvan Solace. Viola rostrata can be easily identified by that long pointed spur. It’s our only violet with that feature.

#49 Stout Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium) – photographed 13 May 2021

This cool little flower is actually a member of the Iris family (Iridaceae) despite looking nothing like a typical iris.

#50 Yellow Pimpernel (Taenida integerrima) – photographed 14 May 2021

Yellow Pimpernel is grouped in the same family (Apiaciae) as familiar garden plants such as carrot, parsnip, dill, coriander, and fennel.

With recent higher temperatures, the wildflowers are really shifting into high gear! Not a single trip to Sylvan Solace has been wasted – every day brings new blooms. I’m rapidly falling behind in posting, with nearly thirty species found in the last two weeks along. Expect another update in a few days as I try to get caught up with sightings.