Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday with Butterflies and Craneflies

Gail's posting on Wildflowers on the fourth Wednesday of the month is always an educational experience for me.  I don't always get to participate (nor do I get the posts done on Wednesday) but I do like to read through the posts.  Where I live is so untamed, knowing what are wildflowers and what are invasives is good knowledge as I walk around my yard.  Two of my offerings today have been talked about before and one is a mystery vine.

Let me start with one of my favorite finds from my woods.  This is Crane-fly Orchid or Tipularia discolor, a lovely little native that has foliage in the winter which disappears during the summer.  I have posted its leaves before- here and here and the blooms here.   The challenge is to remember where the leaves were during the winter.  I put sticks in the ground, surrounding the area.  After three years, I probably don't need the sticks anymore, I KNOW where these babies are!  Photographing the slender stalks with their blooms is not easy.  I had just come back from the mailbox when I first saw this year's blooms, so I used the back of an envelope to give a plain backdrop.

The exciting part of this year's flower stalks was that there were three stalks.  Seems my little plot of Tipularia discolor is growing!


Not happy with the white background I came in and got the black apron to give a dark backdrop.  Ignore the dog hair. 

Maybe by next year I will have figured out how to best photograph these tiny orchid blooms.

This time of year there are all sorts of blooms opening in the woods and it is always a surprise to find where some pop up.  The Spurred Butterfly Pea or Centrosema virginianum is a large purple bloom.  It grows on a vine that shows up in various spots through the woods.  I have posted about this beauty about four times.  Here, here, here and here.  Isn't she a beauty?  It was a new plant to me when I first moved here, now I feel like she is an old friend.  Her delicate vine twists through various shrubs in the woods or across the open ground, she isn't picky.

See how large the bloom is?  It is big enough to make you stop and look to see what that pretty purple bloom might be.

I am including her in this Wildflower Wednesday posting because I have collected a few seed pods.  I took an old aluminum pan outside to put under the pod as  I clipped it from the vine.  Good thing I did that as it acted like a spring that needed to coil.  The very dry, ripe pods will pop into a spiral fashion, dispersing the seeds outward.   Mother Nature is pretty clever in her ways of spreading seeds.

These are long narrow pods.....they are dark brown when they are ripe and almost disappear against the forest.
They are native all across the South, as far west as Texas and as far north as New Jersey. You can see the range here....so--- I have enough seeds to share with three of you (maybe more if I can find more seed pods).  If you are interested in trying your hand in growing this pretty little vine....tell me in the comments.  If there are more than three I will pick three names.

And now for our mystery vine.  It blooms late -- fully in bloom photos are from October last year, the stem is squared, the leaves are heart-shaped, arranged opposite each other, with new growth also springing from the nodes.  I have looked for this on Namethatplant.net and have had no luck.

Here it is again this summer, buds plump and soon to open.  I have looked for it in all my wildflower books, to no avail.

The squared stems seem to be reddish purple this year.  Maybe they age to a green color by October.   They grow along my shoreline of the lake.

In the fall there are lots of little bees enjoying the blooms.  

Interesting intersection of stems and leaves.  

Here is the squared stem.  Any ideas?  

It is interspersed with Apios americana, Groundnut, which was the subject of another post a few years ago.  When I first saw the vine last year I thought it might be the Groundnut, but no--- something new! 


If you have any ideas please let me know.  Sure would like to identify this one.  Be sure to stop over to Gail's blog- clayandlimestone.com to see her Wildflowers and others' who have contributed.
Tina mentioned she needed a better photo of the leaves--- so here is one more photo of our mystery vine.  Well our mystery vine has been IDed!  Gail found it.  It is Mikania scandens, Climbing Hempweed!


©Copyright 2013 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

31 comments:

  1. Your crane fly pictures are great! I tried and tried to get photos of mine this year, but never did. Would love to try growing the Centrosema! WIll see if I can key out the white flower for you. You did a great job posting its particulars. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is, I tried to get *good* photos of mine. I got plenty of clear shots of the background, just none of the plant!

      Delete
    2. I know you have some good photos of the Cranefly! It is hard to blur the background and if there is the slightest breeze...oh boy!
      I will be happy to send you some seeds, send me an email with your address.

      Delete
  2. Your mystery plant sure is pretty!
    But I have no idea what it is.
    Hope you are having a beautiful day.
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lea, thanks!! We did find out the name of the mystery plant! Climbing Hempweed.

      Delete
  3. It is pretty amazing how nature is so creative. Those pods are really interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna, nature is indeed creative-- all in order to survive.

      Delete
  4. Does your mystery vine get a fruit that you know of? I have been researching it and maybe it is honeyvine milkweed. Not sure as I really can't see the leaves all that well. You can research it though. The orchid and butterfly pea are pretty cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tina, I will keep everyone posted on the seed pods of the Climbing Hempvine.

      Delete
  5. Such interesting plants! I'd love to try growing the butterfly pea vine from seed, if you have enough. Your mystery plant has such a pretty flower.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alison, I do have enough, be glad to send you some seeds. Email your address to me.

      Delete
  6. So good to know the cranefly is blooming...I need to check mine. I too would love to have just a couple pea seeds if you have extra.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marian, Yes, I hope you found yours in bloom. I will be happy to send you some seeds. I know I have your address somewhere...but if you wouldn't mind emailing it to me again I would appreciate it.

      Delete
  7. Dear Janet,
    thank you: very interesting, and I know not one of them (I mean, of course I know wild sweet peas, but not this sort).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Britta, thanks, it is always interesting to see plants from new places isn't it?

      Delete
  8. The Butterfly Pea's pods are neat. Your mystery vine and Butterfly pea put me in mind of the wild morning glory like flower that I found last year down by the river. They have been doing road construction here and the morning glory's habituate has been destroyed. I hope somehow the seeds spread beyond the reach of the construction. Have a great weekend Janet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer, yes, it reminded me of the morning glory leaves too. I imagine you will still see the morning glory in years to come!

      Delete
  9. Janet, I would love to try the seeds of the vining pea...Thank you! How exciting!!!! I have no idea what that vine is but now, I am curious. Must search. LOVE the Tipularia discolor. Your woods are magic. xgail

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gail, I am happy to send you some of the seeds, email your address to me. I love Tipularia discolor too.

      Delete
  10. The Centrosema has such pretty blooms, and the seed pods are so neat. I'd love to try growing it, but it probably wouldn't like our cold winters, so I'll let those farther south vie for the seeds. I have no idea what your mystery plant is, but you did a great job of showing its characteristics, so hopefully someone can come up with an i.d. soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rose, If you change your about wanting seeds let me know, I think that they may do ok in your area....they do range up through Illinois.

      Delete
  11. I think your vine is Climbing hempweed! Mikania scandens...I was looking up another asteracea and the page opened to this one! Hope this is your plant. xogail

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wish I could identify that vine....your wildflowers are just stunning...and so unusual to me as they are native to the S.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna@GEV, thanks! Even though they are native, some are still mysteries....more to come!

      Delete
  13. Hello Janet. Thank you for sharing your Zone’s wildflowers! I don’t think there is a single duplicate in my Zone that I’ve noticed, which makes sharing our garden posts all the more interesting. Love the shot of the seed pods and how they open. Happy gardening!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane, thanks so much. I think sharing native plants via posts is a great education for all of us!

      Delete
  14. You have the BEST wildflowers! I love the crane-fly orchid--gorgeous--and I have to laugh about the (invisible) dog hair. Anything black in our house always shows white dog hair. The spurred butterfly pea is stunning--love it! Beautiful wildflowers and photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie, Yes, invisible dog hair. Haahaaa...it is everywhere! Do you want some of the seeds?? Let me know.

      Delete
  15. What lovely wildflowers you have! I love tiny little blooms on plants and yours are just gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love your Tipularia discolor,, such delicate beauty, I hope your clump thrives and provides you with many opportunities to experiment with photographing it! That non-mysterious vine is rather lovely too, you do seem blessed with some very attractive natives.

    ReplyDelete

If you use OpenID/Anonymous please sign your name so I know who you are...there is a lot of spam out there. Thanks for visiting today. The Queen would be pleased if you left a comment...... :-D thanks! I do respond to your comments, you can click on the email followup comments to have it in your inbox.

I am now moderating all comments. Too much spam is coming through. Sorry folks.