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Author Topic: Roadside Botanizing in the Cohuttas  (Read 3307 times)
Distinguished Botanist
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« on: May 25, 2009, 03:23:36 PM »

We had surprisingly good weather for the day, in spite of the forecast.  The flowers also provided a great show for us.  We drove about 20 miles of Forest Service Road.  The floral show started at our meeting point, with Galax (Galax urceolata), Shuttleworth wild ginger (Hexastylis shuttleworthii var. shuttleworthii), and mountain laurel blooming; cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum) and rattlesnake fern (Botrypus virginianus) in abundance and with fertile fronds on display - plus a patch of royal fern (Osmunda regalis) without fertile fronds; and sedges in fruit, including fringed sedge (Carex crinita), fox sedge (Carex vulpinoidea) and a couple of others.  Once we got rolling, our fiorat stop yielded four-leaved milkweed (Ascelpias quadrifolia), white milkweed (Asclepias variegata), and sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus). Our next stop found buffalo nut (Pyrularia pubera) and lady rue (Thalictrum clavellatum). Continuing along the road we found extensive patches of wild geranium (Geranium maculatum), star chickweed (Stellaria pubera), Canada violet (Viola canadensis), Solomon's seal (Polygonatum biflorum), Solomon's plume (Maianthemun racemosum), and horse gentian (Triosteum aurantiacum). We also were treated to seven different trilliums:  Trillium cuneatum, Trillium grandiflorum (just past blooming), Trillium erectum, Trillium vaseyi, Trillium simile, and Trillium catesbaei; and then at the end of the day we finished witha patch of Trillium luteum.  In adition, we found several unusual Trillium color varieties, including a few where it appeared red and white colors were intermingling. It turned out to be an excellent day for roadside botanizing.

Rich Reaves
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