Sunday, June 1, 2014

Late spring at Buddy Attick Park.

In an earlier post, I attempted to identify the blooming plants I found in late April at Buddy Attick Park in Greenbelt, Maryland. This time, I have posted photographs taken one month later, on the last day of May.

I have tried to identify the plants correctly, but I'm not a botanist or a horticulturist. If you have other ideas about identification, please share them with me. The Plant Identification facebook group has been helpful in identifying several of these. 

The water lilies are in bloom near the peninsula. This one is Nuphar lutea, commonly called Yellow Pond Lily, Yellow Water Lily, Spatterdock, or Brandy Bottle. Every year, I wait for the blossoms to open wide, but they always seem to be partly closed.

Nuphar lutea (Yellow Pond Lily)
I particularly like the White Water Lily or Fragrant Water Lily,  Nymphaea odorata.

Nymphaea odorata (White Water Lily or Fragrant Water Lily)

 Here you can see both the Yellow Pond Lily and the White Water Lily plants covering much of the water between the peninsula and the southern bank.

I often hear frogs at the lake, but rarely see them, so this was a fun surprise. My guess is that it is an American Bullfrog, Lithobates catesbeianus. It looked about 6 inches long.

The Sweet Bay Magnolias, Magnolia virginiana, are blooming on the peninsula.

Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay Magnolia)

So are the blackberry brambles. Later, they will produce edible, sour berries. There are many blackberry species, all of the Rubus genus. I don't know the species of this one.

Rubus sp. (Blackberry)

Wineberries (Rubus phoenicolasius) are also in the park. You can see the distinctive hairy looking buds and stems. These berries will be similar to raspberries, but shinier and slightly sticky with a mild, tart flavor.

Rubus phoenicolasius (Wineberry)

Tulip Trees (Liriodendron tulipifera), also known as Yellow Poplars or Tulip Poplars, are abundant in the park. They are tall trees with fantastic orange and chartreuse-colored blossoms. You've probably seen the petals scattered along the path. Later in the year, the dried seeds will twirl in the wind. Here is a picture of a blossom. (Naturally, it is one that fell to the ground. Tulip Poplars have weak branches, and pieces of them are always falling off.)

Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree, Tulip Poplar, Yellow Poplar) blossom and leaves.

This wonderful shrub is Euonymus americanus. It has several common names, including American Strawberry Bush, Bursting Heart, and Hearts-A-Burstin', and . . . Hearts-Bustin-With-Love. I am not making this up. Go to the wikipedia article, look at the picture of the seeds, and you'll see why several of its common names have a bursting heart theme. The bright red seed pod comes later though. Now, we have these delicate, rather odd looking blossoms.

Euonymus americanus (American Strawberry Bush or Hearts-A-Bustin')

I am in love with Blue-eyed Grass, Sisrynchium angustifoluium. The blossoms are small, not much more than 1 cm in diameter, and the leaves blend in with the surrounding grass. This wildflower is not a true grass, but a member of the iris family.

Sisyrinchium angustifolium (Blue-eyed Grass)
 It's easy to walk by without noticing that they're there.

Sisyrinchium angustifolium (Blue-eyed Grass)

Speaking of the iris family, these Yellow Flags (Iris pseudacorus) growing at the edge of the water are in full bloom. They are not native, but an old-world import. Some sources say that they can be invasive, but these do not appear to be taking over.

Iris pseudacorus (Yellow Flag)
A close-up of Iris pseudacorus.

I hadn't planned on taking pictures of clover, but I was drawn in by this healthy Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) growing at the western edge of the lake at the dam. Of course, it's more of a dark pink than a true red.
Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)

And if you look closely, you can find this tiny yellow member of the same genus. It looks to me like Hop Trefoil or Low Hop Clover (Trifolium campestre). 

Trifolium campestre (Hop Trefoil or Low Hop Clover)

Vetches are in the same family as clovers; both are in the legume and pea family Fabaceae. This one is Narrow-leaved Vetch, Vicia angustifolia. The photo is a close-up and blossoms are quite small.

Vicia angustifolia (Narrow-leaved Vetch)

In the summer, these Marsh Mallows (Althea officinalis) growing at the edge of the water will produce large pink or white blossoms. The old stems and seed pods from last year give you an idea of how tall the plants will grow. According to the wikipedia article, the root has been used for medicinal purposes since antiquity. And here is what I almost can't believe: The flavor extract from the root of the plant was traditionally used in a confection which eventually evolved into today's marshmallows.

Althaea officinalis (Marsh Mallow), not yet in bloom.

Althaea officinalis, old stems from last season with new growth.

The Mountain Laurels, Kalmia latifolia, are in full bloom. The photos do not do them justice, and I recommend that you visit them in person.

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain Laurel)

Near the spot at the end of the dam where the water from the lake trickles into a small creek, I was delighted to find this Catalpa tree in bloom. Later, it will develop ridiculously long seed pods.

Catalpa sp.

Catalpa sp., buds


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Wendy. I wish I had been able to include more of the wonderful blooming plants, but the post was taking me so long to write that I had to stop.