Plant Phenology June

by Carl Strang

First flowering dates at Mayslake Forest Preserve in June continued to be earlier than last year. Among the 10 species for which I had reasonably close first appearances, the median was 15 days earlier than last year. There were 26 other species whose flowering was well under way when I first found them. Their median was 5.5 days earlier than last year. I also continued to find new species for my preserve list: moth mullein, common day flower, motherwort, all of which are relatively weedy, and the more interesting smooth beard tongue.

The last is a southern species that appears irregularly in our woodlands. Superficially it resembles our common foxglove beard tongue. Though the diagnostic characteristics require a magnifying glass, sometimes the smooth beard tongue has distinctive purple flowers as in the Mayslake example.

Though I do not include domestic plantings in these data, I did notice that Adam’s needle yucca plants were flowering around the friary.

They did not bloom at all in last year’s relatively cool dark season.

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