Sightings – Flowers

Observer: Rita Corey

Observation Date: 8/13/20

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Rattlesnake Hill

Common Name: American burnweed (a.k.a. fireweed)

Scientific Name: Erechtites hieraciifolius

Comments: Burnweed is a native annual in the daisy family, Asteraceae. American Burnweed is an underrated and unappreciated wild edible. Although Burnweed has no history as a food source here in America, everywhere else in the world where it grows it is eaten. It’s a common food in all of Asia and most of Europe. It also has medicinal properties2. The oil derived from the plant can be used to treat wounds, hemorrhages, poison ivy rashes, and other ailments such as piles.

Burnweed got its unique name by being one of the first plants to grow after a fire has burned out an area. Burnweed is also referred to as fireweed.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/11

Observation Time: 1:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Beach Rose

Scientific Name: Rosa rugosa

More Information: University of Rhode Island

Beach Rose

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/11

Observation Time: 8:15 a.m.

Observation Location: meadow near Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: Bird’s Foot Violet

Scientific Name: Viola pedata

Comments: The leaves of this pretty wildflower are reminiscent of bird’s feet. Not a common violet locally, only one site in Blue Hills. Likes dry sandy soils; has also been spotted in woods north of Knollwood Cemetery in Sharon.

More Information: US Wildflowers Database (USDA)

Bird's Foot Violet

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/19/20

Observation Time: 9:20 a.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Bird’s Foot Violet

Scientific Name: Viola pedata

Comments: Bird-foot violets are perennials with five-petaled flowers that bloom from March to June. The flowers are typically blue, but can range from white to purple. They spread by sending out rhizomes. The fan-shaped leaves have three lobes which are said to resemble a bird’s feet.

More Information: US Wildflowers Database (USDA)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 4:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Power lines near Walpole St.

Common Name: Bird’s Foot Violet

Scientific Name: Viola pedata

Comments: Bird-foot violets are perennials with five-petaled flowers that bloom from March to June. The flowers are typically blue, but can range from white to purple. They spread by sending out rhizomes. The fan-shaped leaves have three lobes which are said to resemble a bird’s feet.

More Information: US Wildflowers Database (USDA)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/14

Observation Time: 12:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Power lines near Walpole St.

Common Name: Bird’s Foot Violet

Scientific Name: Viola pedata

Comments: Bird-foot violets are perennials with five-petaled flowers that bloom from March to June. The flowers are typically blue, but can range from white to purple. They spread by sending out rhizomes. The fan-shaped leaves have three lobes which are said to resemble bird feet.

More Information: US Wildflowers Database (USDA)

Bird's Foot Violet

Bird's Foot Violet

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/6/11

Observation Time: 1:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road (bridge near soccer
fields)

Common Name: Bittersweet Nightshade

Scientific Name: Solanum dulcamara

More Information: King County, WA

Bittersweet Nightshade

Bittersweet Nightshade

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 4:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Beneath high tension wires near So. Walpole St.

Common Name: Black Huckleberry

Scientific Name: Gaylussacia baccata

Comments: These are the distinctive bright red unopened flower buds of black huckleberry, Gaylussacia baccata. They are typically no more than waist-high. They often form a near-continuous shrub layer in dryish oak woods. In moister soils they tend to be replaced by dangleberry, Gaylussacia frondosa. 

Blueberry bushes are similar, but have green rather than blackish second-year twigs. The berries of huckleberries are very similar to the berries of blueberries, except the latter usually contain more seeds (8-20) that are smaller in size. The foliage and woody stems of Black Huckleberry are quite similar to those of low-bush blueberries (particularly Vaccinium pallidum), except the leaf undersides of the former shrub are covered with resinous yellow dots, while the leaf undersides of blueberries lack such resinous dots.

More Information: Illinois Wildflowers

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/12/20

Observation Time: 6:50 p.m.

Observation Location: along Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Black-eyed Susan

Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta

Comments: Related to cone flowers, this native biennial forms a rosette of leaves the first year, followed by flowers the second year. It is covered with hairs that give it a slightly rough texture.

More Information: USDA and wildflower.org

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/23/09

Observation Time: 9:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Black-eyed Susans

Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta

Comments: The genus name honors Olaus Rudbeck, who was a professor of botany at the University of Uppsala in Sweden and was one of Linnaeus’s teachers. The specific epithet “hirta” refers to the trichomes (hairs) occurring on leaves and stems.

More Information: USDA

Black-eyed Susans

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/5/13

Observation Time: 6:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Black-eyed Susans

Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta

Comments: A type of daisy, these were growing wild in the field near Gavins Pond Dam.

More Information: USDA

Black-eyed Susans

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/1/18

Observation Time: 10:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Bloodroot

Scientific Name: Sanguinaria canadensis

Comments: Blood-root is an attractive spring ephemeral, traditionally used in cough remedies. However, it has been characterized as unsafe by the United States Food and Drug Administration because of the presence of the toxic alkaloid sanguinarine. This flower drops its petals within a day or two of blooming.

Please do not dig up wildflowers!

More Information: Go Botany

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/31/11

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Blue Flag Iris

Scientific Name: Iris versicolor

More Information: Wikipedia

Blue Flag Iris

Observer: Peter Higgins

Observation Date: 06/08/08

Observation Time: 6:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Blue Flag Iris

Scientific Name: Iris versicolor

Comments: This beautiful group of wild blue flag iris was growing in the field near the boardwalk.

More Information: LakeForest.edu

Iris

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/31/11

Observation Time: 4:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Blue Toadflax

Scientific Name: Nuttallanthus canadensis

More Information: Conn. Botanical Society

Blue Toadflax

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/20

Observation Time: 2:50 p.m.

Observation Location: meadow near Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: Blue Toadflax

Scientific Name: Nuttallanthus canadensis

Comments: These diminutive wildflowers bloom from April to September.

More Information: Conn. Botanical Society

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/11/15

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Blue Toadflax

Scientific Name: Nuttallanthus canadensis

Comments: Flowers from April to September.

More Information: Conn. Botanical Society

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/20

Observation Time: 3:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Blue-eyed grass

Scientific Name: Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Comments: Blue-eyed grass grows in fields, meadows and the edges of wetlands. This clump was growing along the dirt road under the high-tension lines. Except in spring when its small, blue flowers make it conspicuous, this plant is hard to pick out among other kinds of grasses.

Native Americans cooked and ate the greens, and used the plant medicinally to regulate the bowels.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/14/11

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: meadow near Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: Blueberry

Scientific Name: Vaccinium corymbosum

Comments: Blueberries grow wild in the woods around Sharon, often near ponds and streams, where their roots can access moisture during dry weather. They flower in May and ripen in mid-summer.

More Information: Mother Earth News

Blueberry

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/13/20

Observation Time: 4:55 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Broad-leaved Dock

Scientific Name: Rumex obtusifolius

Comments: Rumex obtusifolius, commonly known as broad-leaved dock, bitter dock, bluntleaf dock, dock leaf or butter dock, is a perennial plant in the family Polygonaceae. It is native to Europe, but is found on all temperate continents. It is a highly invasive species in some zones, resulting from its abundant seed dispersal, adaptability to reproduce, aggressive roots, ability to tolerate extreme climates, and hardiness.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/7/20

Observation Time: 6:30 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road (my back yard)

Common Name: Broad-leaved Speedwell

Scientific Name: Veronica austriaca

Comments: Broad-leaved speedwell, also know as large speedwell, Austrian speedwell, or saw-leaved speedwell,  is a perennial, herbaceous plant that is native to Europe. It is cultivated and can escape the garden setting.

More Information: Wikipedia and Flickr

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/14/09

Observation Time: 11:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm, Trustees of Reservations land

Common Name: Bull Thistle

Scientific Name: Cirsium vulgare

More Information: UGA Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health

Bull Thistle

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/15/12

Observation Time: 5:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Rd. soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Bull Thistle

Scientific Name: Cirsium vulgare

Comments: The beautiful blossom of the bull thistle comes with sharp thorns.

More Information: Wikipedia

Bull Thistle

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/17/14

Observation Time: 12:55 p.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis courts

Common Name: Canada Mayflower

Scientific Name: Maianthemum canadense

Comments: This common plant carpets the forest floor in many parts of Sharon.

More Information: Wikipedia

Canada Mayflower

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/20

Observation Time: 5:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis courts

Common Name: Canada Mayflower

Scientific Name: Maianthemum canadense

Comments: This common plant carpets the forest floor in many parts of Sharon.

More Information: Wikipedia

I took this photo at the same place on June 2:

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/11

Observation Time: 2:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Conservation land near Billings Street

Common Name: Canada Mayflower

Scientific Name: Maianthemum canadense

Comments: Carpets the ground in many wooded areas of Sharon.

More Information: Wikipedia

Canada Mayflower

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/12/20

Observation Time: 6:40 p.m.

Observation Location: along Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Canada Wild Lettuce

Scientific Name: Lactuca canadensis

Comments: This edible plant can grow to over six feet tall. It has leaves that are shaped like those of a dandelion, and produces dandelion-like yellow flowers.

More Information: Wikipedia and iNaturalist

Observer: Rita Corey

Observation Date: 8/13/20

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Morse St.

Common Name: Cardinal Flower

Scientific Name: Lobelia cardinalis

Comments: Cardinal flowers are typically found near water. These were growing in a dry streambed.

Since most insects find it difficult to navigate the long tubular flowers, cardinal flowers depend on hummingbirds, which feed on the nectar, for pollination. Its common name alludes to the bright red robes worn by Roman Catholic cardinals.

Although relatively common, overpicking this handsome wildflower has resulted in its scarcity in some areas. Please do not dig up wildflowers.

More Information: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/13/20

Observation Time: 6:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Carolina Allspice

Scientific Name: Calycanthus floridus

Comments: Also known as Carolina Sweetshrub, this plant deserves its name. The blossoms are fragrant and the leaves are aromatic when bruised. I wish I had encountered this plant a week earlier when the blossoms were at their prime. Maybe next year…

More Information: North Carolina Native Plant Society

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/14/09

Observation Time: 11:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm, Trustees of Reservations land

Common Name: Celandine

Scientific Name: Chelidonium majus

More Information: Flora Health Herb Encyclopedia

Celandine

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/27/15

Observation Time: 2:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer fields

Common Name: Chicory

Scientific Name: Cichorium intybus

Comments: A perennial herb with blue, lavender, or occasionally white flowers, chicory grows as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and in North America and Australia, where it has become naturalized. Common chicory is also known as blue sailors, succory, and coffeeweed.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/7/10

Observation Time: 7:05 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer fields

Common Name: Chicory

Scientific Name: Cichorium intybus

Comments: A perennial herb with blue, lavender, or occasionally white flowers, chicory grows as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and in North America and Australia, where it has become naturalized. Common chicory is also known as blue sailors, succory, and coffeeweed.

More Information: Wikipedia

Chicory

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/5/18

Observation Time: 8:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Common Blue Violet

Scientific Name: Viola sororia

Comments: For information, see: http://thebotanicalhiker.blogspot.com/2015/04/eating-wild-identifying-wild-edible.html

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 8:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Common Buttercup

Scientific Name: Ranunculus acris

Comments: The Common Buttercup (Ranunculus acris); also called Tall Buttercup, Meadow Buttercup and Blister Plant; is a perennial forb/herb in the Ranunculaceae family. The family and genus names come from the Latin for “little frog” because this family prefers wet areas. It’s also called Tall Crowfoot because of the irregular   shape of the leaves. The species name is from the Latin for “bad tasting,” that is, acrid. This plant has a very acrid fluid (glycoside ranunculin) that discourages foraging by animals.

More Information: French Hill Pond Field Plants and Go Botany

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/16/19

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Common Mullein

Scientific Name: Verbascum thapsus

Comments: Verbascum thapsus has a wide native range including Europe, northern Africa and Asia, from the Azores and Canary Islands east to western China, north to the British Isles, Scandinavia and Siberia, and south to the Himalayas. In the United States it was imported very early in the 18th century and cultivated for its medicinal and piscicide properties. By 1818, it had begun spreading so much that Amos Eaton thought it was a native plant. In 1839 it was already reported in Michigan and in 1876, in California. It is now found commonly in all the states.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/13/20

Observation Time: 5:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Common Mullein

Scientific Name: Verbascum thapsus

Comments: Verbascum thapsus has a wide native range including Europe, northern Africa and Asia, from the Azores and Canary Islands east to western China, north to the British Isles, Scandinavia and Siberia, and south to the Himalayas. In the United States it was imported very early in the 18th century and cultivated for its medicinal and piscicide (fish poisoning) properties. By 1818, it had begun spreading so much that Amos Eaton thought it was a native plant. In 1839 it was already reported in Michigan and in 1876, in California. It is now found commonly in all the states.

The leaves are kind of fuzzy. A tall stalk of yellow flowers will shoot up soon from the main plant.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/11/10

Observation Time: 9:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Common Mullein

Scientific Name: Verbascum thapsus

Comments: Mullein is widely used for herbal remedies, with well-established emollient and astringent properties. Mullein remedies are especially recommended for coughs and related problems, but also used in topical applications against a variety of skin problems. The plant has also been used to make dyes and torches.

More Information: Wikipedia

Common Mullein

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/21/19

Observation Time: 7:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Creeping Myrtle

Scientific Name: Vinca minor

Comments: Also known as dwarf periwinkle, this non-native plant comes from Europe. It makes a good groundcover, and it produces lovely purple blossoms in spring and into summer, but once established it spreads and is hard to eradicate.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/12/15

Observation Time: 4:30 p.m.

Observation Location: conservation land at Lakeview & Morse Streets

Common Name: Cypress Spurge

Scientific Name: Euphorbia cyparissias

Comments: Cypress spurge is an invasive perennial plant from Eurasia. Its extensive underground root system spreads by means of lateral root buds.  It proliferates into large clonal colonies.

Baltimore checkerspot butterflies feed on cypress spurge flowers.

More Information: Vermont Invasives

Cypress spurge with Baltimore checkerspot butterfly chrysalis:

Cypress spurge with Baltimore checkerspot butterfly:

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/28/10

Observation Time: 1:55 p.m.

Observation Location: 147 Wolomolopoag St., Sharon

Common Name: Daisy Fleabane

Scientific Name: Erigeron annuus

Comments: Fleabanes get their common name from an old belief that they repelled fleas and other pestiferous insects. Early European settlers in North America stuffed mattresses with fleabane and hung clusters of plants in their cabins to drive out fleas. The custom persisted for generations, even though Daisy Fleabane appears to have no insect-repelling ability whatsoever. In fact, the plant ATTRACTS insects—not only pollinators but also tiny herbivores that nibble away the ray flowers and leave only the central disk.

More Information: Hilton Pond Center

Daisy Fleabane

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/23/09

Observation Time: 9:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Daisy Fleabane

Scientific Name: Erigeron annuus

Comments: Fleabanes get their common name from an old belief that they repelled fleas and other pestiferous insects. Early European settlers in North America stuffed mattresses with fleabane and hung clusters of plants in their cabins to drive out fleas. The custom persisted for generations, even though Daisy Fleabane appears to have no insect-repelling ability whatsoever. In fact, the plant ATTRACTS insects—not only pollinators but also tiny herbivores that nibble away the ray flowers and leave only the central disk.

Daisy Fleabane

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/20

Observation Time: 11:15 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Dame’s Rocket

Scientific Name: Hesperis matronalis

Comments: Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis) is a tall, short-lived perennial, which produces white, pink or purple flowers in the spring. Known for its colorful and fragrant blooms, the plant has been a traditional garden favorite. However, in recent years, Dame’s rocket has gone rogue, moving from yards and garden plantings into the adjoining landscapes. These flowers were growing rampantly in the Billings Loop meadow.

More Information: Applied Ecological Services

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 9:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Dandelion

Scientific Name: Taraxacum officinale

Comments:  Native to Europe, it has spread nearly worldwide. The young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The taproot can be boiled and eaten or dried and ground as a base for a hot drink.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/27/15

Observation Time: 3:30 p.m.

Observation Location: my back yard (Gavins Pond Road)

Common Name: Deptford Pink

Scientific Name: Dianthus armeria

Comments: Deptford Pink is an introduced species from Europe.

More Information: Maryland Biodiversity Project

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/6/14

Observation Time: 12:45 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Deptford Pink

Scientific Name: Dianthus armeria

Comments:The Deptford pink is a European species, introduced and widespread in North America. Its name refers to the English town near London in which this species was formerly common.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/10

Observation Time: 5:25 p.m.

Observation Location: edge of woods by Gavins Pond near soccer fields

Common Name: Dewberry

Scientific Name: Rubus flagellaris

Comments: Dewberries are found in the eastern half of North America. Indians prepared a tea using northern dewberry roots to calm stomach irritation. The fruits are large and tasty. They can be eaten raw or used in jams, jellies, and sauces.

Dewberries start out green, then turn to orange, then red, and finally black when fully ripe.

More Information: Wikipedia

Dewberry blossom photographed on 5/26/10:

Northern Dewberry

Unripe dewberries photographed on 6/27/10:

Northern Dewberry

Ripening dewberries photographed on 6/28/10 at 147 Wolomolopoag St.

Northern Dewberry

Observer: Rita Corey

Observation Date: 8/13/20

Observation Time: 1:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Rattlesnake Hill

Common Name: Downy Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid

Scientific Name: Goodyera pubescens

Comments: Please don’t dig up wildflowers.

More Information: Virginia Native Plant Society

Observer: Rita Corey

Observation Date: 6/23/19

Observation Time: 2:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Rattlesnake Hill

Common Name: Downy Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid

Scientific Name: Goodyera pubescens

Comments: Please don’t dig up wildflowers.

More Information: USDA Plant Fact Sheet

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/14/11

Observation Time: 2:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Dwarf ginseng

Scientific Name: Panax trifolius

Comments: This diminutive variety of ginseng has no “medicinal” properties.
It blooms in spring and dies back in summer.

More Information: US Forest Service

Dwarf Ginseng

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/23/19

Observation Time: noon

Observation Location: Billings Loop Botanical Trail

Common Name: Enchanter’s Nightshade

Scientific Name: Circaea quadrisulcata

Comments: Enchanter’s nightshade is a member of the primrose family.

More Information: UMass Amherst Weed Herbarium

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/20

Observation Time: 10:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: False Solomon’s Seal

Scientific Name: Maianthemum racemosum

Comments: This herbaceous perennial plant is unbranched and grows to about knee-high. The central stem is somewhat erect and ascending. Flowers (then berries) occur at the end of the plant. Flowers occur in a plume-like cluster of minute florets and transform into a “bunch” of ruby red berries (although they do not all ripen at the same time).

The berries are edible and somewhat bittersweet (caution: large quantities can have a laxative effect). In traditional medicine the dried rhizomes can be used to brew a tea to treat coughs and constipation.

More Information: Edible Wild Food

Note the flower at the tip end of the plant. This distinguishes it from true Solomon’s Seal, which has flowers hanging in a row along the underside of the stem.

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/20

Observation Time: 3:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm

Common Name: Golden Ragwort

Scientific Name: Senecio aureus (also known as Packera aurea)

Comments: Golden Ragwort is a biannual plant with yellow-orange flowers. It grows to a height of 2 feet and belongs to Asteraceae family (i.e. asters).

More Information: New Moon Nursery

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/11

Observation Time: 2:20 p.m.

Observation Location: conservation land near Billings Street

Common Name: Golden Ragwort

Scientific Name: Senecio aureus

Comments: Golden Ragwort is a biannual plant with a yellow flower that grows upto a height of 2 feet and belongs to Asteraceae family (i.e. asters).

More Information: HealthBenefitsTimes.com or Illinois Wildflowers

Golden Ragwort

Golden Ragwort

Golden Ragwort

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/12/09

Observation Time: 11:25 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Goldenrod

Scientific Name: Solidago sp.

Comments: Goldenrod gets a bad rap as a cause of autumn allergies. The real culprit is ragweed. In fact, goldenrod has medicinal properties.

More Information: Great Plains Nature Center

Goldenrod

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/15/20

Observation Time: 9:40 a.m.

Observation Location: near Pond Street rotary by Lake Massapoag

Common Name: Ground Ivy (a.k.a. “Gill-over-the-ground”)

Scientific Name: Glechoma hederacea

Comments: Commonly known as ground-ivy, gill-over-the-ground, creeping charlie, alehoof, tunhoof, catsfoot, field balm, and run-away-robin, it has numerous medicinal uses, and is used as a salad green in many countries. European settlers carried it around the world, and it has become a well-established introduced and naturalized plant in a wide variety of localities.

More Information: Go Botany and Wikipedia and Wildflowers of the United States

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 8:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Ground Ivy (a.k.a. “Gill-over-the-ground”)

Scientific Name: Glechoma hederacea

Comments: Commonly known as ground-ivy, gill-over-the-ground, creeping charlie, alehoof, tunhoof, catsfoot, field balm, and run-away-robin, it has numerous medicinal uses, and is used as a salad green in many countries. European settlers carried it around the world, and it has become a well-established introduced and naturalized plant in a wide variety of localities.

More Information: Go Botany and Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/19

Observation Time: 8:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Ground Ivy (a.k.a. “Gill-over-the-ground”)

Scientific Name: Glechoma hederacea

Comments: Commonly known as ground-ivy, gill-over-the-ground, creeping charlie, alehoof, tunhoof, catsfoot, field balm, and run-away-robin, it has numerous medicinal uses, and is used as a salad green in many countries. European settlers carried it around the world, and it has become a well-established introduced and naturalized plant in a wide variety of localities.

More Information: Go Botany and Wikipedia and Wildflowers of the United States

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/20

Observation Time: 4:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Indian Cucumber Root

Scientific Name: Medeola virginiana

Comments: Indian cucumber-root is a common perennial of the forest understory in New England. As the name suggests, the edible root tastes somewhat like cucumber.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/10

Observation Time: 4:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Iris (harlequin blueflag)

Scientific Name: Iris versicolor

Comments: The species has been implicated in several poisoning cases of humans and animals who consumed the rhizomes, which have been found to contain a glycoside, iridin. The sap can cause dermatitis in susceptible individuals.

More Information: The Flower Expert

Iris (Harlequin Blueflag)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/22/13

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer fields

Common Name: Jerusalem Artichoke

Scientific Name: Helianthus tuberosus

Comments: Before the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans cultivated H. tuberosus as a food source. The tubers persist for years after being planted, so that the species expanded its range from central North America to the eastern and western regions. Early European colonists learned of this, and sent tubers back to Europe, where it became a popular crop and naturalized there. It later gradually fell into obscurity in North America, but attempts to market it commercially have been successful in the late 1900s and early 2000s.

The tuber contains about 2% protein, no oil, and little starch. It is rich in the carbohydrate inulin (8 to 13%), which is a polmer of the monosaccharide fructose. Tubers stored for any length of time convert their inulin into its component fructose. Jerusalem artichokes have an underlying sweet taste because of the fructose, which is about one and a half times as sweet as sucrose.

It has also been reported as a folk remedy for diabetes : since inulin is not assimilated in the intestine, it doesn’t cause a glycemic spike as potatoes would. Temperature variances have been shown to affect the amount of inulin the Jerusalem artichoke can produce. It makes less inulin in a colder region than when it is in a warmer region.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/24/10

Observation Time: 7:50 a.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond outflow pool

Common Name: Jewelweed

Scientific Name: Impatiens capensis

Comments: Jewelweed, which often grows in disturbed areas near poison ivy, is also an antidote for poison ivy.

More Information: Altnature.com

Jewelweed

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/13/20

Observation Time:  5:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Joe Pye Weed

Scientific Name: Eupatorium purpureum

Comments: Joe Pye Weed is an herbaceous, late-blooming perennial native to much of the U.S. It is a wildflower and an herb that was used as an herbal remedy to lower fevers and other maladies. The plant is named after a Native American herbalist. The lance-shaped leaves grow in whorls around the otherwise green stem which is purple where the leaves attach.

Butterflies feed on the flowers of Joe Pye weed when they bloom in late summer.

More Information: thespruce.com

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/15/18

Observation Time: 1:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Joe Pye Weed

Scientific Name: Eupatorium purpureum

Comments: Joe Pye weed is an herbaceous, late-blooming perennial native to much of the U.S. It is a wildflower and an herb that was used as an herbal remedy to lower fevers and other maladies. The plant goes by the common name Joe Pye weed, named after a Native American herbalist. The lance-shaped leaves grow in whorls around the otherwise green stem which is purple where the leaves attach.

More Information: thespruce.com

Spicebush swallowtail butterflies and monarch butterflies were feeding on Joe Pye weed blossoms that day:

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/22/13

Observation Time: 2:10 p.m.

Observation Location: King Phillip’s Rock area

Common Name: Ladies’ Tresses Orchid

Scientific Name: Spiranthes cernua

Comments: These wild white orchids grow on a spiral stalk (hence the name Spiranthes).

More Information: Go Orchids or Nature Northeast

Ladies' Tresses Orchid

Ladies' Tresses Orchid

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/18/20

Observation Time: 10:50 a.m.

Observation Location: under high tension lines across the street from the Gavins Pond soccer fields

Common Name: Lance-leaved Violet

Scientific Name: Viola lanceolata

Comments: One of only a few white-flowered stemless violets, lance-leaved violet inhabits sandy or peaty shorelines and marshes as well as more disturbed sites. The narrow lance-shaped leaves are distinctive.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/15/13

Observation Time: 6:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Lanceleaf Tickseed

Scientific Name: Coreopsis lanceolata

More Information: Go Botany

Lanceleaf Tickseed

Lanceleaf Tickseed

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/12/20

Observation Time: 6:55 p.m.

Observation Location: along Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Lanceleaf Tickseed

Scientific Name: Coreopsis lanceolata

Comments: This native perennial wildflower thrives in poor, sandy or rocky soils with good drainage. It is tolerant of heat, humidity and drought.

Lanceleaf tickseed features solitary, yellow, daisy-like flowers (1-2″ diameter) with eight yellow rays (toothed at the tips) and flat yellow center disks. Flowers bloom atop slender, erect stems from spring to early summer. Narrow, hairy, lance-shaped leaves (2-6″ long) appear primarily near the base of the plant.

More Information: Native Florida Wildflowers and Missouri Botanical Gardens

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/4/20

Observation Time: 2:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Late Purple Aster

Scientific Name: Symphyotrichum patens

Comments: Late purple aster looks similar to smooth aster — they both have purple rays and clasping leaves. Distinguish them by their stems — late purple aster has a rough, hairy stem; smooth aster has a smooth stem with a whitish coating.

More Information: Connecticut Botanical Society

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/3/10

Observation Time: 9:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Little Floatingheart

Scientific Name: Nymphoides cordata

Comments: The little floatinghearts are the smaller, darker, heart-shaped floating pads visible in the photo among the bigger, greener rounder water lilies. The small, five-petalled white flowers are those of little floatingheart. Water lilies have much bigger floating blossoms (see photo taken September 12, 2009).

More Information: USDA

Little Floatingheart

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/11

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: conservation land near Billings Street

Common Name: Maple-leaf Viburnum

Scientific Name: Viburnum acerifolium

Comments: Maple-leaf viburnum has long been cultivated for its attractive summer flowers and foliage; then the autumn leaves turn rose-purple and contrast with the mature dark fruits. The plants will thrive in moist soils and a range of light conditions but they are a good choice for dry soils in deep shade. They can be used along forest edges, streamsides, and lakeshores.

More Information: USDA Plant Guide

Maple-Leaf Viburnum

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/20

Observation Time: 4:30 p.m.

Observation Location: shady woods near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Maple-leaf Viburnum

Scientific Name: Viburnum acerifolium

Comments: Maple-leaf viburnum has long been cultivated for its attractive summer flowers and foliage; then the autumn leaves turn rose-purple and contrast with the mature dark fruits. The plants will thrive in moist soils and a range of light conditions but they are a good choice for dry soils in deep shade. They can be used along forest edges, streamsides, and lakeshores.

More Information: USDA Plant Guide

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/13/14

Observation Time: 8:05 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: May apple

Scientific Name: Podophyllum peltatum

Comments: Check out this well-written blog about May apples:

 66 SQUARE FEET (PLUS) blog

May Apple

Observer: Peter Higgins

Observation Date: 10/17/08

Observation Time: 5:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (Trustees of Reservations)

Common Name: Milkweed

Scientific Name: Asclepias syriaca

Comments: Milkweed is an important food source for butterflies, moths and other insect species. It has been decimated by the application of glyphosate herbicide (a.k.a. Roundup) on vast fields of corn and soybeans that have been genetically modified to tolerate glypohosate.

More Information: Scientific American

Milkweed

Milkweed

Milkweed

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/22/15

Observation Time: 5:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Milkweed

Scientific Name: Asclepias syriaca

Comments: Monarch butterflies depend on milkweed as a food source for their caterpillars. The advent of genetically modified “Roundup-ready” corn and soybeans has facilitated large-scale application of herbicides, reducing the availability of milkweed to migrating monarchs. Hence, the monarch population is in steep decline. Homeowners wanting to help monarchs can inadvertently hurt them by planting the wrong kind of milkweed (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha). Unfortunately, native milkweed that monarchs need is harder to propagate.

More Information: Science

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/27/15

Observation Time: 2:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Milkweed flower

Scientific Name: Asclepias syriaca

Comments: Many species of butterflies including monarchs depend on milkweed as a food source for their caterpillars. The advent of genetically modified “Roundup-ready” corn and soybeans has facilitated large-scale application of herbicides, reducing the availability of milkweed to migrating monarchs. Hence, the monarch population is in steep decline. Homeowners wanting to help monarchs can inadvertently hurt them by planting the wrong kind of milkweed (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha). Unfortunately, native milkweed that monarchs need is harder to propagate.

More Information: Science