One-flowered Broomrape (Orobanche uniflora)
One-flowered broomrape (Orobanche uniflora) is also known as oneflowered broomrape, naked broomrape, cancer root, one-flowered cancer root, pipes, ghost pipes, squawdrops, and squirrel’s grandfather. It is the fourth plant that we’ve dealt with here that has no chlorophyll. Without chlorophyll the plant is unable to nourish itself through photosynthesis, so it lives its life as a parasite, siphoning off its nourishment from other plants. Unlike the previous parasitic plants that we’ve discussed, this one doesn’t get its food by tapping into tree roots. Instead it feeds off non-woody (herbaceous) plants like Asters.
I was delighted at how many species of wildflower were in bloom at Fort Hill this past weekend. We saw many of the same flowers that appeared in April Wildflowers at Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve. So rather than posting duplicate flower photos, I’ll just post ones that were newly seen at Fort Hill.
Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources lists Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve as being one of the nine state nature preserves in Ohio that are among the best for seeing spring wildflowers. Having never been to this nature preserve in Jackson County, we decided to see what was blooming there in mid-April.
Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum)
This post illustrates a couple of dozen, common species of spring wildflowers in Ohio. The scientific name in each caption links to an article where you can learn more about that species (a Wikipedia article, if possible). It also lists the months in which you can expect to see each species bloom in central Ohio. In southern Ohio they will bloom a little earlier and in northern Ohio a little later.
The original inspiration for this post was a handout on what spring wildflowers can be seen at different locations along the boardwalk in the Inniswood Metro Garden in Franklin County, Ohio. The locations are identified relative to numbered posts along the trail. Since most of these flowers are perennials, the same flowers can be seen year after year near the same place. I have preserved the information on post location that is specific to this Metro Park; if you are trying to identify wildflowers elsewhere, you can disregard the numbered posts.
A few placeholders remain for species that I hope to photograph later this year.
Between Posts 3 and 4
An eastern box turtle next to the trail at Lamping Homestead Recreation Area.
Lamping Homestead Recreation Area is located in the Marietta Unit of Wayne National Forest. It offers opportunities for camping, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and picnicking. A 4.5 mile loop trail is open to both hikers and mountain bikers.
Female Black Legged Tick (Deer Tick)
Although Ohio has a number of tick species, the species which carries Lyme disease has been relatively absent from our state… until now. The Lyme-carrying tick is the Black Legged Tick, also known as the Deer Tick (Ixodes scapularis). There are now established populations of Black Legged Ticks in 26 Ohio counties including Franklin and Delaware counties in Central Ohio. Most of the affected counties are east of Interstate 71 (see the link to the Toledo Blade at the end of this post for a map of their distribution in Ohio). Since this species of tick has a two-year reproductive cycle, health officials fear that we will be hit hard in 2014.
Spotted Cucumber Beetle on Whorled Rosinweed
I really liked how color-coordinated the above insect and flower were. Prior to taking that photograph I had never seen that particular insect. There’s such an astounding number of insect species that I find it really difficult to identify new species. But then I discovered BugGuide.net.
Poison Ivy has climbed up this tree, but it’s also growing all over the ground to the right of the tree.
If you hike in Ohio, sooner or later you’ll run into poison ivy or poison sumac. Probably sooner than later. They produce an irritating resin called urushiol that can produce a strong allergic reaction on contact in most people. The resin is found in all portions of the plant. Merely touching the plant can result in a rash and blisters within a few days.
This plant is Conopholis americana, popularly known as “squawroot” or “cancer root”.
When other seeds germinate, the seedlings struggle to emerge into the sunlight, so they can photosynthesise and make their own nutrition. When a squawroot seed germinates, it squirms farther underground in search of its nourishment. It “feels around” in the dark until it finds the root of an oak or beech tree and latches on for dear life. For the rest of its life it will feed parasitically off these tree roots. The oak roots develop little, knobby protuberances where the squawroot has latched on, but other than that the oak trees don’t appear to suffer any ill-health as the result of their parasites.
Since my last post on an Ambush Predator in a Flower, I’ve started keeping an eye out for crab spiders when doing macro shots of wildflowers. Yesterday I not only photographed two more crab spiders, but I’ve captured the moment immediately after the spider has seized its prey.