Culver Seedling Check

by Carl Strang

 

I was back in Culver, Indiana, over the weekend, and stopped by the little skunk cabbage seep to check on the seedling that appeared there in February. Here is its April 25 appearance.

 

seedling-25apb2

 

It proves different from the herbaceous plants I noticed nearby a month ago. Those are not quite flowering yet, but appear to support Scott’s (of the Handlens and Binoculars blog) suggestion of one of the Cardamine cresses, probably C. bulbosa, the bulbous cress.

 

cardamine-bulbosa-maybe-1b

 

It has smooth stems, the flower buds look like their petal color will be white,

 

cardamine-bulbosa-maybe-4b

 

it will be flowering later in the spring, and this species is listed by Swink & Wilhelm as an associate of skunk cabbage and of marsh marigold, the latter of which was blooming nearby on April 25.

 

marsh-marigold-b

 

As for the mystery seedling, its leaves are different in shape and venation pattern from those of the Cardamine, and had an opposite arrangement along the lengthening stem. Furthermore, the persistent cotyledons, which always have been relatively thick and large, have me thinking shrub, now, rather than herb. Could it even be (gasp of disappointment) a bush honeysuckle (Lonicera sp.)? Some of those were present, and one of the reasons they are so successful at displacing our native plants is their extended growing season. I don’t think it is usual for their seedlings to appear so early, though, if the one I am following should prove to be a Lonicera.

1 Comment

  1. Scott said,

    May 4, 2009 at 2:04 am

    Huh… doesn’t really look like honeysuckle to me, but I’m not sure what it could be. It looks a little like Phlox divaricata.


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