Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hazel, milkweed, and iris

I was thrilled to find an American hazel, Corylus americana, loaded with nuts.  This common understory shrub never seems to have many nuts when growing under the forest canopy, but this one in full sun at the edge of a beaver pond, was packed.  The photo is a close up of a single nut in its involucrum.  I'll be heading back to the swamp come late summer, to see if I can get a few before the squirrels eat them all.

Next is poke milkweed, Asclepias exaltata, a relative of common milkweed.  While the latter seems to do fine in poor soil, the one pictured above needs richer soil, and is said to be somewhat uncommon in MA.  This was growing near the same beaver pond.

Finally, the blue flag, iris versicolor, showing off its beautiful veining in the morning light.

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