Well, the weekend was good for finding more flowers. The Hog Peanut and Groundnut were both blooming near the Meridian bridge. Both are ambitious climbers, twirling around any nearby plant. Both are edible: the nut of Hog Peanut and the root of the Groundnut.
Here is the Hog Peanut, whose small flowers seem to hang in the air–separated by their vine from the tell-tale 3 leaflets.
Here is the Ground Nut. Note the much larger flower and the interesting color.Also, note the 5 leaflets.
Along with these, I found large Canadian Horseweed–which always looks ready to bloom or past bloom–even when it is blooming.
I also stumbled on two plants I did not recognize. Each had wand-like flower heads that weren’t open.
The first I considered to be Lopseed–but the stem was the wrong color. Then I realized it was really White Vervain. Thanks, Marcia Dilling for the help with this.
The second turned out to be Giant Ragweed. For those of you who, like me, had only seen the innocuous Common Ragweed, this is a startling, large plant. (2-6 feet tall) And the obnoxious flowers are quite attractive in a bizarre way. Now I know why I can’t stop sneezing on the trail!
So get out and explore–there is something different around every bend in the trail. And since the leaves are already beginning to turn red and all the berries are ripening and being eaten–we are going to see fall soon.