I’ve had myself spread pretty thin this year, so decided to cut back on the number of locations I visit, or at least reduce the frequency. So due to time constraints and the desire to save gas, most of my field trips will be close to home, primarily Long Lake and Sucker Lake parks. I do welcome others to post comments about what’s found growing in other areas around the Twin Cities, as well as Greater Minnesota. I’ll still make occasional visits to Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, Wild River State Park, and other spots and post my findings here.
On my visit to Wild River last weekend I didn’t have a lot of time to wander looking for new blooms because much of my time was spent collecting pussytoes seed for the Prairie Care program. I did notice, however, that black snakeroot and long-leaved bluets are starting to bloom, and berries are ripening on the blueberries and strawberries. There’s nothing sweeter than a wild strawberry!
Most of the spring ephemerals are done for this season, or will be soon. Wild geranium and a few other woodland spring bloomers are still hanging on, though they have started going to seed.
Over at Sucker Lake, yellow pond lilies and blueflag iris are in full bloom now. You can see them through the shrubs on the west shore of the lake, just a little ways down from the north parking lot. I’m not yet sure how I’m going to get close enough to get some good photos, but I’ll think of something.
I’ve been visiting Long Lake park frequently for a few years now and find something new every time I go there, which is pretty neat. Something in the shinleaf family is about to bloom in the woods around Rush Lake. I didn’t see these at all last year, but then the variety and quantity of blooms this year is huge compared to last. On the prairie is a bumper crop of spiderwort, alumroot, large beardtongue, and American vetch. Carolina larkspur is about to bloom. Some wild roses are now blooming along the entrance road. Poison ivy is pretty much everywhere, so beware.
At the southern end of Long Lake park, Canada anemone is in full swing along with marsh vetchling and Philadelphia fleabane. These are also blooming along the northeast shore of Long Lake, plus long-leaf starwort. Other moisture loving species like marsh bellflower and ironweed should be coming up soon. The bad news is that I’ve found several small colonies of yellow iris, an invasive species, growing along the shore of Long Lake. Maybe when I’ve had my fill of garlic mustard I’ll try to tackle that.