Archives for the month of: October, 2012


Rubus pensilvanicus
Vine, Perennial
Blooming: March, April, white
Location: N30 00.381′  W084 33.587′ (1.9RL)  N30 00.559′ W084 34.018′ (2.9RL),N30 00.405′ W084 33.696′ (2.1RL)

Blackberries, widely distributed throughout the world, have been an early  food source for humans.   It is nutritious, high in antioxidents (for cardiovascular health) and good sources of anthocyanins, salicyclic acid (may act like aspirin), ellagic acid (reduces tumors in mice), and fiber.   It is high in Vitamin  C.

Pollinators include bees, butterflies and other insects.  It is a larval host of the striped hairstreak and several species of moths.  The fruit are eaten by many species of birds and the thicket provides shelter for them.  Other animals also feed on the fruit and leaves.

The fruit is on second year canes of the plant.  There are large stands of blackberries throughout the creek and when the fruits are ripening are within arm’s reach (the branches are prickly) of your boat.  Don’t be startled if you see a water snake also enjoying the sun on the blackberry brambles.   They are not venomous and will probably remain still as you pick the berries without abrupt movement.   Being forewarned may prevent a capsize.

These are the birds which eat the fruit of blackberries as compiled by the Illinois Wildflower Information:  ruffed grouse, ring-necked pheasant, greater prairie chicken, wild turkey, bobwhite, woodcock, passenger pigeon (extinct), northern flicker crow, fish crow, blue jay, crested flycatcher, kingbird, phoebe, grackle, redwing blackbird, rusty blackbird, northern mockingbird, brown thrasher, cedar waxwing, robin, cardinal, catbird, Baltimore oriole, orchard oriole, eastern bluebird, veery, hermit thrush, gray-cheeked thrush, Swainson’s thrush, wood thrush, scarlet tanager, summer tanager, red-eyed towhee, white-eyed vireo, yelllow-breasted chat, rose-breasted grosbeak, tufted titmouse, Henslow sparrow, song sparrow, fox sparrow and white-throated sparrow.


American Wisteria

Wisteria frutescens (L)
Vine, Perennial
Native: L48
Blooming: April, pink, purple

Location: N30 00.305′ W084 33.635′ (1.8RL), N 30 00.158’W084 33.487′ (1.7RL), N 30 00.283′ W084 33.620′ (1.75RR), N 30 00.307’W084 33.634′(2RL), N 30 00.484′ W084 33.835′ (2.4RR), N 30 00.800 W 084 34.325 (?RL)

Nectar source and larval host of marine blue, zarucco duskywing and silver-spotted skiller and long-tailed skipper.

Rusty Blackhaw

Viburnum rufidulum Raf.
Tree/shrub, Perennial
Native: L 48
Blooming: April, May, white
Location: N30 00.298′ W084 33.548′ (1.7RL), N30 00.298′ W084 33.549′ (1.9RL)



Viburnum obovatum Walter
Tree/shrub, Perennial
Native: L48
Blooming: March, white
Provides nesting and food for birds and nectar for butterflies.

The photo of seeds was taken on October 10, 2013.  The seeds, if  not eaten, turn a purplish black.

N 30 00.062’W084 33.060′ (.87 RL), N 30 00.057’W084 33.272′ (1.16 RR), N 30 00.093’W084 33.305′, N30 00.357′ W084 33.654(2.2RR), N30 00.447′ W084 33.876′ (2.5RR)

Southern Arrowwood

Viburnum dentatum
Tree/shrub, Perennial
Native: L48
Blooming: April, May,  June, white
Provides nesting and food for birds, nectar for butterflies
Location: N30 00.161′ W084 33.583′ (1.3RR), N30 00.367′ W084.33.527′ (1.8RL), N30 00.385′ W084 33.683′ (2RL), N30 00.447′ W084 33.876′ (2.5RR)

The Ojibwa used it as an ingredient for kinnikinnick, smokes.

In 2013 blooming began in mid-May, extending through June.



Photographed November 10, 2016.

Black Highbush Blueberry

Vaccinium corymbosum
Shrub, Perennial
Blooming: January, February, March, white

Food source for over 20 species of birds, including:  wild turkey, mourning dove, ruby-throated hummingbirds, northern flicker, red-bellied woodpecker, blue jay, black capped chickadee, American robin, cedar waxwing, white throated sparrow.  Larval host brown elfin, striped hairstreak butterflies and huckleberry sphinx, major datana and saddleback caterpillar moths.  You might be able to find a few left to taste, but hardly enough to make a pie.
Location: N30 00.094′ W084 33.345′ (1.2RL), N30 00.361′ W084 33.514′ (2.1RL)

Climbing Aster

Symphyotrichum carolianum
Shrub/vine, Perennial
Native: L 48
Blooming: May, June, July, August, September, October, November, purple
Nectar for pearl crescent, monarch, skipper and dainty sulfur butterflies, hornets  and bees; larval host plant for pearl crescent butterfly.  On September 26, 2013, we saw a northern green anole (Anolis carolinensis carolinensis), in a blink of an eyelid, catch a skipper and dispatch it down its gullet.   When in full bloom, the bushes are full of inveterbrates and their predators (spiders and anoles), a fascinating demonstration of the mutuality of blossoms and insects.   Plan some time from your paddling to enjoy the activity around these flowers.
Location: N30 00.940′ W084 33.343′ (1.2RL), N30 00.098′ W084 33.439′ (1.6RR), N30 00.353′ W084 33.666′ (2.3RR)

Pink Wild Azalea, Sweet Mountain Azalea

Rhododendron canescens (Michx)

Shrub, perennial

Native: L48

Blooming: Fragrant flowers appear before leaves,  March, April

One of the signature spring flowering plants of Womack Creek, the pinxter’s fragrant blossoms are attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.  Larval host for striped hairstreak and brown elfin butterflies.   Nectar source for skipper and swallowtail butterflies.    An occasional bloom may be seen in plantings in protected coves in early winter, one plant was blooming in late November and was still blooming in early January.

Location:  N 30 00.306′ W084 33.566′ (1.91RL),  N30 00.361′ W084 33.659′ (2.27RR) ,  N30.058W084.33.222(.93 RL).


There are two hues of pinxter on Womack Creek. This is the bud of the darker pink pinxster. Take 3-21-2014.



This is the bloom from the same shrub.

Swamp Dragonhead

Physostegia leptophylla Small
Forb/herb, Perennial
Native: L48
Blooming: May, June,  pink, purple
Location: N30 00.146′ W084 33.543′ (1.6RR), N30 00.305′ W084 33.541′ (2RR)

In 2013, large stands started blooming in late May extending into June.


Persea palustris (Raf.) Sarg.
Tree/shrub, Perennial
Native: L48
Blooming: late April-early May, June white, green

Location:  N30 00.379’W084 33.551′(1.9RL), N30 00.378’W084 33.685′(2.2RR), N30 00.473’W084 33.835′(2.6RR)

Host plant for spicebush swallowtail, palamedes swallowtail, schaus’ swallowtail (Papilio aristodemus – endangered). Foliage eaten by deer and plant provides nesting site for mockingbirds.

Native Americans used the root as a carthatic, for fevers and dropsy.

In 2013, late blooming, started in mid May extending through early June.