It was great to finally see Trillium viridescens in the wild, although due to the cold spring, only a couple of plants were beginning to flower. These also grew in floodplains, where they were unfortunately being devastated by the excessive deer populations…a problems that must be addressed before we loose more valuable plant populations. I hope you’ve enjoyed the quick adventure recap.
I’ve never encountered the likes of phlox like we saw in the Ozarks. Our first stop had three species of phlox growing together in a flood plain, Phlox paniculata, Phlox divaricata, and Phlox pilosa…which doesn’t look anything like Phlox pilosa I’ve seen in other regions. I appears that all the phlox integrade, as many plants there appeared to be hybrids among the many species. Truly, a fascinating conundrum.
We’re always keeping our eyes open for aberrant forms of native plants. and I nearly drove off the road when I spotted this gold leaf American holly, Ilex opaca. Sorry for the fuzzy picture, but it rained on us every single day of the trip and taking good photos in the pouring rain is a worthwhile challenge.
One of the plants that loves degraded, rocky shale banks is the bird-foot violet, Viola pedata. At this site, however, we found some Viola pedata plants that made 2′ wide spreading patches, which I’ve never heard of or seen before. I’ve seen this species across the country and it always makes a small tight clump, so this is a huge variation from normal.