August 21, 2013

Native Wildflowers

One year, I guess around age 10 or so, my best friend and I took what we called nature walks in the forest behind our homes. We bought matching field guides to the flora of Southern New Hampshire. We wandered the woods and attempted to identify the plants we saw. I remember mountain laurel and blueberries in abundance. Checkerberries and lady slippers. Small, delicate star shaped white flowers with a yellow center whose name escapes me, if I ever did know what it was.

I've been remembering those walks fondly as I circle my house with a library copy of Robert L. Henn's Wild Flowers of Ohio in hand. We have several neglected, untended flower beds that are a complete mystery to me. What exactly are the legitimate plants and what are the weeds? Baffling except for the towering (7-8 feet tall!) something or others that we arbitrarily decided had to go. See?
The darn things were taller than the first story of the house! With them gone, the mess underneath is better exposed. Before pulling anything else out, I've been trying to identify what we've got. So far, I am pleased to discover that it's almost exclusively native wildflowers.
several varieties of day-lilies: some native, some naturalized, some unidentified
day-lilies & black-eyed susans, native 
3-lobed coneflowers, native
purple coneflowers, native
ox-eye daisies, naturalized
phlox, native
wild or purple bergamot, native
chicory, naturalized

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