Beyond cherry blossoms!

Flower Veronica Speedwell2

There is more to admire than cherry blossoms this time of year! Check out the flowering weeds! At the edge of a tiny park in Leonardtown, MD I was startled to discover Veronica (Speedwell) in full bloom, carpeting a large area with the most darling tiny flowers in endless shades of sky blue. A perfect bouquet for a fairy.

Veronica is the largest genus in the flowering plant family Plantaginaceae, with about 500 species; it was formerly classified in the family Scrophulariaceae. Common names include speedwell, bird’s eye, and gypsyweed. Wikipedia
Scientific nameVeronica
RankGenus
Flower Veronica Speedwell
I just can’t get over the blue veins!

Blue flowers in autumn

Flower VA Dayflower

The Virginia Dayflower is one of my favorite blue flowers in autumn. It is a perennial herbaceous plant, native to the mideastern and southeastern US. It is important to count the blue petals. The Virginia Dayflower has 3 blue petals. The Asiatic Dayflower has only 2 blue petals, plus a tiny white one. They bloom now too, often close to each other in wet soil,  and are a deeper blue.

It’s a boy! Sexing Monarch butterflies!

Insect Monarch

This Monarch butterfly is a boy! You can tell because there is a small black dot on his hindwing (lower wing). Look for it on the narrow vein close to the butterfly’s abdomen (back end of his body).  Who ever thought sexing butterflies could be so easy?

Insect Monarch 2

Here is a shot of the underside of the hindwing. This Monarch is enjoying nectar from wing stem sunflowers. Find some tasty flowers and enjoy butterfly watching while the weather is still warm and wonderful.

Wildflowers of Aug/Sept: Water Pepper

Flower Water Pepper

Water pepper, AKA marshpepper knotweed grows in southern Maryland in damp areas. It is also called smartweed, though I thought smartweed was pink. The little white blossoms and seeds were used by colonists as a spice similar to what you might use in chili. If you taste one, you will discover they are HOT! Some say they taste similar to Sichuan pepper. They are enjoyed by ducks, small birds and small mammals.

Wildflowers of August: Thoroughwort (I know it’s September but…)

Flower Thoroughwort

Thoroughwort blooms in southern Maryland in August and September in damp soil. It’s a member of the aster family and is also called white boneset, feverwort, agueweed and Indian sage. It is beloved by butterflies, wasps and bees which can cover the blossoms so completely that you can’t see the flowers. Has some medicinal uses but should be avoided because it can be toxic and is poisonous to humans and livestock.