Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Spring Beauty

Bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia)
I love bladdernuts. The shrub grows in two large clusters (I suspect it's clonal) along the creek in the natural area I frequent most often. The flowers are short-lived (like all spring ephemerals) and beautiful, but, of course, the real treat comes in the fall. That's when the fertilized flowers produce the unmistakable papery, Chinese-lantern-like tripartite seed pods (the "bladders"). When the fruit is ripe, the seeds loosen inside and become miniature rattles. What's not to like about this plant?

A view downstream...

Wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata) adorns the streambanks of the creek flowing through the preserve. It seems like there's more of it with each passing year. The deer must avoid it, though a colleague told me that rabbits decimate any phlox plants she adds to her garden.
...and up.


Ray's Cowboy said...

Very nice, but it is killing me my allergies are playing hell with me. But I love all of my flowers.

Jain said...

You captured the bladdernut flowers beautifully. The downstream view should be made into a room-sized mural - wow.