Two Winter Marsh Plants

by Carl Strang

Today I want to compare winter and summer views of two plants that are common around Mayslake Forest Preserve’s stream corridor marsh. The first is one that I did not include in last summer’s phenological review because I could not get a satisfactory photo. Here is the best I could do then.

Here it is in winter.

The winter view does a better job of bringing out the plant’s distinctive structure. The other species bloomed prolifically around the fringes of the marsh last year: bur marigold.

This plant is in the beggar’s-tick genus Bidens. If you brush against members of this species when they are fruiting you will find bunches of seeds sticking to your clothing. Here are some bur marigolds in winter, still bearing some seeds.

Avoiding such annoyances certainly is one reason for learning to recognize plants when they are not blooming.

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