A Dandelion (Traxacum officinal) Eurasian flower is actually a composite of many small flowers. Every part of it edible. Children have entertained themselves by blowing the feathery seeds off the stem, watching them float carefree through the warm summer air. Dandelions are weeds in North America, and weeds are aggressive non-sharers of space and resources. However, if you welcome Dandelion into your garden as food or entertainment then you would not consider them an invasive weed.
I marvel at the intricate design of this flower and it’s ability to change from a sea of hot summer yellow to plump pillows of white. Admittedly, it is unwanted in my yard; I am part of the majority who consider it a weed. So any I find in my garden are removed plant by plant during the year.
I admire this beauty in nearby meadows and parklands. And yes, I still enjoy the challenge of blowing the seeds off the stem in one breath.
Closeup of Dandelion bloom cluster. copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg
Dandelions in the grass. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg
Diablo Ninebark (Physocarpus) shrub with emerging buds and fully open flowers. This shrub reinforces my purple and white shades in my springtime perennial garden. The leaves and the white flowers both have purple undertones. This species is also suitable to my sustainable plans; it is heat and drought resistant. I take advantage of perennial’s deep roots and keep my watering to only once or twice each year. Newly planted perennials are pampered with weekly deep watering as their root systems become established.
Budding Diablo, copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg
Prolific blooms of Ninebark, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg
This morning I am reminded of how little I yet have learned, how much there still is to learn. Providing background information of my natural subjects is one of my strategies to mark my passion for nature’s wonders as contagious. Today, the best I can hope for is to instill you with a sense of awe; specifically an awe in the multiplicity of Sedges. If that’s too ambitious of me, please just enjoy the pictures I share!
Caricology is the study of this large species, Sedge (carex). The identification of the sedges in these images remains a mystery to me. I’m content to know that I still haven’t learned it all; actually I’m excited to know I’m not done exploring life’s mysteries.
The Sedges alongside the riverbank were expected natives. Connecting this river with the forest through which it flowed brought together two moist loving species that do not usually mingle with each other. My eye focused on a colony of Mayapples (Podophyllum). Mayapples are woodland natives that stir folktale imaginations in my mind with each springtime encounter. Here they were sharing the forest floor with Sedges. Crouching down as I hunted for yet-to-bloom Mayapple flowers I quickly became fascinated by the stringy fuzz of these Sedges.
Mayapples and Sedges communing together. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg
Sedges among the Mayapple. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg
Sedge in Cook County Forest Preserve, Chicago. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg
-Read other Mayapple posts of mine:
- “May in April…”, April 2012
- “Shy beauty…”, May 2013
-Illinois is host to over 200 “Sedges, grasses and non-flowering plants”: http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/grasses/grass_index.htm .