Mid-Summer Flowers

by Carl Strang

As this season continues its early flowering phenology, already we are seeing blooms typical of the middle of summer. A classic example is the prairie blazing star.

These began blooming at Mayslake Forest Preserve last week.

My off-trail exploration recently turned up a colony of helleborine orchids.

Previously I had seen only one individual of this non-native orchid in another part of the preserve.

Last week I found the wild sennas flowering. I had anticipated this since noticing fruiting ones last winter.

This tall legume is growing along the stream.

At last the friary site is showing patches of native species, if somewhat weedy ones.

Most of the plants here are black-eyed Susan and Canada wild rye.

Restoration steward Conrad Fialkowski had pointed out a patch of fringed loosestrife last year after they were done blooming. This year I got to see the flowers.

The fringes, which don’t show in this photo, are along the edges of the leaf petioles.

Another plant new to my preserve list I found near the stream corridor marsh last week.

Monkey flower grows in relatively wet soils.

More plant species ultimately mean more animal species and a greater ecological redundancy, which supports community stability.

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