A fen is a fantastic habitat to find interesting moisture-loving plants. Over at Sucker Lake there is a little fen-like area on the west side of the park, between the trail and a cat-tail marsh. I spent some time exploring that today.
I found blue vervain, boneset, northern bugleweed, 3-petal bedstraw, four-flower yellow loosestrife, Pensylvannia buttercup, and ditch stonecrop. Swamp candles and fringed loosestrife have been blooming there for a few weeks now. It looks like there is a colony of arrowhead about to bloom, probably in the coming week, and I expect to find more interesting plants there over the summer. New blooms in other areas of the park are Michigan lily, Virginia mountain-mint, hedge nettle, wild bergamot and gray-headed coneflower. On the bad side, I found some of the evil common tansy growing by the road.
Of note is that arrowhead has been in full bloom up at Pioneer Park for nearly 2 weeks now, and the ditch stonecrop is probably also now blooming on Dunn Island at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park.
I spent Saturday at Wild River State Park. 4-point evening primrose is in full bloom on the prairie north of the Trail Center. Other prairie plants include whorled milkweed, showy tick trefoil, rabbit-foot clover, tall cinquefoil, Canada milkvetch and hairy hawkweed. The woods are dominated by pointed-leaf tick trefoil, and probably will be for another week or 2, and there are still a few tall thimbleweed blooming. Over near Amuck’s pond is great St Johnswort. At the prairie remnant in Dry Creek I found the remains of some unknown plant. At least I think it’s going to seed rather than just blooming. Does anyone recognize the plant in the photo?
At Long Lake Regional Park the prairie roses have been blooming like crazy. Also on the prairie are Culver’s root, gray-headed coneflower, wild bergamot, lots of lead plant, blue giant hyssop, and butterfly-weed. By the railroad tracks I found a few Nuttall’s evening primrose – an unexpected and very nice surprise. On my last excursion to the northeast shore of Long Lake, marsh bellflower and false nettle were just blooming. Joe-pye weed should start blooming soon, if it hasn’t already, as well as the ironweed.