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?
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.
Wilderness State Park Winter 2017
1 day ago