The Late July Wildflowers of Mattawoman Creek
Wild Petunia Ruellia caroliniensis, is a perennial of sandy soils. This native occurs from Maryland, south to Florida and west to Texas and flowers from late July and into August.
Wild Senna, Senna hebecarpa is a native legume, can grow up to six-feet tall along shorelines. We are keeping a keen eye out for anything yellow as our field investigations include that we watch out for the federally endangered sensitive joint vetch. Senna and indigo both look a little like vetch, so it makes us look twice. The only other yellow plant that we observed today was early goldenrod and Rudbeckia.
The absolutely beautiful Turk’s Cap Lily Lillium superbum, is a show stopper!
Swamp Loosestrife, also known as Water Willow Decodon verticillatus is a component/player in most marshes that we have been monitoring. The plant has attractive pink flowers within the axils.
The flowers of the Bull-Tongue, aka Lance-Leaved Arrowhead Sagittaria lancifolia stands over and usually behind arrow arum and pickerelweed along the water frontage of marshes.
The uncommon Sagattaria subulata, as observed at low tide. This plant does not have an agreed to common name, so I have a few for consideration including submerged subulata, grass-leaved arrowhead, pointed-leaved arrowhead or inundated arrowhead.
This exposed mat is Sagittaria subulata in bloom. It is only visible at low tide, occurs on tidal flats on exposed substrate and/or among marsh plants. It grows 2-inches tall and is susceptible to smothering by Hydrilla and the alien Murdannia keisak (marsh dewflower).
Green Heron Butorides virescens do not wade, as their legs are not long enough. They hunt from a perch or platform as seen in this photo. This migratory bird overwinters in Central America.
This egret Ardea alba with a female mallard in the foreground hunts for stranded fish in the compressed Hydrilla at extreme low tide. This egret will migrate in early autumn, flying to South America during the leaf-off season.
I’ve been tracking this plant, thinking it might be an alien alligatorweed. Now that it is in flower, it key’s-out as Justica americana, American Water-Willow that grows 1 to 3-inches above the water line. Observed at Bullitt Neck by boat.
The ever-striking Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis.
Other plants that we observed in flower today include: primrose willow (Ludwigia peploides), a former MD DNR RTE, New York Ironweed, early goldenrod, mistflower (wild ageratum), false nettle, water parsnip, tall cordgrass, wild clematis, rose mallow, American germander, joe-pye weed, jewelweed, buttonweed, Virginia dayflower and marsh yellowcress (Rorippa palustris).