Posted in Flowers, Park visit

Ohio Summer Flowers at Gallagher Fen

In the spring we published a post describing Gallagher Fen State Nature Preserve in Clark County, Ohio. Since that publication, we learned that the preserve has an impressive variety of summer flowers. To view these we returned on June 29th and on August 11th of this year and took photos of many of the flowers that we saw. The photos can be seen below with the date each was taken in the caption to give some idea of when the flower is in bloom.

As the preserve’s name suggests, it contains something called a fen. A fen is a type of wetland in which the cold, alkaline water bubbles to the surface from an underground aquifer. Among the flowers below there are a few that are peculiar to such a habitat. There are a few more flowers that tend to be found more generally in wetlands, fens or not. However the preserve also contains land that is higher and drier, so most of the flowers found in the preserve that are outside of the fen are species that are widely distributed in Ohio.

Fen Orange Coneflower in bud (Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii); seen June 29th

Fen Orange Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii); seen June 29th; this species was still freshly blooming on August 11th.
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata); seen on August 11th.
Cut-leaved variety of Prairie Dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum var. pinnatifidum); seen on August 11th.
The fen was full of blooming prairie dock when we visited August 11th.
Swamp rose (Rosa palustris); seen June 29th
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca); seen June 29th.
Bee on Downy Wood Mint (Blephilia ciliata); seen June 29th.
Narrowleaf Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium); seen August 11th
Narrowleaf Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium); seen on August 11th
Michigan Lily (Lilium michiganense); seen June 29th. The flower head typically hangs down; we raised it from the weeds for this photo.
Bee on Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium); seen on August 11th
Horse-Nettle (Solanum carolinense); seen June 29th. It was still in bloom August 11th.
Tall Ironweed (Vernonia gigantea), seen August 11th
Hedge Bindweed, (Calystegia sepium); it was in bloom both on June 29th and August 11th.
Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa); seen August 11th
Tall Bellflower (Campanula americana), macro view; seen August 11th
Tall Bellflower (Campanula americana), viewed from a distance; seen August 11th
Bee on its way to Gray-headed Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), top view; seen June 29th. This species was abundant there on August 11th, but past its prime.
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), viewed from the side
Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) with a seed pod above it to the right; seen on August 11th
There is an ambush predator lurking on the petals of this Fleabane blossom. To read more about such ambush predators, see our earlier post.
Asiatic Dayflower (Commelina communis) – non-native; seen on August 11th.
Bee on Common Burdock (Arctium minus); seen on August 11th.
Flower buds of the Swamp Thistle (Cirsium muticum); seen on August 11th.
Nodding onion (Allium cernuum); seen August 11th.
Illinois Wood Sorrel (Oxalis illinoensis); blooming on both June 29th and August 11th.
Anemone; seen on June 29th.
White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima); seen on August 11th.
Wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia); seen on August 11th.
Thoroughwort; seen on August 11th.
Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus); blooming on June 29th and August 11th.
White Wand Lily (Zigadenus elegans); seen on June 29th
Wild Sweet William (Phlox maculata); seen on August 11th.
Enchanters Nightshade (Circaea lutetiana ssp. canadenis), macro view; seen on June 29th.
Enchanters Nightshade (Circaea lutetiana ssp. canadenis), viewed at a distance; seen on June 29th.
Leopard flower or Blackberry Lily (Iris domestica); seen on August 11th. This non-native flower from China has become widely distributed in the eastern U.S. At Gallagher Fen these are probably varieties that escaped from the gardens of early homesteaders.
Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), macro view; seen on June 29th.

The Facebook group, Ohio’s Wildflowers And Flora – Native, Alien, and Escaped, helped me to identify a number of the flowers appearing here, and I want to thank them. However, if I have still managed to misidentify any of the above flowers, I welcome corrections.

Additional information

More on Wildflowers

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and 2012 to 2017

13 thoughts on “Ohio Summer Flowers at Gallagher Fen

  1. Wonderful post. I’ve been there several times in the last couple of weeks. Will have to go back and look for the wildflowers that you found, that I missed!

    1. Thanks, Mike! This was our first year visiting Gallagher Fen, and I’m glad that we finally got around to visiting it. What a great variety of summer flowers! But the mosquitoes were bothering me a bit, and that’s with me wearing DEET.

    1. Patricia, thank you! I was able to learn about a number of flowers I had never seen before, so it was fun and educational for me, too. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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